This Erasmus pilot project creates a European Platform of Vocational Excellence for the water sector.
Many regions are struggling with the role of VET schools within their innovation ecosystem in general and with adequately addressing the skills need within their region and regional innovation ecosystem. Often there is a gap between VET schools and higher education institutions and also between VET schools and start-ups.
Pilot PoVE Water is a transnational project that draws on existing and emerging vocational competences and skills needs in the water sector, translating them into an approach of vocational excellence. This ensures upward convergence of VET with (EU) knowledge triangles and a strong engagement with the regional economic and social ecosystems. The project intends to create the infrastructure necessary to embed vocational excellence in the water sector in Europe, thus laying the grounds for vocational curriculum development and consequently competence development of VET students.
Main stakeholders are Friesland College, Vitens, Learning Hub Friesland and Stichting Platform Betatechniek from The Netherlands; Glasgow Clyde College from Scotland, Riga Technical University from Latvia; MCast and Water Services Corporation from Malta; CREA Cluster and Mendel University from Southern Moravia; EfVET from Belgium.

The outcomes of this pilot will have a wider group of beneficiaries. The lessons from this project will have an added value for the European Water Sector, VET Schools, national ministries of education and DG Employment.

Resources needed

ERASMUS+ has made 998 022,00 euros available to this pilot project.

Evidence of success

The pilot project builds forward on the proven success at CIV-Water and their integration in the WaterCampus Leeuwarden, integrating VET into an innovation ecosystem and linking up with start-ups and SMEs. This project involves Southern-Moravia and Latvia as iWATERMAP partner regions and their outcomes will be integrated into the Human Capital Roadmap of the Interreg Europe project. Inspiring example for other regions.

Difficulties encountered

In 2014 the approach of CIV-Water was introduced to DG EAC. Over the period 2014-2018 several other regions also pitched similar approaches. By 2018 DG Employment developed a dedicated Erasmus programme supporting this concept.

Potential for learning or transfer

It is a clear example how cooperation in VET Excellence linked to RIS3 topics can be achieved between various EU regions. Other regions would have the opportunity to initiate a similar approach. In the next programming period (2021-2027) ERASMUS has reserved 200 million euros for around 40 EU Platforms of Centers of Vocational Excellence.
Through this approach many more regions can work on the integration of VET into their innovation ecosystem, support upward convergence and work inter regionally boosting their skills agendas and support mechanisms.
Main institution
Friesland (NL), Netherlands (Nederland)
Start Date
November 2019
End Date


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