Irish Rural Link (IRL) was in Pescara, Italy – in the news last week for its hailstones ‘the size of oranges’ – for the second meeting of two Erasmus+ projects on digital empowerment and sustainable tourism, on May 28 and 29.

The DELSA (Digital Empowerment for Low Skilled Adults) gathering involved eight partners, including IRL. They represented six European countries – Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland and Spain – and were hosted by Italian Development Partners in Pescara, said Louise Lennon of IRL.

DELSA addresses the issue of low digital competences and skills, and will develop immediate and concrete training and educational resources to advance digital abilities of low-skilled adults for empowerment.

Adult education

The partners discussed the training module’s structure and content in DELSA, available in five languages. Every partner made a presentation of their current status on digitalisation and how to improve the adult education system through a proper strategy for empowerment.

Administrative aspects were covered as well as dissemination; exploitation; visibility; and quality assurance.

Sustainable tourism

IRL also met with partners from Belgium, Cyprus, Italy, Iceland and Spain for the second meeting of  SUSTAIN IT (Sustainable Tourism Innovative Training).

The goal is to reinforce capacities of European workers and professionals in the sustainable tourism sector to enhance their employability while reigniting the sectors’ growth and competitiveness.

SUSTAIN IT will develop innovative concrete and actionable training to be delivered through traditional face-to-face means and the dedicated Open Educational Resource.

Partners had the opportunity to make a presentation about the current status of the project’s website as well as issues related to sustainable tourism. Dissemination and administrative issues were also addressed, including the training content of the courses for future implementation.

“At both the SUSTAIN IT and DELSA meetings, every partner gave an overview of
the current situation of tourism and digital skills among adults in their
country. The development of the modules for each project was also discussed
which will be tested with end users in October,” said Louise.

The projects are co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission, key action 2, strategic partnerships for adult education.

IRL was also in Angavallen, Sweden, recently for the second partner progress meeting of RUBIZMO (Replicable Business Models for Modern Rural Economies) project.

It is a three-year collaborative initiative, funded by Horizon 2020, to identify the best initiatives and conditions for supporting rural jobs and growth.

RUBIZMO will focus on three key elements to help make this happen:

  • Identifying and analysing promising business models and collaborative networks fertile for upscaling and replication;
  • Providing easy access overviews of these rural ‘hot spots’ of business innovation and practical support tools for entrepreneurs, local networks and policymakers to adopt them;
  • Active coaching of entrepreneurs and peer-to-peer training focusing on creating the novel collaboration patterns RUBIZMO assessment has identified as key for improved competitiveness and sustainability of the business model.

These actions will be carefully crafted with local networks to build on local strengths and enhance existing initiatives, giving a new lease of life to promising steps taken by different regional, national and European programmes, said Louise.

“The business cases selected from the 11 partnering countries for the next round of interviews were discussed and how to proceed with the interviews.

“The analysis of these interviews will help form the basis for the development of business tools and guidelines in the next phase of the project. What these tools could potentially look like was also discussed,” she said.