TU Dublin and Belfast Metropolitan College launch ARISE Project

14 Sep, 2021

With lead partner Belfast Metropolitan College, TU Dublin launched their new £1.12 million European digital construction project, ‘ARISE’, in the 2-day KICK-OFF meeting on 1st and 2nd September 2021.

ARISE aims to revolutionise the learning process by changing the face of delivery and recognition of sustainable energy skills in the construction sector.

ARISE’s mission is to support the twin transition of the construction sector and to contribute thereby to the European Recovery, and Resilience Plans 2021 -2027 by providing the construction sector workforce with digital and sustainable energy skills of the future, along with demand-side guidelines for marketable appreciation of skills and exploitation of benefits thereof.

The nine partners in the project consortium are Belfast Metropolitan College, Northern Ireland, Technological University Dublin, Ireland, Institute for Research in Environment, Civil Engineering and Energy, North Macedonia, ISSO, Netherlands, Conseil des Architectes D Europe, Brussels, IBIMI Institute for BIM, Italy, Building Changes, BV, Netherlands, Copenhagen School of Design and Technology, Denmark and Instituto Superior Technico, Portugal.

On the opening launch day on Wednesday, September 1, Belfast Met Innovation Manager and ARISE, Programme Manager, Paul McCormack, gave an introduction and outlined the challenges and objectives for the 30-month programme.

Louise Warde Hunter, Principal and Chief Executive of Belfast Met, also addressed the opening day audience, saying: “Today’s ARISE launch reinforces Belfast Met’s commitment to engage in international partnerships and applied R &D, working in innovative ways with industry to meet the emerging skills needs of the economy at home and abroad. “

Also among the other opening day speakers was Ms Jennifer Boyer, Vice President of Sustainability, Technological University Dublin, who is one of the 8 European partners on the project, which has Belfast Met as the lead partner. Ms Boyer said: “Our People, our Planet, and our Partnerships are key to addressing the interconnected challenges of sustainability at TU Dublin. The ARISE project creates a positive impact by addressing real-world challenges in the construction sector through the upskilling of individuals to reach their infinite potential. In addition, ARISE leverages learning post-Covid, by offering bite-size educational units through a digital mobile curriculum to enable learning opportunities that are accessible and sustainable in our daily lives.”

Ms Jennifer Boyer, Vice President of Sustainability, Technological University Dublin- Conor Healy, Picture It Photography

The funding for the project was gained through the EU Horizon 2020 Work Programme. Ms Amadine De Coster-Lacourt, Project Advisor, (CINEA), European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency, said: “ARISE will contribute to the Green Deal and the Renovation Wave objectives by facilitating recognition of sustainable energy skills in the built environment and increasing demand for those skills.”.

Ms De Coster-Lacourt spoke at the launch on H2020 Project Management.

The distinct work packages work to be carried out by the  partners were discussed and detailed:

  • Work Packages
  • WP1 MANAGE Belfast Met
  • WP2 BENCHMARK energy & digitalisation skills IBIMI - Italy
  • WP3 DESIGN framework ISSO The Netherlands
  • WP4 DEVELOP autonomy e-engine KEA - Denmark
  • WP5 FILL agility e-tools TU Dublin, Dr. Barry McAuley, Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment
  • WP6 PILOT Digital Pathway e-nergise Belfast Met
  • WP7 REPLICATE market implementation IECE Maedonia
  • WP8 COMMUNICATE dissemination & exploitation ACE Belgium

Martin Lennon, Director, (OHMG), O Hare McGovern also spoke at the launch, saying: “The early involvement of OHMG with BIMcert was the platform that escalated our BIM journey, ensuring we remained at the forefront of digital innovation.

"We are delighted to once again join with BMET and their international partners,  at the start of their ARISE project journey.  The result of this partnership will ensure OHMG have a skilled workforce who will have the knowledge, experience and competencies to deliver on the Government’s Construction 2025: Strategy”.

Mark Baldwin, Building Smart International, in Switzerland, spoke at the launch, saying: “Competency assurance is a significant aspect contributing to the success and sustainability of the digitalization of the built asset industry.”

Budgets and project governance were discussed on day two, Thursday, September 2, 2021.

ARISE will revolutionise the learning process by monetizing skills development and learning exchange with a digital system based on skills recognition rather than accreditation. The training and transaction system developed by the project will reward learners as they achieve competence at a certain level with the cryptocurrency for skills exchange - CERTcoin – the innovative currency of skills and learning of the construction sector embracing today’s digital transformation benefits. This reward-based on skills and time credits will be stored in an Individual Learning Account and can be used as digital points accumulation, for example, in a skills barometer or for exchanging it into valid certificates. It will be an easier accessible, less time-consuming and still competitive way to up-skill blue and white collars and market demand side – public administration, clients and owners.

ARISE will apply digitalization both as a learning method and as a framework of job-based construction skills of the future, multiplying the effects of the green transition skills. The novel training method will make the learning process attractive and effective, facilitating its accessibility through a mobile (smartphone) and a user-friendly web-based platform. The intervention/learning progress will be achieved in a scalable way, in bite-sized skills delivery. ARISE will apply digitalisation and the earning of learning credits in a "step by step" recognition of competencies, as an accelerator to empower demand for sustainable energy skills in the construction sector, and as an enabler of formal certification. This system will be employed based on blockchain procedures to instil transparency and trust.

The project led by Belfast Metropolitan College with eight other European partners was launched this week. Within 30 months, until February 2024, partners will work on the development and demonstration of the innovative on-demand training scheme for digitalisation towards sustainable energy skills, aimed at both supply and demand side.