The Erasmus+ project “Creating Awareness and Skills for Circular Approaches in the Digital Economy” (CASCADE) started after a successful kick-off meeting in Graz, Austria last month.
The CASCADE project aims to empower digital service companies (SMEs) to develop IT-enabled innovative circular economy (CE) solutions as projects, including platform business models, sharing economy/collab consumption, product-as-a-service, in B2C but also B2B.
Besides a brand-new website, a lot is happening concerning the content of our training program, and through this newsletter we want to keep you up to date, as well as provide some interesting information about circular economy and digital services.
With our e-learning materials as well as a digital marketplace we would like to contribute as much as possible to the transition to a circular economy. The circular economy offers a lot of potential to design an economic system, that sustains all resources instead of depleting them to create a viable livelihood for future generations and fight climate change.
A 10-week digital circular project incubator training program for digital service companies (SMEs) will be developed that targets the full life cycle of innovative circular projects on how to develop a circular project from cradle-to-cradle principles.
The training program will consist of five modules:
Inspiration and breaking barriers for circular economy: What is CE (in a modern understanding) about? What are main barriers that hinder the stakeholders of the future eco-system in establishing a circular system? What can CE offer to SMEs economically and in terms of innovative digital project ideas? At the end of the module, the user has identified a vision or gap that his project will try to fulfill or close.
System Innovation methods: How can ideas for circular economy projects be developed into a concrete project outline, based on the identified gap? Here, the vision or gap will be developed into a concrete, realizable project idea.
Funding and financing options: If needed, what national and international funding opportunities are there for SMEs for innovative digital circular economy projects based on the developed project outline. The user is given an overview of possible funding opportunities and can obtain an overview of their options as well as further information.
Project management basics: In case a circular project proposal is successful, SMEs also need a solid foundation in project management skills. The focus is on the distinct project management requirements in an externally funded/financed project. An overview of successful and effective project management is provided in a concise, clear, and easy to understand format.
Proposal management: What are key factors for “putting the pieces together” for a successful project funding/financing application? The final module is designed to enable users to write grant-worthy proposal. The module teaches them everything they need to know for the application process and gives them helpful tips to consider.
In addition to the training program, a digital environment will be developed, where the digital training program will be accessible for free. The digital environment will focus on maximum compatibility with existing platforms and systems (e.g., online-usage, integration into learning management systems, download). Also, it will encourage and enable interregional and intersectoral cooperation.
About TPM in Graz
The first transnational project meeting took place on the 26th and 27th of May 2022 in Graz. We met in a hybrid version as not all partners made it to Graz. On the first day we started by discussion project management issues, had a look at our wonderful new website and discussed the general content of the five results. After the official part was done, we headed to the city center of Graz and had a guided city tour. Afterwards we had dinner at a typical Styrian restaurant, enjoying the traditional food of the city. Full and tired from the eventful day, everyone went back to the hotel to meet up again fresh the next morning at bit management or online. We spent the day discussing the exact concept for result 1, with Thinking Circular from Germany as the lead partner. In the end, a satisfactory result was achieved, which we will continue to work on in the following weeks.
We are looking for you!
CASCADE is a 10-week self-study e-learning program with which you can develop and elaborate your own funding proposal, regardless of whether you have already had experience with the circular economy or not.
We are still searching for pilot testers who want to participate in our program for free!
If you want to support us by spreading the message of the CASCADE project, please share our website or Facebook and use our hashtag #cascadeerasmus. There is a lot to come, stay tuned and follow our channels!