Platform Beta en Techniek (PBT) and their subsidiary We Are Katapult is an independent organisation (foundation) created by the ministries of Economic Affairs (EZK), education (OCW) and Social Affairs (SZW) to support the implementation of national STEM strategies (currently: Technology Pact). Besides it’s coordinating role, PBT also develops and implements a wide variety of implementation programmes throughout the education chain. This includes the development, piloting and ongoing support of the Centres of Expertise (CoE) in higher education and Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) in VET. 

Currently supporting over:

  • 300 public private partnerships between education institutions 
  • 12.000 companies, 
  • 124.000 students and 
  • 8000 teachers

through the Katapult network and direct support measures.

Within PBT, the Katapult network is the main program that brings together the over 350+ public-private partnerships in the Dutch VET and Higher Education sector in an open source learning community. The focus of Katapult is on mutual learning, so no-one has to reinvent the wheel. PBT supports this network with a wide range of activities and a toolbox including a network map, impact studies, stakeholder analyses and peer reviews. The mapping of initiatives, policies, and best practices is essential for this learning community. Therefore, we have ample experience with these kind of activities and supporting tools. The Katapult network covers all sectors and all VET schools and Universities of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands are involved. On the European level, Katapult is closely involved in the development of the Erasmus Centers of Vocational Excellence. 

Furthermore, PBT is also a founding member of the EU STEM Coalition, a network of similar organisations throughout Europe, and currently holds its secretariat. This network has contributed to the development and upscaling of new STEM strategies (e.g. Danish Technology Pact), organisations (e.g. Hungarian STEM platform) and programmes (e.g. Jet-Net pilots in Spain), including programmes based on the Centres of Vocational Innovation-model. In its recent Communication on a Renewed EU Agenda for Higher Education, the European Commission stated that: “the Commission will launch an upscaled EU STE(A)M Coalition” based on the EU STEM Coalition network (see: p. 5-6). The activities of the EU STEAM Coalition include the mapping of policies and initiatives across Europe.

PBT has ample experience with mapping initiatives, doing skills ecosystem scans and developing evidence-based tools and handbooks through the Katapult network. PBT’s role in this project will focus on sharing this knowledge with the other partners and developing the SCE Network platform, based on the network map tool. Since the SCE Network platform will be based on the technology of Katapult’s network map, the continuity of the network platform will be guaranteed after the project period. Furthermore, with the experience gained in developing the network platform, this networking tool can be made available to other Erasmus+ projects as well, thus increasing the impact of this project, not only with regard to SCE, but also in terms of tooling for international collaboration.