Belfast Met secures ARISE project funding

Belfast Met led ARISE project secures €1.12M grant to accelerate digital and sustainable energy skills in the construction sector...

Paul McCormack, Belfast Met Innovation Manager and ARISE Programme Manager.

Belfast Met have become the first further education college in Northern Ireland to win two EU bids for two EU projects. This new project called ARISE is the result of a from the Horizon 2020 Work Program and includes nine European partners with Belfast Met as the lead partner.

ARISE’s mission is to support the twin transition of the construction sector and to contribute thereby to the European Recovery and Resilience Plans 2021 -2027, by providing the construction sector workforce with digital and sustainable energy skills of the future, along with demand side guidelines for marketable appreciation of skills and exploitation of benefits thereof.

Through a highly innovative approach ARISE will deploy a system coupling methodology and approach encompassing;

1) Skills delivery method;

2) Learning accounts transaction and recognition;

3) Matrix of skills maturity, leading to new qualifications and jobs,

4) Profession –based learning content,

5) Impacts of skills on buildings’ energy performance,

6) New market and regulatory models of skills demand and

7) Stimulation of investments in high energy performance buildings.

Engaged in the project demonstration stage, over 1000 stakeholders across Europe will improve their skills and competences, providing therefore project induced impact of over 4.5 million kWh/year of energy savings, 2.25 million kWh/ year of RES energy generation, reduction of GHG emissions by over 3.5 tons/year and initiation of 1.3 million EUR/year of investments in NZEBs. As a long –term cumulative impact, ARISE aims to contribute by over 75 million kWh of clean energy use in buildings and over 8,7 million EUR of green investments.

ARISE will revolutionise the learning process by monetizing skills development and learning exchange with a digital system based on skills recognition rather than accreditation. The training and transaction system developed by the project will reward learners as they achieve competence at a certain level with the crypto currency for skills exchange – CERTcoin – the innovative currency of skills and learning of the construction sector embracing today’s digital transformation benefits. This reward based on skills and time credits will be stored in an Individual Learning Account and can be used as digital points accumulation for example in a skills barometer or for exchanging it into valid certificates. It will be an easier accessible, less time consuming and still competitive way to up-skill blue and white collars, as well as market demand side – public administration, clients and owners

ARISE will apply digitalization both as a learning method and as a framework of job-based construction skills of the future, multiplying effects of the green transition skills. The novel training method will make the learning process attractive and effective, facilitating its accessibility through a mobile (smartphone) and a user – friendly web based platform. The intervention / learning progress will be achieved in a scalable way, in bite-sized skills delivery. ARISE will apply digitalisation and the earning of learning credits in a “step by step” recognition of competences, as an accelerator to empower demand for sustainable energy skills in the construction sector, and as an enabler of formal certification. This system will be employed based on blockchain procedures to instil transparency and trust.

Paul McCormack, Belfast Met Innovation Manager and ARISE Programme Manager said: “ARISE utilises a circular economy approach specifically utilising digital skills stimulation and delivery across the entire building life cycle and assets to decarbonise the complete energy cycle. This approach harnesses the market drivers from the demand side and matches these with impact targeted strategies and objectives required to achieve comprehensive success. ARISE represents a multi faceted approach to tackle the carbon footprint of the construction sector. It is a pioneering training scheme and a powerful socio-economic cross sectional influencer, affecting the multiple sectors of education, industry, market and policy by delivering a dynamic training and market uptake model.”

The project led by Belfast Metropolitan College with eight other European partners will be launched in September 2021. Within 30 months, until February 2024, partners will work on development and demonstration of the innovative on demand training scheme for digitalisation towards sustainable energy skills, aimed at both supply and demand side.

The nine partners in the project consortium are:

  • Belfast Metropolitan College, Northern Ireland
  • Technological University Dublin, Ireland
  • Institute for Research in Environment, Civil Engineering and Energy, North Macedonia
  • ISSO, The Netherlands
  • Conseil des Architectes D Europe Brussels
  • IBIMI Institute for BIM- Italy
  • Building Changes, B.V. The Netherlands
  • Copenhagen School of Design and Technology Denmark
  • Instituto Superior Technico, Portugal