The Project “Smart Skills 4 Smarter Cities”, financed by the Erasmus + Programme of the European Union and managed by the Cluster Sofia Knowledge City just arrived to its end on 31.01.2023.
The main objective of the project, as a whole, was to develop and test learning & validation tools for training of professionals who will play an important role for the success of digital transformation of cities. The tools elaborated in the project include a referent competence framework, new curricula and validation paths for these roles, based on common methodology and competencies map. Let’s pay our attention on the main output of this project namely the Toolkit for smart city competencies framework.
The Toolkit itself was aimed to provide means for better development, implementation and overall management of the 'building blocks' of a smart city - the smart city projects. In this way, an opportunity and conditions for upskilling are already created by training the target groups in specific skills that are necessary for the development, implementation and management of smart city projects as well as all its components. The key elements of competencies framework concern the three specific professional, roles selected in the mapping process (smart city project manager, smart city project management consultant and smart city project developer) and include their knowledge, skills, experience, professional qualities, abilities and attitudes that lead to the successful performance of a specific work role in the management of smart city projects.
The development of the competency framework for the above-mentioned professional roles included the following 4 steps:
First step: Smart city competencies map
This stage in the preparation of the competency framework was based on research and analysis of relevant sources, good practices and examples. To prepare the competency map, a rich literature on currently existing concepts, policies and initiatives related to smart cities and competencies was drawn upon. Suitable analyses and existing case studies describing the challenges in designing, implementing and managing smart city projects were collected by the project partners.
Second step: Reference competencies framework
At the second stage after identifying and the description of all competencies, the definition of the proficiency levels of every one of them, and after specifying and validating which of them are mandatory and optional for the three professional roles a Competency Framework Explorer was developed as an integration of all aspects - 4 competence areas, 40 competences, 5 proficiency levels and the relevant knowledge and skills. It explores the competences and the three SC professional role profiles identified by mapping process.
These are the typical roles performed by the smart city projects professionals, covering the full business processes. This framework was used as a basis for the competency identification and help to clarify each professional profile with its mandatory competency description for corresponding proficiency levels, the main tasks and deliverables for any of these roles.
Third step: Curricula package
The Curricula packages was developed in the context of whole Toolkit. There are developed 4 training modules, corresponding to the fourth groups competencies. The training module presents the competences to be acquired at the conclusion of the training program and the structure of the training program, along with the training and evaluation methodology as well.
The third part of every module was built upon the training material organized in order to create the specific curricula for each of the three job profiles. The professionals who are interested in developing knowledge and skills to better perform in the competitive market of smart cities’ projects, will have clear learning path to fulfil.
Fourth step: User Guide for implementation
A User Guide is a brief statement of instructions on how this toolkit can be used and benefit users. These instructions are in a form of Questions and answers would be particularly useful for the target group of professionals who perform or can perform one of the three selected professional roles.
Those interested in this toolkit can expect its publication on the project website in March.
On the 13th of November 2020 the Skills4Cities project (Smart Skills for Smarter Cities, No: 2020-1-BG01-KA202-079071) kicked-off with an online meeting hosted by the project coordinator Cluster Sofia Knowledge City - CSKC (Bulgaria) and all project partners: ARIES Transilvania (Romania), ECQA (Austria), GAIA (Spain), IBS (Bulgaria) and IDEC (Greece).
The project implementation will continue 24 months and is funded under the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. Erasmus+ is the EU's programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe.
During the kick off meeting the partners agreed on an agenda that would focus on producing quality intellectual outputs and would result in the development of a three job profiles targeting the smart cities projects – the “building block” of any smart city.
What is Skills4Cities about?
The main objective of the project is to develop and test learning and validation tools for the training of experts, personnel and managers of smart city projects for their newly emerging roles.
Skills4Cities Results and Impacts
Considering the emerging technologies and the digital transformation of the cities the urban management requires new competencies that the education systems provide currently quite fragmented. In this respect the core activities of the project are focused on the development of two so called intellectual outputs (IO):
IO1 - Toolkit for smart city competencies framework
IO2 - Validation tools for smart city competencies
Project Impact and Sustainability
All project results will be available in all partner languages (5) and in English, facilitating this way their use even by stakeholders in non-participating countries. All materials will be accessible through the project website for free.
The project impact envisages a rise of awareness on the new roles of the cities' staff regarding the smart city-related challenges and increasing the efficiency of the cities as a result of an improved competencies of the HR of the cities. The last will be a result of a certified training based on the new competencies framework and the training curricula and materials, elaborated under the project.
A potential longer-term benefit could be considered the opportunity to link the reference competencies framework and the validation mechanism for recruitment, training or retraining of personnel working on smart city projects, to the national and European qualification systems and to have it recognized on national and European levels.