Skip to main content

Article Category

News

Article available in the folowing languages:

European industry demonstrates a growing interest in technology training (COMETT II)

The Commission of the European Communities has recently published the list of projects accepted under the 1993 call for applications made by COMETT II, the Community programme on cooperation between universities and enterprises regarding training in the field of technology, 19...

The Commission of the European Communities has recently published the list of projects accepted under the 1993 call for applications made by COMETT II, the Community programme on cooperation between universities and enterprises regarding training in the field of technology, 1990-1994. Included are some 597 new projects, more than 7,000 student placements in industry, and close to 500 training courses in technology. A total of 11,000 Europe organizations are involved. These figures demonstrate the growing interest of European industry in technology training initiatives. The number of companies involved in COMETT projects has increased by over 60% since 1991, while requests to organize 2,300 short courses were received this year, representing an increase of more than 50% over the 1992 figure. The number of placements in industry for students and recent graduates has also increased : 32,000 grants have been requested in 1993 for transnational industry placements lasting from three to twelve months. Proposals for more than 400 staff exchanges between European universities and companies were also submitted. The aim of the COMETT II programme is to promote technology training initiatives at European level. University/industry cooperation, fundamental to the programme, is seen as crucial to the future of high-quality European training programmes in state-of-the-art technologies. This type of cooperation is not only a method to redress the balance between supply of, and demand for, training programmes but also reflects a new reality. On the one hand, industry has become a source of new knowledge and has a role to play in passing on that knowledge, while, on the other hand, universities are now aware of their role in Europe's economy (including the provision of training for young people to prepare them for working life). During the period 1990-1994 (the second phase of the COMETT programme) 205 University Enterprise Training Partnerships (UETPs) have been created. Each acts as an interface between the worlds of university and industry, analysing the training needs of a given region or technology sector. Close collaboration between UETPs throughout Europe enables the network to identify the best European resources in any particular field. Their work helps the Community to adopt a more flexible approach, avoids duplication of effort, and aids the coordination of training initiatives. Where required, the UETP network is also able to bring together a "critical mass" in specific technology sectors. Since 1990, the UETPs have supported more than 16,000 industry placements, more than 4,000 training sessions and some 400 university/industry staff exchanges. Forming a central element of the COMETT programme, the success of UETPs demonstrates the need for training projects to be closely linked with RTD. An independent evaluation of COMETT II has recently been carried out by a team of experts. The initial results of the evaluation confirm that COMETT, through its extensive network of training consortia, has become a key element in technology transfer between European universities and industry. The final report of the evaluation is expected to be published shortly. Its findings will figure prominently in discussions on the future of the programme which will take place over the coming months.

Related articles

Policy making and guidelines

7 October 1993

Policy making and guidelines

22 July 1993