E- inclusion and innovation in Bilbao: IKANOS Project and KZgunea telecentres

The first week of October 2017 we met the members of the Basque Government and other organizations involved in the project IKANOS and in the KZgunea telecentres network. The study visit, organized by Emilia Romagna regional administration, Ervet, and the Basque country government has been funded by ALL DIGITAL, with the purpose of sharing knowledge and best practices among its members. We have worked intensively for 2 days, the first day at the Technologic Park of Bizkaia and the second in a KZgunea telecentre in Bilbao.

Who we are and who we have met

We are a group of professionals coming from different organizations based in Bologna, Italy: Grazia Guermandi and Agostina Betta are from the Regione Emilia-Romagna (Regional Government) and Stefano Kluzer works in Ervet (a regional agency). In the last few years we have been involved in the implementation of the “Pane e Internet” project throughout Emilia Romagna and we all work in fields related to the development of digital skills and e-inclusion.

The Basque colleagues are: Ana Vitorica, director of the IKANOS project; Roberto Lejarzegi, expert of assessment tools from Tecnalia; Toñi Maestro, director of KZGunea project, and her colleague, Leticia Baceiredo, manager of the KZGunea technical office. We have also met other experts and professionals from private and public organizations operating in the digital development of the Basque region.

Points of interests

We had a specific interest in getting insights from the IKANOS project: the Basque project has developed a self-assessment tool based on the European Digital Competence framework for all citizens (DigComp) and an overall approach to develop the digital competence of citizens in a life-long learning perspective. Pane e Internet also used DigComp to redesign the curriculum of its basic digital literacy courses for citizens. Therefore, the self-assessment tool developed in IKANOS is particularly interesting for us, because it could be easily adapted to our needs. We were also interested in getting insights from the Basque digital agenda and the KZgunea network of telecentres operating in the Basque region, as a possible development of “Pane e Internet Points” network.

Learning about the Basque digital agenda 2020, IKANOS and KZgunea projects

During the first day of the study visit we had the chance of knowing each other and learning about policies of the Basque Country for fostering digital innovation. The Basque digital agenda 2020 is a five-year program organized in 4 axes, 11 strategic challenges and 62 initiatives http://www.innobasque.eus.

The 4 axes are:

  • Basque industry 4.0 strategy
  • Fostering digital skills for people
  • Technology management model
  • Infrastructure: broadband.

Ana Vitorica, responsible of the Digital Agenda of Basque Government, showed us in detail the “Basque Human Resources 4.0 Initiative” that has developed a methodology for designing training modules based on the specific digital needs of organizations. The Basque country has a major focus on Industry 4.0 transformation. The purpose of the initiative is to support industrial companies facing this challenge and developing the right skills among workers: industry 4.0 is seen as an opportunity to create new jobs, but for this it is necessary to ease this transition.

During the first day, we learnt a lot about the IKANOS project and about its self-assessment tool: the methodology, the internal logic of the questions, the model of assessing digital competence. Roberto Lejarzegi gave us all the clarifications we needed: IKANOS is an excellent tool for assessing digital competence based on the DigComp framework. We now plan to re-use this solution in Emilia Romagna in the next few months.

You can take the test here

We have acquired useful insights and new knowledge from Toñi Maestro and her colleague Leticia Baceiredo. KZgunea has worked tirelessly to fulfill the needs of most of the population by fighting the digital gap and providing training in all areas related with innovative technologies and how KZGunea collaborates with the IKANOS project to boost digital skills in the professional field.

The Basque Government started KZgunea several years ago with the purpose of offering basic digital skilling opportunities to citizens through a network of 257 centers. The centers organize permanently a variety of training activities on digital skills; the citizens have the chance to set up a personalized training path, based on their needs. The training offer is detailed and rich.

Visiting vs meeting online

We are all quite familiar with learning enviroments and online collaboration, but sometimes it is necessary to have the chance to meet people and work together,  especially when you  have to share lot of information and know-how.  In a relative short time, we had the chance  to deepen our understanding of the methodologies and the approaches applied to e-inclusion activites: the opportunity of meeting different experts  at the same time contributed to make the visit particularly useful as compared to other methods of collaborating.

I was impressed by the amount of the activities and ideas that the Basque colleagues could provide us in such a brief period. We have decided to exchange more information, products and materials. Thanks to our Basque colleagues for the excellent example of organization and professionality!

Grazia Guermandi - grazia.guermandi(at)regione.emilia-romagna.it


Servizio Coordinamento politiche di accesso ai servizi digitali per imprese e cittadini,          

Regione Emilia-Romagna (Bologna)

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