South West College in Northern Ireland lead the Digital and Environmental Skills for Facilities Management (DEFMA) Project

DEFMA

The DEFMA project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, which involves the development and making available of educational resources & materials for facility managers that aim to address the existing occupational digital and green skills needs and strengthen the employability of the profession across the EU.

South West College in Northern Ireland are the lead partner in the project which commenced last Autumn and will be completed in March 2019.  South West College is also an associated partner of the GREBE Project. DEFMA is being implemented by a partnership of five partners from five countries. The composition of the consortium guarantees that all aspects of the work plan are carried out in a competent way, ensuring high quality outcomes and efficient and effective working methods.

The Consortium of the DEFMA project consists of the following organizations:

  1. SWC -South West College, United Kingdom
  2. PROMEA -The Hellenic Society for the Promotion of Research and Development Methodologies, Greece
  3. SNS –Scuola Nazionale Servizi Foundation alongside Facility Management companies, Italy
  4. BGFMA -Bulgarian Facility Management Association, Bulgaria
  5. VSRC -Vilnius Builders Training Centre, Lithuania

The main objective of DEFMA is to develop and make available to stakeholders, organizations and companies, a novel training program on sustainable environmental management that will empower facility managers with a new skill set of competences related to energy efficiency technologies and building sustainability issues, connecting in this way Vocational Education and Training programmes with the needs of the sustainable building sector. At the same time, the DEFMA project will facilitate the validation of developed earning outcomes at European level.

Facility managers, apart from technical and management competencies, require a combination of digital and environmental skills to be able to maintain high-performance buildings capable of significantly reducing energy and water consumption. There is thus an increasing need to equip facilities managers with the skills and capacities required to:

a) support carbon emission reduction measures,

b) monitor resources consumption,

c) use “smart” building controls and up-to-date environmental technology systems (e.g. building automation),

d) identify energy losses and water leaks, rectify small faults, and carryout simple maintenances.

The project will address this challenge by increasing the relevance of VET provision for facilities managers to match their competences and skills with environmental and sustainability needs of the built environment and promote employability and mobility within the sector.

The development of the DEFMA curriculum and all related educational resources are expected to be completed in the upcoming months. It’s worth noting that all educational resources (learning units, educational material, training manuals) will be freely available online for non-profit use in the form of a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course).

Further information can be obtained from the project coordinator at South West College at defmaproject@gmail.com or on the website http://www.defma-project.eu/

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MADIE Project training in Finland

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MADIE project organized a joint training event teaching how to become successful consultants for cooperative structures and how to establish new cooperative businesses and cooperation based on lessons learned from selected cases in Europe

The training course was held in Joensuu (Finland), hosted by GREBE partner Luke during mid-June. The aim of the training course was to teach motivated consultants, students, entrepreneurs, cooperative representatives, SME´s and other interested stakeholders how to become successful consultants for cooperative structures. In addition, participants learned new cooperative businesses and cooperation based on lessons learned from selected cases. Various aspects of cooperatives, soft skills and business knowledge were covered during the training such as social skills, management skills, business models, communication skills, Finnish case examples and other essential skills.

In addition, excursions to a well-functioning energy cooperative and a small-scale CHP unit were part of the programme. The first excursion point was the Eno energy cooperative where the participants learned from the experiences of a successful cooperative model in the field of forest energy. The second visit was at the Sirkkala Energy Park where GREBE partner Karelia UAS presented the technology and opportunities of small-scale CHP units based on wood chips. Presentations and lectures given by cooperative and university representatives highlighted the importance of cooperative business models and cooperatives in Finland.

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MADIE – Multifunctional Agriculture as a Driver for Innovation in rural Europe

MADIE is funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and coordinated by the German  Starkmacher e.V. with partners Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke, Finland), County Governor of Hordaland (Norway), NAK Nonprofit Kft. (Hungary) and Terre di loppiano srl (Italy).

Different models of cooperation, such as cooperatives or associations of local players, have been established in recent years in different regions of the partner countries. They created jobs in agriculture or forestry often in conjunction with new marketing, tourism, nature conservation and nature education projects.

The knowledge on cooperative business models gained during the training week can be applied within the GREBE project and GREBE partner Luke will take relevant models into account within the working package 7 implementation on “Knowledge transfer and business delivery”.