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The creo project: an opportunity for innovation

European project aimed at exploiting the innovative potential of creative industry professionals in the industrial sector.

3002643-wInnovation is one of the great challenged faced by businesses. Irrespectively of the sector in which they operate, organisations are looking for something unique to differentiate themselves from the competition and gain an advantage over them.  They aim to put a new product or service onto the market, to develop a process, a way of managing business or working relationships, or an organisational model that puts the business in a pre-eminent position in comparison with others.  It is not enough to perfect what is already there or maximise efficiency and efficacy to increase competitiveness. A novelty which changes the rules of the game in favour of the organisation must be produced.

However, this shared need for innovation is also seen as a difficult task by the majority of people.  And, of course, it is. Material and human resources are needed to back an idea up, a vision that could take some time to come to fruition.  There are many questions to be answered. Some of them focus on the “why?” of innovation: What business vision do we want to achieve? Where can we differentiate ourselves? What are the expected results? Others concentrate on putting an ecosystem in place that allows people to search for and implement innovations.  In any case, both approaches highlight the elements that determine the sustainability of an innovation process: strategy and resources.

There are major specialists that help businesses to design and integrate sustainable structures geared towards innovation.  Taking inspiration from one of the concepts developed by some of these leaders: open innovation, and being aware of the innovative potential of people specially trained to come up with ideas, six European bodies in the fields of training, innovation, collaborative working and the fabric of production set themselves the goal of establishing a model to assist the integration of an innovation system within traditional industry. Basing it on the innovative potential of the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) which is in turn conditioned by the talent of the people who are part of it, we are designing a methodology to integrate professionals with a creative background into the structure of traditional industry.

With the support of the European Commission, the CreO project wants to exploit the potential of the vocational training network and its close relationships with business to mobilise the talent of students on creative training programmes. The goal of this is to promote innovation in the industrial and manufacturing sector.  Accordingly, the teaching staff on these programmes must acquire competencies that will allow them to train their students in industry-related skills and abilities. Industrial sector business leaders, for their part, must guide the students during their time with the company while they complete their training.  CreO provides the methodology and the materials so that both parties can tackle these challenges.

Teaching staff are provided with definitions of the competencies they must acquire (CreO Curriculum) and the content that they should be familiar with regarding the industrial sector:

  • Module 1: The mentality of advanced manufacturing sector businesses + General overview of current trends in the manufacturing sector.
  • Module 2: Virtual and augmented reality in Industry 4.0.
  • Module 3: Additive manufacturing and 3D printers in Industry 4.0.
  • Module 4: Graphic design for marketing in Industry 4.0 including the competencies that CCI training programme teaching staff must acquire to be able to train their students in the skills required by industry.

The CreO Work-based Learning (WBL) Guide also details the guidelines that industrial businesses must follow to integrate students on creative training programmes when they come to undertake their work placements.  In addition, it sets out specific knowledge modules to make this task easier:

  • Module 1: Problem-based learning.
  • Module 2: Creative and innovative thinking.
  • Module 3: Critical thinking.
  • Module 4: Collaborative learning.
  • Module 5: Virtual collaborative environment (2.0).

The Internet of Things, 3D printing, virtual and augmented reality, new materials, energy sustainability or new forms of communication or carrying out work are opportunities and challenges with which industry has to be able to cope.  CreO aims to exploit the innovative potential of students who are specialised in the world of ideas and disruptive thought to drive innovation in the technological and industrial sector.  It is a collaboration that also widens the scope of creative industry students’ activities to include emerging sectors.

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