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Comett II

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1) OBJECTIVE

To reinforce training in the field of technology, with the emphasis on advanced technologies, and to foster the development of highly skilled human resources and the competitiveness of European industry.

2) COMMUNITY MEASURES

Council Decision 89/27/EEC of 16 December 1988 adopting the second phase of the programme on cooperation between universities and industry regarding training in the field of technology (Comett II) (1990 to 1994).

3) CONTENTS

Comett II is scheduled to run for five years from 1 January 1909 to 31 December 1949 and has been allocated a total of ECU 200 million, not including the EFTA contribution. Allocation of Community support is based on the principle of cost sharing between the Community and the project applicants.

Objectives of the programme:

  • contributing to economic and social development through technology training: "to improve the contribution of, in particular, advanced technology training at the various levels concerned and thus the contribution of training to the economic and social development of the Community";
  • joint university-industry training schemes: "to foster the joint development of training programmes and the exchange of experience, and also the optimum use of training resources at Community level, notably through the creation of transnational, sectoral and regional networks of, in particular, advanced technology training projects";
  • training requirements of small and medium-sized businesses: "to respond to the specific skill requirements of small and medium-sized businesses having regard to the priority measures set out in the Annex";
  • equal opportunities for men and women in respect of training: "to promote equal opportunities for men and women in initial and continuing training in, in particular, advanced technology";
  • encouragement of a European dimension: "to give a European dimension to cooperation between universities and industry in initial and continuing training relating to technologies and their applications and transfer".

Areas covered by Comett II

Strand A: University-Industry Training Partnerships (UITPs)

This network, created under Comett I, should be extended and reinforced under Comett II. Its role is:

  • to identify training needs and to provide a structured, coordinated basis for meeting them;
  • to provide a support structure for the implementation of part or all of the activities;
  • to strengthen cooperation and inter-regional transfer between Member States;
  • to develop links in the form of transnational sectoral networks.

The maximum amount granted by the Community is:

  • ECU 70 000 per UITP for the first year,
  • ECU 60 000 per UITP for the second year,
  • ECU 50 000 per UITP for the third year.

This support, limited to three years, constitutes a flat-rate contribution which may not exceed 50 % of expenditure. The activities to be undertaken under strand A will not exceed 12 % of the overall budget.

Strand B: Transnational exchanges

These include:

  • integrated student placements with companies in other Member States (three to twelve months' duration);
  • advanced training placements, with companies in other Member States, for students who have completed their initial training, for the purpose of taking part in an industrial development project (six months to two years' duration);
  • fellowships for university staff seconded to a company in another Member State or personnel of a company seconded to a university in another Member State (two to twelve months' duration).

The maximum amount granted by the Community is:

  • ECU 6 000 for a 12-month integrated student placement;
  • ECU 25 000 for a 24-month advanced training placement;
  • ECU 15 000 for a three-month exchange of personnel.

The activities to be undertaken under strand B will not exceed 40 % of the overall budget.

Strand C: Joint training projects, with the emphasis on advanced technologies

Such projects include:

  • crash training courses in technology with a European dimension;
  • devising, developing and testing at European level joint training projects in technology;
  • multilateral arrangements for training in technology aimed at establishing, as pilot projects, multimedia systems for distance learning.

The Community's financial contribution, apart from exceptional cases, is limited to 50 % and may not exceed:

  • ECU 30 000 for a crash course (the normal duration of a project is one year)
  • ECU 500 000 for a joint training project, for the duration of the project, which may be between one and five years.

The activities to be undertaken under strand C will not exceed 40 % of the overall budget.

Strand D: Complementary promotion and back-up measures

Such measures include:

  • support for preparatory activities, particularly for the less-developed regions;
  • support for the network of information centres;
  • setting up of databases on projects and establishment of electronic mail facilities linking projects and partners;
  • conferences and seminars;
  • ongoing evaluation of Comett II;
  • assistance for preparatory visits (ECU 2 000 per person per week) (8 % of the overall budget).

4) DEADLINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LEGISLATION IN THE MEMBER STATES

Not applicable.

5) DATE OF ENTRY INTO FORCE (if different from the above)

6) REFERENCES

Official Journal L 13, 17.01.1989

7) FOLLOW-UP WORK

Council Decisions of 29 March 1990 concerning the conclusion of agreements between the European Economic Community and certain Member States establishing cooperation in the field of training in the context of the implementation of Comett II (1990-1994):

A Decision 90/190/EEC, Official Journal L 102, 21.04.1990
SF Decision 90/191/EEC, Official Journal L 102, 21.04.1990
ISL Decision 90/192/EEC, Official Journal L 102, 21.04.1990
N Decision 90/193/EEC, Official Journal L 102, 21.04.1990
S Decision 90/194/EEC, Official Journal L 102, 21.04.1990
CH Decision 90/195/EEC, Official Journal L 102, 21.04.1990

8) COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING MEASURES

1991 activity report [SEC(92) 1299 final]
Over the entire programme, Comett II is expected to give rise to more than 25 000 exchanges of persons (chiefly placements for students within companies), and a minimum of 5 000 courses aimed at some 150 000 persons in Europe (chiefly engineers and scientists). In 1991, 414 projects were submitted by 153 of the 158 UITPs for a total sum of ECU 73 million. Placements for nearly 15 000 students were proposed in 140 projects, ten times the figure for Comett I; 55 projects proposed 215 exchanges of personnel between industry and universities; 131 projects concerned the organisation of 1 038 courses, and 88 proposed 1 043 preparatory visits for new projects. In terms of total cost, the best-represented sectors are: environment, informatics, automation, foodstuffs and materials. 392 projects were selected in 1991, including 139 transnational placements for 5 083 students; 53 other projects will involve exchanges for 121 employees of industry or universities; 724 crash courses will be organised under 130 projects and, finally, 63 projects concern preparatory visits. These projects account for a total of ECU 21 million, including one million for the environment sector. A further 25 million is required to finance projects accepted in 1990. The projects accepted in 1991 involve 3 000 businesses, 1 000 universities and higher education establishments, and 1 000 professional organisations.

EFTA participation

Following the decision adopted by the Council on 22 May 1989, the European Community has concluded a formal agreement with the EFTA countries enabling universities and industry in those countries to participate.

Each EFTA country may participate in all strands of Comett, for the five years for which Comett II will run, but their level of participation may not exceed that of the Member States of the European Community; the criteria for eligibility and selection are the same. Every project submitted by an EFTA country must involve at least two Member States of the Community. Transnational exchanges between two EFTA countries are not allowed. Each EFTA country will make a financial contribution proportionate to its gross national product in relation to that of the European Community and the Comett budget for the year in question. The EFTA countries and the Member States of the European Community will take the necessary steps to facilitate the free movement and residence of students and other persons participating in Comett activities. Advisory services will be provided through a joint committee comprising representatives of the European Community and the country in question.

1992 activity report [COM(93) 409 final]
In 1992, 555 new projects benefited from Comett funding. 42 new UITPs (University-Industry Training Partnerships) were accepted, bringing to 205 the total of UITPs under Comett II. This total includes 23 regional UITPs (operating in a specific geographical area) and 19 sectoral UITPs (specialising in a particular technological sector).

The projects accepted in 1992 involved more than 5 000 European businesses, some 1 700 higher education establishments and around 2 000 other bodies. 80% of the projects covered at least one SME (a SME is defined as an enterprise employing less than 500 persons).

In 1992, Comett financed more than 6 900 student training courses (up 38% from 1991). 67 projects were accepted under strands B and C, entailing the organisation of 124 exchanges of personnel. 1 300 training sessions were organised in conjunction with the 154 crash training projects. Participation by EFTA countries in 1992 more than doubled (18% of all projects, compared with 7% in 1990).

1993 activity report [COM(94) 368 final]
In 1993, more than 7 700 transnational student placements and more than 200 exchanges of personnel from universities and industry were funded by Comett.

Approximately 500 joint training courses were supported by the programme.

In all, 1993 Comett projects involved 10 800 European organisations, i.e. 6 200 businesses, 1 900 universities and 2 400 other bodies.

More than 43 000 persons benefited from the Comett-funded training courses, with more than 75 000 teaching hours being delivered and some 1 000 different training materials developed during this period.

1994 activity report [COM(95) 409 final]
More than 7 800 transnational student placements, 250 personnel exchanges from universities and industry, and 700 joint training courses were funded by Comett in 1994.

175 513 Europeans benefited from Comett technology training courses.

206 698 hours of technology training were delivered.

A vast range of training materials were developed, including videos, CD-Is, CD-ROMs, audio cassettes, books and slides.

A final evaluation has been undertaken by the Commission, in collaboration with the Member States, to consider how results have been achieved, what benefits have been generated for university-industry cooperation and in which contexts such cooperation is successful.

Final evaluation report [COM(96) 410 final]
Five calls for applications were organised between 1990 and 1994; the projects submitted required a Community contribution totalling almost ECU 1.2 billion.

The selection procedure led to the acceptance of some 3 000 projects, giving rise to:

  • the creation of over 200 University-Industry Training Partnerships covering nearly all European regions as well as many technological and sectoral areas;
  • the organisation of some 40 000 transnational exchanges of students, graduates and personnel;
  • the organisation of almost 10 000 advanced training courses, attended by a quarter of a million Europeans; and
  • the development of more than 4 500 training materials, of which over one third were software or video based.

These projects entailed the participation of more than 30 000 organisations from 19 European countries across the entire higher education sector, more than 20 000 companies (of which over three quarters were SMEs) and some 5 000 other types of organisations. They covered training needs in virtually all technology-related areas, and were often a catalyst for cooperation and innovation beyond the Comett programme itself.

A unique European network has been created, capable of organising efficiently, on an annual basis, thousands of transnational industry-university exchanges (notably student placements) and intensive international advanced training courses.

Cooperation with other European programmes in the fields of education, training, R&D and innovation has been a permanent feature throughout the programme.

Both the quantity and quality of advanced training supply has improved, particularly in peripheral areas, thereby helping to enhance European competitiveness. Awareness and understanding of the advantages of industry-university cooperation in respect of advanced training and technological transfer has increased greatly.

The main elements of Comett have been incorporated into the new Leonardo da Vinci programme.

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