Distance learning, digitalisation and online courses will mark the evolution of the Escola Europea in the near future, as was found during the bi-annual Executive Committee meeting on the 21st of January 2021.
The meeting brought together representatives of the 5 founding partners of the Escola – Catalina Grimalt from the Port Authority of Barcelona, Luca Lupi from the Port Authority of Civitavecchia, Silvio Ferrando from the Port Authority of Genoa, Mario Massarotti from Grimaldi Lines and Mr Antonio Pedevilla from GNV. Representing the Escola Europea, the director Eduard Rodés who also serves as the president of the Committee and the Escola’s Chief Financial Officer Concha Palacios – the Committee’s secretary – attended.
During the meeting various milestones of the Escola’s difficult 2020 were reviews. The Covid-19 pandemic had brought the activities of the Escola to nearly a standstill from March 2020 through the summer. A nearly existential shift took place to restructure the Escola’s iconic practical workshop courses to fit the new distance-learning and virtual environment. Nevertheless, there were some important achievements that took place despite the obstacles. More than 1000 students have managed to pass through the Escola’s doors through 19 courses and 12 Logistic Port Workshops. More than 20 scheduled practical courses had to be postponed to an unspecified date due to the global health crisis – a grim conclusion to an already grim 2020.
During the Committee meeting, a review took place of the projects that the Escola is currently involved in and has planned for 2021. A new training course for members of the MEDPorts Association focused on Energy Transition in Ports s is currently in the works, scheduled to take place either virtually or, if the situation permits, in person in May and June 2021. The Escola’s leadership participation in the YEP MED project, co-financed by the European Union, was also highlighted. A new project – called TechLog, was also summarised – this project is currently in the consideration stage of the ENI call for proposals. The Escola’s role in other projects, including RePort as well as the projects it is managing on behalf of the Port of Barcelona such as the CarEsmatic and Core LNGas hive projects, was also highlighted.
The future looked even brighter in the now newly digitised world of the Escola as the meeting came to a close. Eduard Rodés highlighted the upcoming new collaboration with the Occitan Region of the South of France in the new “Vivez l’intermodalité” project – an expansion of the Forma’t al Port in France. Moreover, the development of a new Virtual Lab, brought to life through the YEP MED project characteristics, is looking to bring new life to the TransLogMed project in 2021.
The Executive Committee meets twice a year to review the progress and achievements of the Escola Europea’s operations. Its next meeting will take place in November 2021.