1. Objectives

The objective of the “EU Water Challenge VET Labs” is to involve European VET learners and
trainers in identifying innovative nature-based solutions (NbS, hereinafter) to mitigate the
effects of floods and improve the retention of water within an imaginary European city, named
‘Metropolis’. Both learners and trainers will participate in the first international VET awards to
respond to this key societal challenge in the water management sector.

The company that will be launching the challenge will be Agbar, part of the international group
Veolia, committed to the ecological transformation. ‘Metropolis’ is invented and developed by
the company which includes a number of combined features from a typical city in Denmark,
Belgium and Spain together so that to emulate our different environmental contexts in one
single identikit city.

Therefore, VET participants will need to be creative to solve a real-world need by applying the
challenge-based learning (CBL) approach and other open innovation methodologies applied to
VET, while gaining deeper knowledge and the necessary skills to thrive in a changing world.

The specific objectives (SO) are the following:
SO1: To develop innovative NbS through VET education by bringing together VET
learners, teachers and schools around a European competition;
o SO2: To contribute to achieve 21st century skills (transversal, personal, language and
digital) among participants through solving together a real-world challenge in the
water sector;
o SO3: To raise awareness among similar companies of the potential of VET as the
educational path upon which to build and create real life solutions;
o SO4: To improve the quality of VET with the use of CBL methodologies between VET
schools and the business sector;
o SO5: To facilitate the access of companies to creative talent from European VET

The expected results and outcomes are the following:
– Increase interest of VET learners and trainers in the environmental challenges that
Europe faces with regards to the future of water management in urban areas;
– Train and develop transversal skills for VET learners and trainers during the process of
creativity of NbS;
– Increase visibility of talented VET students for the water companies as pools of future
employees capable to respond to real challenges;
– Achieve a European-based manual of innovative NbS generated to be integrated in
VET curricula/classroom of water related studies.

Benefits for VET schools:

  • Direct contact with an innovative company
  • Incentives to acquire future skills
  • Visualise talent of students and staff
  • Training in innovation and creativity for staff

Benefits for the Company:

  • Formal and open innovation increases the market growth
  • Attraction of young talent
  • Open innovation among employees leads to an increase of company’s profits

2. Partner organizations:
Coordinator: Fundació BCN Formació Professional (Barcelona)
Partners: Mercantec (Viborg) – 6 students + 1 teacher
De Wijnpers (Leuven) – 6 students + 1 teacher
INS Esteve Terradas (Barcelona) – 6 students + 1 teacher
Escola de l’Aigua (Water School of Barcelona, ES) as repr. of Veolia
Xarxa FP

3. VET fields of specializations:
The project will focus on the following VET fields of specialization related to the water sector:

  • Energy & Water (eg. Water Management/Water Treatment; Renewable
    Energies/Energy Efficiency, etc).
  • Security & Enviornment
  • Civil Works
  • Et al. to decide (eg. Mechatronics)
    Note: the fields of specialisation will be narrowed down once the challenge is defined.

4. Implementation:
The project will be structured in 6 main phases led by one partner each, including
transnational meetings (Ms), project activities (As) and results, as well as
learning/training/teaching activities (Cs) both for students and teachers.