16 OCTOBER 2002

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Maltese trade and industry to reap benefits of MEDFORIST Project

Maltese trade and industry players will soon be able to take advantage of a Euro-Mediterranean Network for sharing Information Society Technologies (IST) learning resources aimed particularly at the sector.

The MEDFORIST Project is another EUMEDIS initiative in which Malta is playing an important role. Spread over 34 months and including 16 partners from EU member states and Mediterranean partner countries, the Project proposes to create a Euro-Mediterranean Network for sharing Information Society Technologies (IST) learning resources for trade and industry. The European Commission has awarded a grant to the MEDFORIST Partners under Theme 5 of the EUMEDIS Initiative: ICTs for Industry and Innovation.

The Project’s objective is the training of teachers and IST specialists in the design and implementation of IST projects as well as the management of technology. Eventually these trainees, together with their representative institutions, will organize themselves into a Euro-Mediterranean Network and expand their activity to disseminate IST learning resources for Trade and Industry to as wide an audience as possible. MEDFORIST also encompasses the creation of a technological platform which will allow participants to communicate, share their work, access knowledge databases and provide on-line training to end users.

The Project starts off with the implementation of a quantitative and qualitative analysis on the present level and future needs of IST skills in each and every Mediterranean country. The compilation of the survey is intended to help the Project co-ordinators to analyse the specific present and future ICT skill needs of the participating countries in order to adapt the Project’s mechanisms to these needs as well as give shape to corollary dissemination and promotional programmes.

The MEDFORIST Technological Platform contemplates the creation of a web-based Knowledge Base and an on-line e-learning site. This will be the repository for the teaching materials and research documentation created by the MEDFORIST-IST Trainer network. It will also provide on-line training modules for users and serve as a centralised communications system for the Network as well as a strategic tool for the public diffusion of MEDFORIST’s activities.

MEDFORIST’s core activity is the creation of a cadre of specialist IST teachers coming from the twelve Mediterranean EUROMED partners. Four teachers from each Mediterranean country will be provided with a two week intensive training course at the Graduate School of Business in Grenoble, one of Europe’s leading business schools and a pioneer in the teaching of e-business. This course will be held in March 2003. These forty eight teachers will then have the task to develop content for Computer Based Learning Materials, adapted to the needs and requisites of their respective countries, which will eventually be published on-line and in CD ROM format. They will also be expected to participate in dissemination activities aimed at the adoption and integration of IST Training in as broad a spectrum as possible. During the final year of the Project these trainers will be carrying out an extensive series of Public Lectures and IST Training Workshops all over the Mediterranean, utilising the CBT courseware materials developed during the three-year duration of the Project. These core training groups will, together with other EU-based expert groups, also form the heart of the MEDFORIST network. It is also intended that this Training network be extended, at both a national and international level, through the development of partnerships with educational institutions, professional organisations and interested firms and companies.

The partcipating organisations in the MEDFORIST Project are: EAN Malta (Malta), Groupe ESC Grenoble (France), Helsinki University of Technology- Institute of Strategy & International Business (Finland), Sheffield University (UK), Athens University of Economics and Business – Research Centre (Greece), National Graduate School for Informatics and Systems Analysis (Morocco), Saint Joseph University (Lebanon), Graduate School of Planning & Administration (Algeria). University of Cyprus Dept. of Computer Science (Cyprus), The Cabinet Information & Decision Support Centre (Egypt), The Royal Scientific Society – Princess Sumaya University College of Technology (Jordan), Birzeit University (Palestine), Higher Institute of Applied Sciences & Technology (Syria), Tunis Graduate School of Administration (Tunisia), ISIK University (Istanbul – Turkey), Middle East Technical University (Ankara – Turkey).

The MEDFORIST Project Manager for Malta is Ray Vassallo. For further information write to medforist@euroweb.net.mt.

 



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Editor: Saviour Balzan
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