INTRIDE – Soft, Digital and Green Skills for Smart Designers: Designers as Innovative Triggers for SMEs in the manufacturing sector.

Implementation period: 01/01/2020 – 31/12/2022

The actual situation

1. The digitisation and the application of Key Enabling Technologies
2. The integration to Industry / Enterprise 4.0 paradigm
3. The business model reorganisation and circular economy 

These previous statements are all crucial for the competitiveness of the Small and medium-sized enterprises – SMEs (Source: S3 – Smart Specialisation Strategies roadmaps 2017 – 2018).

Unfortunately, SMEs, especially those belonging to traditional manufacturing sectors, do not often have specific sets of competencies – like digital skills, green skills and soft skills – needed to activate innovation and technological transfer processes underpinning S3 roadmaps.

In parallel, Higher Education Institutions in Europe are not training enough people on the needed skills for the modern society and are not contributing enough to innovation where they are located (Source: An agenda for the modernisation of higher education’ released on 28/02/2017). 

Specific objectives

1. Developing a Joint Master Degree programme addressed to students (graduated or post graduated) or company employees for a multidisciplinary profile (designer + soft/digital/green skills) based on authentic teaching – training supplied directly by company’s staff, thanks also to practical activities – on work-based learning.

2. Stimulating HEIs’ offer modernisation and adaptation to industry world needs / HE system getting closer to business needs, perspective and businesses benefiting from high level competences.

3. Developing HE + industry community continuous interaction still through the creaction of a community platform.

Main expected and impacting results

The co-creation of a Joint Curriculum for a designer (starting from creativity skills) with added digital, green and especially soft skills aims to create a balanced set of knowledge in order to meet labour market needs.

The alliance representing a triangle of key partners: HEIs, technological partners (organisations/centres of research institutions themselves), clusters – business representatives) is the proper one to achieve the desired goals.

Target groups

The following direct and indirect target groups have been identified:

Promote the objectives of the INTRIDE
Joint Master Degree Programme
Communicate and promote the proposed training.
Project partners
HEIs/technological experts clusters/business representatives/staff enterprises
Address the challenges of this Knowledge Alliance
Other sector stakeholders across the EU chambers of commerce
Trade unions
VET providers
National agencies (dealing with VET provision and/or innovation)
Influence the attitudes of decision-makers and stakeholders in relation to decisions suggested through INTRIDE outputs and outcomes.

Methodology and work packages (WP) 

INTRIDE presents the following innovative elements in terms of:


  • Industrial problem-based approach.
  • Targeting the designer first: why ? Starting from creativity and problem-solving attitudes.
  • Targeting various sets of competences, but mainly soft skills (beyond I4.0 technologies…).


  • Involvement of businesses staff in authentic teaching.
  • Learning from practical cases, learning from failure.
  • Industrial challenge-based teaching.

INTRIDE is structured in the following work packages (wp):

WP1: Project Management (January 2020 – December 2022)
WP2: Project Quality Assurance (January 2020 – December 2022)
WP3: Field analysis of state of the art (January 2020 – August 2020)
WP4: Development of project training programme (September 2020 – June 2021)
WP5: Pilot action (September 2021 – September 2022)
WP6: Impact evaluation (May 2020 – December 2022)
WP7: Dissemination & exploitation (January 2020 – December 2022)

The most relevant work packages of the project are the following ones:

– WP4: the creation of the Joint Master Degree.

– WP5: the start of the pilot edition of the Joint Master Degree.

– WP7: the creation of the Higher Education – industry community platform.