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November 23, 2016
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EU sees best practice in our innovation lab

DID ANYONE SAY innovation was easy? Our export value-add to trade missions has won praise from the EU. After a tough five-year journey, we're really proud that our large-scale innovation and leadership programme has been noted by the European Union's national agency for best practice.  "A new approach for disseminating impacts is being promoted in business and cultural events, therefore widening the impact on the sector," stated the end-of-project report.

Business and university partners from across Europe developed the project to explore innovative ways that creative approaches might add value to small and medium-sized enterprises. They travelled eight times to different countries' trade shows and cultural market places, including visits to demonstrator projects and ecological experiences for delegates to understand the need to reduce carbon.

Branded ONTENTE, the first five-years were co-financed by Contented and Erasmus+ funding, and run with apprentices and other trainees, scoring in the top quartile. Some 100 delegates from SMEs and universities reinforced their international business development by strengthening their networks and planning new projects and joint ventures.

The EU national agency, jointly run by the British Council and international research company Ecorys, reported good examples of pedagogical preparation, strong levels of recognition, and commitment to long-term high-quality 'mobilities', essentially foreign study tours or business trips.

"This was a large scale project and despite some issues on the whole it has been well carried out. By being involved in application and recruitment processes the sending organisations could ensure the project met their needs, while participants identified their own learning objectives which were added to their learning agreements. Thanks to participant involvement placements could be better tailored to their needs, providing high quality learning outcomes."

Not only has it supported export and trade missions, participants have been able to share skills and knowledge and have reportedly progressed onto masters degrees and achieved new vocational education and training jobs.

We would like to say a special thank-you to our international partners: ERA Film (Lithuania), FutureMedia (Poland), Vertical Emotions (Spain), OneWorld / Institute of Documentary Film (Czech Republic), Geopoly (Bulgaria), University of Wolverhampton, Birmingham City University and Ravensbourne (UK).

Warm praise to our team of production coordinators, specialist facilitators and media crew: Mark Cook, Matt Johnson, Tace Bayliss, Felicia Jackson, Yomi Ayeni, Korbi Hort, Alex Beech, Elaine Sharp, Marcelo Meireles, Ryan Jones, Steve Moore, Jon Boys, Jaemes Gregory. Plus our UK-based trainees. A full list of credits will be available at www.contented.net/ontente-design.

Watch and hear some of our delegates' stories.