The project intends to improve the quality and relevance of higher education through the creation of opportunities for the two worlds of academia and business to come together particularly regionally. The HEIs and VET providers should be a centre of excellence in what they teach and to do this they must develop all staff and prepare their students for the world of work. They must work with and support businesses, for which they are preparing the young people as future employees and customers of the businesses’ products and services. It has to be realised that the interests which business has in wishing to establish or improve links with academia are different from those of the academia, and may not always be compatible. The educationalists can aspire to be altruistic; business people can only afford to be altruistic when they have made more than enough money for the maintenance and development of their businesses. This is not a moral judgement – it is a pragmatic one. Academia needs the industry to support it in the development of its programmes so that they can identify and respond to the needs of industry and commerce. It needs industry to seek funds to progressively develop its laboratories, and it needs industry to develop its staff members. Industry needs academia to improve the quality of its employees, present and future; it needs academia for technological progress useful to business, and to better management of its business; it needs academia for the formation of its future customers, and so of demands for its products and services (Ziarati, 2016).
With regard to the horizontal priorities the projects aims to promote open and innovative education, mainly for adult and young people, embedded in the digital era in the cloud environment. The intention is to develop basic and transversal skills such an entrepreneurship and digital skills so that students could support industry in the challenges it is facing, looking at what is already being done well and should therefore be further developed or supported; and what is being done not well enough, or badly, and therefore needs to be changed, stopped, or replaced by something new. It is also to create new things. A depository of student projects and industry’s suggestions for projects could help both industry and academia and this is one area which they can build their future collaborations.