Alliances for Innovation aim to strengthen Europe’s innovation capacity by boosting innovation through cooperation and flow of knowledge among higher education, vocational education and training (both initial and continuous), and the broader socio-economic environment, including research.

They also aim to boost the provision of new skills and address skills mismatches by designing and creating new curricula for higher education (HE) and vocational education and training (VET), supporting the development of a sense of initiative and entrepreneurial mind-sets in the EU.


These partnerships shall implement a coherent and comprehensive set of sectoral or cross-sectoral activities, which should be adaptable to future knowledge developments across the EU.

To boost innovation, the focus will be on digital skills as they are increasingly important in all job profiles across the entire labour market. Also, the transition to a circular and greener economy needs to be underpinned by changes to qualifications and national education and training curricula to meet emerging professional needs for green skills and sustainable development.

Alliances for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills aim to create new strategic approaches and cooperation for concrete skills development solutions – both in the short and the medium term – in given economic sectors, or in areas implementing a major action of the European Skills Agenda for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience, the Pact for Skills. The main objective of the Pact is to mobilise and incentivize all relevant stakeholders to take concrete actions for the upskilling and reskilling of the workforce, by pooling efforts and setting up partnerships, also at EU level addressing the needs of the labour market, supporting green and digital transitions as well as national, regional and local skills and growth strategies. Therefore, the deliverables of Alliances for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills, i.e. sectoral skills intelligence, skills strategies, occupational profiles, training programmes, and long-term planning, will be an important contribution to the work of the sectoral partnerships that have joined the Pact for Skills.

Alliances for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills seek to tackle skills gaps on the labour market that hamper growth, innovation and competitiveness in specific sectors or areas, aiming both at short term interventions and long term strategies. These Alliances will be implemented in the 14 industrial ecosystems identified in the New Industrial Strategy for Europe (COM/2020/102 final: (see eligibility criteria).

The Pact for Skills builds on and absorbs the Blueprint for sectoral cooperation on skills. Therefore, Alliances under Lot 2 will support the implementation of the Pact by developing a sectoral skills strategy. This strategy has to lead to systemic and structural impact on reducing skills shortages, gaps and mismatches, as well as ensuring appropriate quality and levels of skills. The sectoral skills strategy must include a clear set of activities, milestones and well-defined objectives with the goal to match demand and supply of skills to support the overall sector-specific growth strategy. The Alliances aim to build the base for the Pact for Skills and define the pathway that should be continued after the project is finalised.

Drawing on evidence regarding skills needs with regard to occupational profiles, Blueprint Alliances support the design and delivery of transnational education & training content, as well as teaching and training methodologies, for quick take-up at regional and local level and for new occupations that are emerging.

Proposals should include the design of continuing vocational training programmes to address urgent skills needs of people in working age. Proposals should also include developments of emerging occupational profiles, related qualifications, which should cover upper and post-secondary VET levels (EQF levels 3 to 5) and tertiary levels (EQF levels 6 to 8). Furthermore, proposals should include the design of related core curricula and education and training programmes leading to those qualifications.

Each project must include among its partners both vocational education and training (VET) and higher education (HE) organisations and labour market actors. Ideally they also involve policy bodies, certifying bodies as well as European sectoral associations and representatives of industry.


In order to be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant, project proposals for Lot 2 - Alliances for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills (implementing the “Blueprint”) must comply with the following criteria:

Who can submit an application?

Any full partner legally established in an EU Member State or third country associated to the Programme can be the applicant. This organisation applies on behalf of all participating organisations involved in the project.

What types of organisations are eligible to participate in the project?

