Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


MEnS Report Summary

Project ID: 649773
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.3.7.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MEnS (Meeting of Energy Professional Skills)

Reporting period: 2015-03-01 to 2016-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

MEnS is a project conceived in order to enhance the NZEB skills of professionals, working in the building sector, such as building managers, engineers and architects, through a series of accredited training activities developed by 9 universities and 3 market players, supported by a communication partner.
The strategic target is to accelerate the NZEB culture in existing professional and market experts, in order to reduce the gap in the current knowledge on the technical implementation of NZEB solutions in the existing building stock.
Beyond this, the project was conceived to challenge two main current issues:
• The economic crisis, with the consequent high unemployment rate, which has affected in the past years some European countries;
• The lack of women resources in the building sector, due to the disadvantage in which women still find themselves in the actual market.
Thus MEnS project is to the forefront in tackling the implementation of the NZEB, covering the lack of professionals’ expertise and helping the unemployed and women in the Built Environment.
The overall objectives of MEnS, according to the above, are the following:
• To increase the knowledge and skills of at least 1800 building professionals in NZEB design and construction, out of which 50% would be women or unemployed.
• To create and implement a new education and training program, focusing on real case studies of buildings, in 10 countries, under the EQF provisions and based on desired and common learning outcomes of Level 7.
• To accredit these courses using the formal procedure in each country and assign ECTS credits.
• To develop an online E-Learning platform that will enhance the learning process, enable international cooperation and communication between participants and built on top of the Build-Up portal.
• To enhance and support the development of a professional network in Europe specifically focused on the retrofitting of housing stocks towards NZEB. A connection with over 250,000 stakeholders and market players is envisaged
• To develop and deliver 5 webinars through the E-Learning platform to 500 professionals, including even those outside the consortium partners.
• To provide working opportunities to unemployed professionals, by bringing them closer to possible employers and improving their qualifications, at a percentage of 30% of those attending.
• Initiate a wide media promotion of education and training activities impacting more than 1 million viewers.
• To continue the education and training courses for at least 5 years after the end of the project based on concrete sustainability plans agreed by University partners.
• To result in energy savings and/or increased use of renewables of at least 28,96 GWh/year.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

MEnS is structured as a series of connected actions, which in some cases intersect each other in order to amplify their impacts. Below are the details.
• Professional Development and Training Courses (CPD):
17 training courses Editions delivered with 675 attendants (46% women, 33% unemployed)
• E-learning and MENS platform:
The E-learning and MENS platform is a virtual ‘innovation park’, with 11 national portals, that promotes distance learning, and at the same time encourages real debate within stakeholders. Number of registered visitors so far: 351
• Front Meeting of Skills - Case Studies Experiences in four different EU areas:
Its specific format has been especially conceived to act as a real think tank of discussion and interactions between the actors involved, and as a case studies lab which will develop best practice and shining examples of NZEB housing retrofitting.
Two FMS delivered so far, in UK and Cyprus, with 27 speakers, 67 attendants (34% women, 43% unemployed) and 4 case studies visited.
• Scientific Advisory Board (AB):
The AB are tailored meetings in which universities and external stakeholders are connected in order to take the main decisions for the content and the activities of the project. The AB will guarantee an innovation management strategy in order to respond to the needs of the market and to involve the highest numbers of professionals into the MEnS activity. 1 AB held so far with 7 external industry representatives, 1 external university and all Consortium partners.
• Survey and Content Updates:
Reports have been produced as guidelines and principles to define and select the best contents for the CPD activities and the FMS, and to collect information on how to engage female engineers in activities on NZEB which would then be used as ‘role models’ in order to attract more women into this field.
• Dissemination and Exploitation of results:
Around 729.000 Stakeholders reached by the action; around 969.000 people reached by all communication activities; 2 newsletters and 2 press release delivered; 43400 newsletters sent; 11 videos broadcast (8 short videos on training and 3 episodes of video-diary); 1 papers and 9 articles in magazines and digital newspapers published.
Conferences and workshops: Participation at 19 strategic events (3 international and 16 national) and organisation of 10 events.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

MEnS is structured to be implemented for 30 months, in terms of formal EU funded project, and further 5 years of training activities with a different business method.
Generally, the options that are being considered are the following:
• The introduction of a participation fee for future courses, coherent with the usual E&T fees in each country. Building upon the wide dissemination activity and the expected results from the project, it may prove a sound business model to make the courses sustainable.
• The inclusion of the short courses designed and delivered in the project into regular MSc courses offered in the participating Universities. This would make the courses even more attractive, leading to a level 7 degree with Europe-wide recognition.
Consequently, the communication campaign is meant to have an effect during the training courses released during the project lifetimes and for the ones foreseen for the 5 years after.
No detailed impacts have been identified for the project after its lifetime. However, it is likely to reach in five years the same or higher impacts foreseen by the 30 months of the project. The aim is also to activate a revolutionary training model, easily tailored and implemented in each European area, accordingly with the specific need of a country to tackle unemployment or discrimination for women in the building sector.
It is worth mentioning an unexpected action, that recently started and has a great potential. Through the BUS meetings, MEnS consortium started a fruitful interaction with the PROF-TRAC project consortium.
PROF-TRAC project has as main objective to create and sustain a European open training and qualification platform dealing with NZEB building, for continuing development and up-skilling of professionals. The 2 projects have therefore crossing activities in different European countries and a complementary approach.
At the time of writing the two consortia are:
• Sharing data for common scenarios
• Developing strategies for a joint communication and dissemination
• Arranging a pilot training in the third edition of national training courses which will start in January 2017 and evaluating possible future opportunities.

Related information

Record Number: 194993 / Last updated on: 2017-02-20