About e-OpenSpace

The project aims at the establishment of a sustainable and long-term Strategic Partnership between national supervisory authorities, academia and civil society organisations for the delivery of knowledge and the development of skills related to privacy and personal data protection. In order to achieve higher impact and to avoid overlap with other activities in this domain, such as digital and privacy education for children, the project outputs are focused on promotion of non-formal digital learning and awareness on privacy and personal data protection for adults, civil servants and practitioners. The contemporary digital environment necessitates new approaches for communication between data protection authorities, academia and society. Furthermore, non-formal education and trainings have already proven themselves as efficient tools with a potential for multiplication of the acquired knowledge.

The project provides a web-based tool platform for e-meetings and non-formal digital learning, developing new environment for communication between data protection authorities and EU citizens. Based on the fact that today most citizens are active Internet users, the project provides training content adapted specifically to their needs in the digital era. The platform ensures unrestricted access to all learning materials, including recorded videos or learning sessions in real time.

General Data Protection Regulation in the European Union concept,  3D rendering

Implementing the project activities, the project consortium aims to create opportunities for additional type of education in the field of personal data and privacy protection – short non-formal digital learning. These e-learning curricula is shorter but at the same time with more focused content, covering the various aspects of the privacy and personal data protection and accessible from everywhere. Meanwhile, already prepared and experienced DPAs trainers enrich target groups abilities with new skills for providing e-learning content, including in multinational cross-border environment.

The project aims to provide an innovative way of conducting non-formal digital learning based on synergy between DPAs, which as a rule have the most comprehensive information about data protection, and universities with their extensive experience in providing education for adults. In addition, the participation of a non-government organisation with proven experience in the dissemination of awareness raising measures ensures the validation of the learning content in line with the actual needs of the civil society. The e-OpenSpace platform provides a possibility for direct communication between the stakeholders regardless of distance or national boundaries.

Moreover, the non-formal digital learning on privacy and personal data protection helps the main target group – adults in active employment age – to be better equipped with the knowledge and skills for the digital age, in line with the ”New Skills Agenda for Europe” presented by the European Commission in June 2016. Ultimately, the results of the project help them to enjoy the benefits of the upcoming Digital Single Market of the EU which is expected to generate more than 415 billion euro per year.

The “e-OpenSpace” project is especially designed to be an effective solution for strategic transnational cooperation for ensuring the security and the free flow of personal data in the EU, providing single space for the national DPAs to implement their tasks in the area of training, in compliance with the new legal framework. The main objective of the proposed project is to promote non-formal digital learning and awareness in the field of privacy and personal data protection. All participants – data protection authorities, higher educational institutions and NGO, join their efforts as a team. The project objective matches perfectly with the main objectives and priorities of the Erasmus+, such as KA2 focusing on knowledge exchange and multidisciplinary teaching and learning between higher education institutions, DPAs and non-profit organisations, more specifically preposition of innovative approach to strengthen the education and training paths through enhancing digital integration and greater degree of coherence between different EU and national education tools. Project partners look for flexible learning ways for integrating practical and theoretical knowledge for providing skills in the field of data protection and the promotion of a common approach and synergy among EU Member States in the delivery of trainings and awareness raising initiatives.  The main practical tool to meet this objective is the development of a web-based solution for providing environment for cooperation and open, innovative and inclusive non-formal digital learning.

The project proposal aims at implementing an innovative approach to development of sustainable strategic partnership between data protection authorities, academia and non-government sector in providing short-term non-formal digital learning. The project is first of its kind unifying DPAs, universities and non-governmental sector from 4 (four) EU Member States – Italy, Poland, Bulgaria and Croatia. It is a cross-sectorial project targeting the horizontal policy of personal data protection.  The number and the type of project partners have been carefully thought through. The project consortium is precisely formed in order to cover all aspects of data protection. The inclusion of 3 different DPAs is crucial for collecting and summarizing all points of view considering data protection in order to examine and reach all possible solutions and training content in compliance with national legal and administrative practice and in compliance with the new EU data protection legal framework.  Legal, IT, training and international cooperation experts from the participating DPAs explored all aspects related to awareness raising and training in the field of personal data protection in the EU. The inclusion of two universities ensured the application of most up-to-date educational methodology, needs assessment and a direct link to the target groups. Last but not least, a non-governmental organisation contributed with its experience and learning content assessment.

A network of DPAs is another important project result. The network reaches the general public in several ways – DPAs practice, media, brochures, multiplier events, etc. The role of the universities was not only transmitting the messages of the future network for exchange of practices in the field but also adding up value to them with additional viewpoints. Universities are able to use elaborated training content in some of their courses. As a result knowledge for privacy and personal data protection became popular and accessible. By attracting organisations from the NGO sector all main players are included in the network.

A model for civic non-formal digital learning content exchanging was implemented as a first step for closer exchange of data between DPAs.

In addition, closer connection among DPAs and between DPAs and academics as well as NGO sector  was built as a first step for popularization of data protection officer – job position stipulated by new EU legislation in the field of privacy and personal data protection. The project provided a good practice for sustainable cooperation and collaboration among them.

Proactive and inclusive approach for attracting data controllers with a focus over personal data protection was proposed. The approach is a process – consecutive steps that can be applied in other areas of knowledge.

Additional result was sought through the structured approach for transferring specific knowledge and expertise for privacy and personal data protection, possessed by DPAs, to the general public, as well as to privacy practitioners. The topic is gaining its momentum and essential importance due to the technological development but currently there are very few providers of relevant learning material.

A network of DPAs is another important project result. The network reaches the general public in several ways – DPAs practice, media, brochures, multiplier events, etc. The role of the universities was not only transmitting the messages of the future network for exchange of practices in the field but also adding up value to them with additional viewpoints. Universities are able to use elaborated training content in some of their courses. As a result knowledge for privacy and personal data protection became popular and accessible. By attracting organisations from the NGO sector all main players are included in the network.

Duration: 24 months
Period: 1st September 2017 – 31st August 2019

Strategic Partnerships for adult education

Key Action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

The Programme in a nutshell: Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. Set to last until 2020, Erasmus+ doesn’t just have opportunities for students. Merging seven prior programmes, it has opportunities for a wide variety of individuals and organisations. The aim of Erasmus+ is to contribute to the Europe 2020 strategy for growth, jobs, social equity and inclusion, as well as the aims of ET2020, the EU’s strategic framework for education and training. Erasmus+ aims to promote the sustainable development of its partners in the field of higher education, and contribute to achieving the objectives of the EU Youth Strategy.

Specific issues tackled by the programme include:

  • Reducing unemployment, especially among young people
  • Promoting adult learning, especially for new skills and skills required by the labour market.
  • Encouraging young people to take part in European democracy
  • Supporting innovation, cooperation and reform
  • Reducing early school leaving
  • Promoting cooperation and mobility with the EU’s partner countries

Detailed information on these opportunities, including eligibility criteria, is available in the Erasmus+ Programme website.