The following organisations can be involved as full partner, affiliated entity or associated partner under Lot 2 - Alliances for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills (Blueprint). They can be public or private organisations legally established in an EU Member State or third country associated to the Programme or in any third country not associated to the Programme (see section "Eligible Countries" in Part A of the Guide)

  • Higher education institutions
  • VET providers
  • Networks of VET providers
  • Small and medium-sized or large enterprises (including social enterprises)
  • Research institutes
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Public bodies at local, regional or national level
  • Organisations active in education, training and youth
  • Intermediaries that represent education, training or youth organisations or enterprises
  • Accreditation, certification, recognition or qualification bodies
  • Chambers of commerce, industry or labour, chambers of skilled crafts
  • European or national social partners
  • Hospitals or other care institutions, including long-term care
  • Authorities responsible for education, training or employment at regional or national level
  • Employment services
  • National statistics offices
  • Economic development agencies
  • Sectoral or professional associations
  • Sector skills councils
  • Bodies providing career guidance, professional counselling, information services and employment service

Higher education institutions established in an EU Member State or third country associated to the Programme must hold a valid Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE). An ECHE is not required for participating HEIs in Third countries not associated to the Programme.

Exception: organisations from Belarus (Region 2) are not eligible to participate in this action.

Number and profile of participating organisations:

Alliances for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills (Blueprint) must cover at least 8 EU Member States and third countries associated to the Programme and involve at least 12 full partners. The partnership must include at least 5 labour market actors (enterprises or companies, or representative intermediary organisations, such as chambers, trade unions or trade associations) and at least 5 education and training providers (VET and HEIs) as full partners. There should be at least one HE institution and one VET provider involved as full partner in each proposal.

Sectors or areas:
The 14 industrial ecosystems as identified in the New Industrial Strategy for Europe (COM/2020/102 final:

1. Tourism:
Passenger transport and travel; Hotels, short term accommodation; Restaurants and catering; Events, theme parks etc.
2. Mobility-Transport-Automotive:
Production of motor vehicles, ships and trains, and accessories; Their repair and maintenance; Freight Transport etc.
3. Aerospace & Defence:
Aircraft production; space manufacturing and services; defence products and technologies, etc.
4. Construction:
Building of residential and non-residential estates; Building of roads and railways; Building of utilities and civil engineering; Associated activities etc.
5. Agri-food:
Plant and animal production; Processing of food; Veterinary activities etc.
6. Low-carbon energy Intensive Industries:
Extraction of fossil fuels; Refining; Manufacturing of products with high environmental impact: plastics, chemicals, fertilisers, iron and steel, forest-based products, cement, rubber, non-ferrous metals, etc.
7. Textile:
Production of textiles, wearing apparel, footwear, leather and jewellery etc.
8. Creative & Cultural Industries:
Newspapers, books and periodicals; Motion picture, video and television; Radio and music etc.
9. Digital:
Telecommunications; Software and programming; Web portals; Manufacturing of computers and equipment etc.
10. Renewable Energy:
Electric motors, engines and turbines; Electric power generation; Manufacturing and distribution of gas etc.
11. Electronics:
Production of electronics etc.
12. Retail:
Retail sales; Wholesale connected to consumers etc.
13. Proximity & Social Economy:
Social enterprises, associations and cooperatives aiming at generating a social impact etc.
14. Health:
Pharmaceutical products and equipment; Hospitals, nursing homes, residential care etc.

Alliances have to choose for their proposal the single industrial ecosystem which their project will address (For example the inland waterway sector or the civil aviation sector have parts in two different industrial ecosystems: passenger transport
belongs to ‘Tourism’, on the other hand freight transport belongs to ‘Mobility-Transport-Automotive’. Depending on its use hydrogen is a major enabler in the following ecosystems: Mobility/transport/automotive; Renewable energy; Energy-intensive industries; Construction; Aerospace and defence. A proposal should address only one ecosystem). Only one proposal per industrial ecosystem can be selected for funding. A proposal may concern an ecosystem that is not covered by an on-going Blueprint project or an ecosystem that has already an on-going Blueprint. In the latter case, the proposal must address fields and areas that are clearly different from those addressed by the on-going Blueprint project/s (

Duration of project
4 years

Where to apply?
To the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).


When to apply?
Applicants have to submit their grant application by 15 September at 17:00:00 (Brussels time).

Applicant organisations will be assessed against the relevant exclusion and selection criteria. For more information please consult Part C of the Programme Guide.


Forrás és további információk: