EU vs Virus Program
What challenges and opportunities are offered by digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, in unexpected situations caused by COVID- 19?
3CL’s EU Horizon 2020 project, DEL4ALL is set to analyse best-practice and success stories in digital technology for the benefit of the whole community. Mentoring Hackathon finalist, SkillLab in the EU vs Virus Program shows how artificial intelligence helps to scale up and improve career services.
The EU vs Virus Program is a Hackathon, Matchathon, and the EIC COVID Platform initiative, addressing 37 challenges to solve societal problems, by using the power of innovation and technology.
The hackathon brought together more than 21,000 participants in 3,500 teams for a hacking weekend from the 24th to the 26th of April 2020 to address several challenges related to the Covid-19 pandemic. The EU vs Virus Program was led by the European Innovation Council with the support of Commissioner, Mariya Gabriel.
Fighting against an unexpected and world-changing challenge: Technology vs the Coronavirus pandemic.
One of the Hackathon finalists was SkillLab, a Dutch start-up, mentored by Dr Alex Grech. SkillLab offers social business development a technology-based solution to empower support employment services and to better integrate job seekers into local labour markets. One of the inevitable impacts of the pandemic is unemployment in certain sectors and the need for both re-skilling and recruitment in new sectors. SkillLab maps a person’s actual skills on a granular level and not only titles. The start-up uses AI to make huge data sets manageable for end-users by creating a skill profile for individuals and therewith also supporting job counselors to help their group of beneficiaries in future job placement to find pathways into employment or education.
SkillLab has started to collaborate with learning providers to map local educational offerings and to local skill sets. Therewith, end-users are empowered to reach specific needs in education and training in a more targeted, personalised, and tailored fashion.
SkillLab’s value proposition is indicative of emerging business offerings in the EdTech and TVET sector which are likely to become mainstream as the global education and employment sectors readjust to the post-Covid19 worlds. These types of projects are of particular interest to DEL4ALL, assessing the impact of emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, data analytics, and new media on education. Covid-19 is already an indicator of the need for forward-looking perspectives for more inclusive and personalised learning solutions that can meet the demands of a changing labour market.
In this interview, Christoph Bretgeld, Co-Founder & Director of Strategy at SkillLab, talks about how the feedbacks received from experts during the Hackathon can be incorporated in their business solutions. Bretgeld stresses, that using key elements, such as reliability, confidence, and best practices, as incorporated in the DEL4ALL project, benefits young companies like SkillLab by providing points of reference for the sustainable ecosystem.
For further information on the EU vs Virus Hackathon, check out the final report.