KIC Human Capital - Learning communities as innovation accelerator

The social missions require more knowledge and groundbreaking innovations and make a strong appeal to the available labour potential. The rapid social, economic and technological developments also require an agile response to the constantly changing labour market. An accelerated expansion of the knowledge and capacity for innovation of the current and upcoming working population is necessary to find answers to social missions and stimulate economic growth.

Human capital is an indispensable link for the economy and plays an important role in making the innovation policy within the KIC a success (Roadmap Human Capital Topsectoren 2020 - 2023). NWO stimulates research that focuses on the question of how the contribution of human capital to innovations comes about and how that process can be optimised. A central concept within this and also the focus of this call for proposals is the concept "Learning Community". Learning communities facilitate the connection between research, work, innovation and learning and are therefore an important factor in the development of the current and future working population. Strengthening learning by and for innovation (so-called proactive learning) and collaboration between public and private parties within learning communities offer opportunities for such research.

Purpose of the call
Is to acquire new knowledge about the optimal development and deployment of learning communities so that the interaction of working and learning leads to innovation. Research in this call focusses on existing, starting or developing learning communities. The learning communities to be investigated should be active in at least one of the three following contexts:

  • Energy Transition & Sustainability
  • Health & Care
  • ICT

To be investigated:

  • How working, learning and innovating can be a logical part of a learning community;
  • How a learning community should ideally be organised;
  • How the connection is made between learning and innovation.

In addition, the call aims to gain insight into the ways in which learning communities strengthen the individual learning capacity, the collective learning capacity and the learning capacity of organisations.

Connection with the creative industries
The creative industries can contribute to research within this call with its expertise and methods for designing experimental environments. Her integrated approach ensures that social aspects such as socially responsible innovation and lifelong development are linked to (one of) the three contexts.

Examples of questions are:

  • Which aspects of the design of learning communities contribute to the success of the learning system?
  • How can learning-work environments be designed in such a way that they support lifelong development and the development of people (together) in organisations?
  • What are internal and external incentives for the involved organisation(s) to form a learning community?
  • In what ways can mechanisms of learning be designed in such a way that individual and collaborative learning is promoted? How does this relate to knowledge about how people and organisations learn, develop and adapt?
  • How can organisations design their learning-work relationships in such a way that they develop continuously and become more adaptable?
  • How can key enabling methodologies, design strategies and methods from the creative industries be used in organisations and contribute to the learning process?
  • How can technology or technologies be designed and deployed in such a way that they optimally support the learning process? Think of ICT, internet, apps, games or virtual reality.
  • How can workers best be involved in learning communities and at what stage in the development? How can language and communication be used for this?
  • How can a working environment and culture for learning, working and innovation be created in such a way that it can also be translated into a revenue model?
  • How can optimal possibilities for scaling up new knowledge be designed?

More information
This call doesn't work with pre-registrations. The deadline for the submission of applications is 14 September, 2021.

More information about this call via the NWO website