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Two Minutes Tuesday#6 - Innovation and Complementarity

In what way is the project innovative and/or complementary to other projects already carried out by the participating organisations?

In this article we will provide you with an overview on how to fill in the section dedicated to the innovation of the project and its complementarity with other projects already carried out. We are focusing mainly on the application form for an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership for a Development of Innovation project (KA2).


Sometimes we receive project proposals from partners with a deep knowledge on a specific topic such as universities, tech companies, etc. These kinds of organisations very often are focused on the problem to be solved, but they completely lose the focus on the innovation dimension. The more you specialise in a specific topic, the more difficult it will be to apply lateral thinking to implementing innovative methodologies, processes and tools.

The fact of being so specialised, often, is an obstacle in considering alternative perspectives and connecting the dots between different sectors or methodologies. In this case, these organisations perfectly know the problem and the target groups’ needs, but they have some difficulties in finding solutions applying their perspective. This is the reason why the problem is still unsolved. 

In our experience to identify the innovation a step back is needed. You should consider the big picture by analysing possible contaminations and connections to different areas/fields.

For Erasmus+ project proposals, the innovation is as important as the problem to be solved.

The innovation can be related to:

  • The field for which you are applying (VET, Youth, …): the project will produce results that do not exist in that field. You can consider the opportunity to transfer a specific methodology or approach, from a field to another if it is innovative and effective for solving the problem identified.
  • The geographical area: the project will produce innovative results for a specific geographical context in which the project is implemented. Your project proposal could be focused on a transfer of innovation from a most advanced geographical context in that particular topic to a less advanced one.
  • The content of the outputs produced by the project: the project will produce contents or outputs that are not yet available at European level and are something completely new such as a new methodology, technology, tool, etc…
  • The working methods applied: the project will apply a different working method for solving a specific problem.
  • The target groups (the organisations and persons involved or targeted): the innovation can consist in the inclusion of a different target group than that usually addressed by the methodology or technology considered. It can be the case, for example, of technologies normally used in the industrial sector that you want to exploit for training purposes.
  • The added value for the ecosystem: the project will add to the existing knowledge, know-how and/or practices of the organisations and persons involved

The project innovation shouldn’t end in itself but should be a clear added value for the project results. It should aim at producing new learning opportunities, skills development, access to information, recognition of learning outcomes, etc…. 


The project can be complementary to other projects, the results of which are already available and can be considered as a starting point of our project. In this case you must carefully demonstrate a significant added value compared to the previous project results or in terms of new target groups, educational, training or youth activities or geographical spread.

Compared to the previous project, your project proposal must contribute to improving the quality of teaching/learning training in the countries participating in the project. 

Usually it happens when some partners involved in a previous successful project decide to submit another proposal to extend its results. In this case it is an added value to have most of the partners contributing to the previous project results on board in your new proposal, so as to ensure a proper understanding of the future developments and improvements.

Here are some tips for improving your innovation potential:

  • Ensure that your organizations truly understand the needs of the sector you are applying;
  • Establish collaborative relationships with organisations coming from different sectors. It is extremely important to have different perspectives in a specific topic/problem;
  • Allocate resources for training and development of your staff;
  • Create a culture for change and continuous improvement;
  • Develop lateral thinking and creativity
  • Be curious!

We are working on the next Erasmus + call. If you want to be our partner or have a proposal to be developed, get in touch.

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