Erasmus + | CATALYST: European VET Excellence Centre for Leading Sustainable Systems and Business Transformation

CATALYST: European VET Excellence Centre for Leading Sustainable Systems and Business Transformation

Vocational Education and Training (VET) is key when it comes to a long-term and systemic shift of European economies toward more sustainability and resilience. New skills are also needed to leverage opportunities stemming from the sustainable-digital transition. The CATALYST project “European VET Excellence Centre for Leading Sustainable Systems and Business Transformation” is designed with strong vision and motivation to contribute to realisation of the European Green Deal and the new Industrial and SME Strategies.

The main goal is with the establishment of united CATALYST Centre of Vocational Excellence in 5 countries to give support, create an educational offer to tackle personal and organisational development, and to embrace transformation in SMEs, enabling and inspiring them to re-think and re- design their business models, co-creating and sharing between educational and business organisations.

The project fosters innovation and applied knowledge in approaches of learning and tailor-made VET program via the “Enable component”, as well as support of SMEs to create sustainable businesses via the “Inspire component”.

The main project outputs are:

  1. 5 CoVEs and CATALYST Network anchored the European VET eco-system;
  2. 70 VET courses for up-skilling professionals and students (Enable component);
  3. Co-create and disseminate applied knowledge inspiring business-education partnerships involving students, professionals and SMEs (Inspire component)’
  4. Create CATALYST Platform which will unite all CoVEs on European level;
  5. Implement VET trainings, pilot-project with SMEs and applied joint research projects in selected sectors according to the national S3;
  6. Raise awareness of the potential CATALYST CoVEs have and increase the demand and attractiveness of VET.


Activities are focused on learning opportunities, applied joint research projects, innovative training methodologies and tools and support for SMEs on relevant topics, where more than 5000 beneficiaries (professionals, students and SMEs) can benefit.

The desired impact of the project is the established CoVEs to be ‘catalyst’ on national, regional and European level, ‘enable’ change and ‘inspire’ and transformation of individuals and SMEs toward more sustainable systems and societies.

The project partners are coming from 5 European countries, representing Central, South-eastern and South-western Europe, and additionally, the strength that come with the P16 – SDSN, which is a European network, with over 360 member organisations across Europe. Also, added value and great geographical composition is enhanced with 41 associated partners, who besides the 5 core countries, come from 11 additional countries: Finland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Slovenia, Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, UK, Albania, Serbia, Spain and Cyprus.


Funding Body: Erasmus+ Programme (ERASMUS)

Duration: Start date: 1 June 2022 – End date: 30 May 2026

Budget: Overall € 2,770,131

Leading Institution: Institute for Research in Environment, Civil Engineering and Energy (North Macedonia)

 16 partners


Research Laboratory on Socio-Economic and Environmental Sustainability (ReSEES) at Athens University of Economics and Business is participating in the CATALYST project. The principal Investigator (PI) is Prof. Koundouri and members of the team are: Dr Akinsete and Lydia Papadaki

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