The Open Education Challenge is about innovation in education. It is a new Europe-wide initiative that will give educational practitioners and innovators passionate about education a new opportunity to create, develop, strengthen and fund a startup in Europe. The startup can focus on learning contents, devices, tools and connectivity, learning assessment and analytics, school management and organisation or learning communities or any other topic related to education. The one thing they will have in common is that all selected projects will contribute to a change in education.
Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for education, culture, multilingualism and youth, has offered her personal patronage to the initiative. Speaking ahead of the launch on 22 January, Commissioner Vassiliou said: “Technology offers great opportunities to promote excellence and equity in education through innovation, better access to knowledge and skills, and Open Educational Resources. With its ambitious goal of promoting innovation in education and supporting promising startups, the Open Education Challenge is a fantastic, original initiative with all the ingredients for success.”
Indeed, ICT tools, Open Educational Resources, and open practices allow for an increase in the effectiveness of education, enabling more personalised learning, a better learning experience, and an improved use of resources. Such measures also promote equity by increasing the availability of knowledge.
A jury, chaired by Lord Puttnam, will select the ten most promising start-up ideas. The companies will then be invited to join the European Incubator for Innovation in Education where they will be given the opportunity of developing their project by having:
- 12 weeks of intensive mentoring and coaching in successive European cities: Barcelona, Paris, London, Berlin and Helsinki
- The support of Europe’s best experts in education, technology and entrepreneurship
- Up to €20.000 of initial seed funding per start up and access to investors gathered in the Open Education Investment Club
Applications can be submitted from all over the world, and not only from the European Union, by aspiring entrepreneurs or existing start-ups in the first stage of development.
How to apply?
Just enter the OEC website and fill out the form. 4 easy questions to answer, a 30 seconds video and you are in. Applications have to be submitted by 17 March.
The Open Education Challenge, which builds on priorities identified in the Commission’s “Opening up education” strategy, is a private initiative developed in partnership with the European Commission. There is no financial contribution from the European Commission.