Making EdTech into Europe’s next success story
This article follows the fourth roundtable discussion with European Education Technology (EdTech) companies hosted by European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel.
Commissioner Gabriel, hosting the discussion, spoke to founders and leaders of E-Civis, BOOKR Kids, WeSchool, DreamApply!, Open Classrooms, GoStudent, MinnaLearn, Skriware, Dir.BG, LEGO Education and the European EdTech Alliance. The meeting was also attended by a representative of the European Education Publishers (EdPub) sector, Sanoma Corporation.
The event was the fourth roundtable the Commissioner has organised in 2 years.
Her full address to the community is presented below.
Dear EdTech community,
The digital transformation of education and training in the European Union and around the world has reached an unprecedented pace. This brings new opportunities for more innovative, personalised and flexible ways of learning. It also highlights the need to boost people’s skills for the digital transition of our societies.
Seizing these opportunities and tackling these challenges is the essence of our Digital Education Action Plan – the EU’s strategy to make effective, inclusive and innovative digital education a reality. To put this plan into action, all actors, public, private and non-governmental need to join forces.
There is no doubt that you, EdTech founders, have much to offer. Your companies are breaking new ground in education using disruptive technologies, while keeping the fundamental human element at its heart. In doing so, EdTech acts as a bridge between the worlds of education and innovation.
In recent years, European EdTech has become an increasingly important player in our innovation ecosystem. With investment of €1.64 billion [$1.8 billion] in 2022 (source: Brighteye Ventures, The European Edtech Funding Report 2023) your sector shows outstanding ambition and resilience in face of a challenging global economic climate.
But as a young industry, you know well the challenges that persist. European EdTech faces fragmentation and difficulties in upscaling. Differences between national education systems and cultures make rolling out solutions across borders and confidently entering the global EdTech landscape more difficult.
This is why I hosted a roundtable with European EdTech providers on 3 May to discuss solutions to these issues. This is the fourth roundtable on digital education I have organised with the sector in the past two years. This time, we reflected on the place of European EdTech in our innovation ecosystem and how the EU can further support your global competitiveness.
My objective was also to enhance the visibility of the opportunities for European EdTech provided by the European Innovation Council (EIC) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). And there are many opportunities you can benefit from.
With a budget of € 1.6 billion for 2023 alone, the EIC provides great support to our breakthrough innovators. Through its Pathfinder, Transition and Accelerator programmes, it supports start-ups in every stage of their journey, from inception to upscaling. And flagship initiatives, such as EIT Manufacturing’s Immersive Training Platform, the education offerings of EIT Raw Materials and EIT Urban Mobility, are there to foster European EdTech innovation.
Lying at the intersection of education, research and innovation, the EIT community is ideally placed to help you develop innovative education solutions. Next January, it will organise the very first European EdTech conference, bringing together key actors from across our education and innovation communities.
But Europe cannot realise its full potential in innovation and the digital transformation of education without highly skilled human capital. This year, during the European Year of Skills, we will seize the momentum to further invest in our people and their talents. I am happy that our trusted partners in European EdTech community are by our side and I am strong supporter of the work already being done by the sector.
Upscaling good practices is an integral part of our vision put forward in our new digital education and skills package. Our two proposals for Council Recommendations will help ramp up our efforts to improve the provision of digital skills and make digital education systems truly inclusive. European EdTech will have an invaluable role to play.
This is why I invite European EdTech actors to contribute to our Deep Tech Talent initiative, which aims to train one million deep-tech talents in Europe by 2025. Making a pledge to support its work is a unique opportunity for your companies to interact with talents, to form new partnerships within our European innovation ecosystem, and to exchange ideas and solutions empowering your community to become more competitive globally. I am delighted that three of the members of the European EdTech roundtable have already expressed interest to contribute to the initiative.
I strongly believe in the potential of European EdTech. There is much support and many formats available to boost our cooperation to help Europe become a global frontrunner in EdTech.
I urge you to take full advantage of these opportunities and help spread the word. I trust that you will rise to the challenge.
Together, let’s make EdTech Europe’s next success story!