Alliances for Innovation


Partnerships for Innovation support projects that aim at achieving systemic impact at European level by having the capacity to deploy the project outcomes on a European scale and/or by being able to transfer them into different thematic or geographical contexts. They focus on thematic areas that are strategic for Europe’s growth and competitiveness and social cohesion. The following action is comprised under this type of partnerships:

  • Alliances for Innovation

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 bring together enterprises and both higher education and vocational training providers to work together in partnership. Operating within one economic sector or several different economic sectors, they create reliable and sustainable relations and demonstrate their innovative and transnational character in all aspects.

While each partnership must include at least one VET and one higher education organisation, they can address either both or one of these educational fields.

They intend to achieve one or more of the following aims:
• Fostering new, innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning: fostering innovation in education design and delivery, teaching methods, assessment techniques, learning environments and/or developing new skills;
• Fostering corporate social responsibility (e.g. equity, inclusion, climate change, environmental protection and sustainable development);
• Stimulating a sense of initiative and entrepreneurial attitudes, mind-sets and skills in learners, educational staff and other workers, in line with the Entrepreneurship Competence Framework;
• Improving the quality and relevance of skills developed and certified through education and training systems (including new skills and tackling skills mismatches);
• Facilitating the flow and co-creation of knowledge between higher education and vocational education and training, research, the public sector and the business sector;
• Building and supporting effective and efficient higher education and vocational education and training systems, which are connected and inclusive, and contribute to innovation.

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.In order to be eligible for an Erasmus grant, project proposals for Lot 1 – Alliances for Innovation must comply with the following criteria:

Who can apply?

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?

• 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 services

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.

Alliances must cover at least 4 EU Member States and third countries associated to the Programme, involving a minimum of 8 full partners. The partnership must include at least 3 labour market actors (enterprises or companies, or representative intermediary organisations, such as chambers, trade unions or trade associations) and at least 3 education and training providers (VET and/or HEIs), as full partners. There should be at least one HE institution and one VET provider involved as full partner in each proposal.

Duration of project
2 or 3 years. The duration has to be chosen at application stage, based on the objective of the project and on the type of activities planned over time. For more details please check Erasmus+ Programme Guide