The Final Conference of the BLUE KEP project was successfully held in Ancona (IT) on 26 September, in a room crowded with students of the local nautical and technical secondary schools. The 21-months capitalisation project was financed by the INTERREG Italy-Croatia CBC Programme 2014-2020, under the Priority Axis “Blue Innovation”. The project supported the preparation and implementation of an exchange programme between 12 Italian and Croatian nautical and technical secondary schools, directly involving 38 students and 43 teachers in a 45-days long mobility. It also implied the participation of more than 20 companies of the blue sector, which offered hands-on training opportunities to all involved students. The BLUE KEP project final aim was to test and validate new and effective cross-border guidelines for the implementation of knowledge exchange programmes aimed at promoting innovation and competitiveness-boosting blue skills.
The Conference was opened with a welcome message by Ms Loretta Bravi, Councillor for Education, Training and Labour Market of the Marche Region, who addressed the students to take stock of the experience and the achieved professional skills.
Mr Miletic, representative of the INTERREG IT-HR CBC Programmer JS and MA, praised the project for its results and outputs, which, by producing a concrete knowledge transfer between the education system and the business sector, are perfectly in line with the Programme’s policy framework and priorities.
AIE’s Secretary General Mr Cocco, stressed the importance of creating synergies between territorial cooperation programmers and projects and the broader umbrella of the EUSAIR.
He also pointed out that the BLUE KEP project was quite successful and its momentous results can be a starting point for building similar initiatives at a macro-regional level.
The Conference proceeded with project partners giving an overview of the mobility programme and activities that each of them implemented. Communication activities were also presented, including the project guidebook, which, addressed to project’s stakeholders and to national and regional level education ministries, was aimed at capitalising and disseminating results.
By means of photos, videos and story-telling, the protagonists of the mobility programme, students, teachers and project partners explained why and how mobility enriched their curricula and lives. Students proved their motivation, enthusiasm and skills, including a good command of English, and agreed on recognising the positive impact that the mobility had in their cultural, professional and social growth.
The last panel discussion involved delegates of regional administrations, national and regional research centres, local companies, schools and Ms Donatella Romozzi, Italian representative of the EUSAIR Facility Point. Discussion focused on the challenges with which actors in charge of the education and training are currently faced in identifying skills that can boost the strategic development of the blue sector in the cross-border area. What was pointed out is the crucial role of supporting and reinforcing the cooperation among the education system, the research and development sector, local businesses and public authorities.
The Conference was closed with the hand-out of mobility certificates to students, who definitely felt special, rewarded and proud of their achievements and were sincerely congratulated by all participants.
The BLUE KEP team would like to say thank you to the students, teachers, experts and companies for participating in the project. We also thank the parents for supporting their children in engaging in such exciting and challenging mobility experience, as well as the schools managers for their cooperation. Ad maiora!