The primary goal of the TRAIN-ECO project is to develop training materials on eco-innovation for electronics professionals and entrepreneurs from SMEs and start-ups. SMEs and start-ups play an important role in the EU economy and need to transition to sustainable business models in order to support EU’s efforts to build a green economy. For example, waste from the electronics industry, known as e-waste, is an increasingly large problem for the EU and the world. However, currently SME and start-up staff lack the training and skills necessary to develop innovative and eco-sustainable electronics products that comply with EU regulations. To address this, TRAIN-ECO will:
• Develop training materials on eco-innovation that leads to sustainable development, and quality management in electronics product development
• Develop training materials on EU environmental and safety standards
• Design a MOOC that will comprehensively cover the above topics
• Create shorter e-modules on these topics and an open repository of project materials
• Create guidelines for VET providers on how to incorporate our learning materials into flexible continuing VET education programs and courses

All of our objectives have been set in recognition of the specific needs of electronics professionals and entrepreneurs. Since working professionals often lack time to engage in longer-term continuing VET programs, TRAIN-ECO will pay special attention to creating flexible learning opportunities for this group, in particular by designing a MOOC and a series of shorter e-modules on eco-innovation. In addition to staff from SMEs and start-ups, we will target continuing education learners, students of electronics engineering and VET and adult education providers, who will be able to freely use TRAIN-ECO materials.

The training materials developed by all partners have not only been evaluated and improved among the consortium itself, the project also organized several so-called Multiplier Events (MEs) where the main target groups were regionally gathered and included into the development process. Those events had two core parts: training material presentation by the partner and discussion with attending experts on potential improvements. As the partners have been solely responsible for the national / regional implementation of such events, different approaches and techniques have been used as well as format differed between online and offline sessions.

Below, the implemented MEs by the partnership are listed.

Webinar by Centria University, 23. & 24.11.2022

Seminar in Riga, 05.04.2022

Event in Wismar, 10.05.2022

Webinar by Tartu & Riga University, 23.05.2022

Event in Wismar, 24.05.2022

Webinar by Riga University, 21.06.2022

Critical Raw Materials – a huge Recycling Challenge

Critical raw metals, including the lanthanide series, scandium and yttrium, are critical components built into permanent magnets, electric vehicles, smartphones

MOOC Recording DONE!

In October, the TRAIN-ECO consortium implemented the recording of all courses and modules being implemented within the Massive Open Online

European Union declares USB-C as future standard charging type

The EU Parliament has given its final approval to the USB-C uniform charging standard for smartphones and many other devices.

The network of testing laboratories TEST-4-SME makes the development of electronic equipment easier for a small local manufacturer

The TEST-4-SME network of testing laboratories provides testing of electronic equipment to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in laboratories close to

How to comply with requirements and role of testing in electronic product development

University of Tartu in cooperation of Metrosert AS organized an online training for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the

Successful virtual Corrosion of Electronics training event in Finland

Centria University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with the Association for Cooperation for Research and Development of Electronics in Finland

Kokkola Material Week – Towards Sustainable Future

The 8th Kokkola Material Week will be held this year as a totally virtual event from 9-12 November, 2020. We

TEST-4-SME Training for Laboratory Staff in University of Latvia

Online training of the laboratory staff was held on 17 of June 2020 in Riga, in the new building of Nature Centre University of Latvia. Participants of the training were

SMEs staff training workshop about Solar power plants was held on July 31

The SME staff training workshop SOLAR POWER PLANTS: TESTING, DOCUMENTATION, ECONOMY, SUPPORT was organised by Applied Research Institute for Prospective

Electronics industry enterprises learned about product requirements

On the 14th of May 2020, the University of Tartu, Tartu Observatory organized a webinar for small and medium-sized enterprises

University of Tartu

Hochschule Wismar, University of Applied Sciences: Technology, Business and Design

European Project Center

Centria University of Applied Sciences

Riga Technical University

Intellectual Outputs 1 & 2

To achieve the set taget and objectives of TRAIN-ECO project, the content implementation is based on a trilateral approach being represented by the so-called Intellectual Outputs (OIs). Whereas the final MOOC represents OI3, two outputs were developed and piloted jointly in advance, which serve as thematic frameworks for the MOOC. However, IO1 focuses on eco-innovation and quality management in electronics, whereas IO2 addresses EU environmental, safety and other regulations pertaining to the field of electronics.

Already at the beginning of the content development, which started with an intensive literature review on existing research items, application reports, economic studies and data mining, the consortium identified several spillovers on the proposed topics for IO1 & IO2. Hence, as logical consequence, four pillars have been introduced to more sufficiently cover and combine aspects coming from both areas. Based on these pillars, the first training materials have been developed for an internal mutual training. Here, first impressions and knowledge were shared among the partnership to improve the materials towards their training purpose and the development of an extensive and detailed guidebook on covered eco-innovation topics.

Subsequent, the guidebook and materials have been further elaborated and piloted in four regional multiplier events organized by each partner in the respective country. Experts in electronics, academics and entrepreneurs joined these first sessions presenting developed materials as training materials. The gathered feedback from the audiences were capitalized on to finalise the content materials for all four pillars as they are published below.

Please note: the materials are published open-access and should be cited as follows:

TRAIN-ECO (2022). Name of pillar. (Retrieved from: http://www.testelectronics.eu/train-eco/#1648644046280-ee57eaa1-6010, Access: xx.xx.xxxx).

Guidebook

Eco-innovation in Electronics Product Development - Guidebook

The developed guidebook offers a comprehensive and detailed analysis on important topics to improve eco-innovation capacities and competences for professionals and entrepreneurs from electronics SMEs & start-ups as well as students being interested in the topic. The guidebook is based on the four pillars chosen and developed by the consortium: Quality of Product, Eco- and Circular Design, Quality of Production and New Circular Business Models. Thus, the guidebook serves as backbone of the training materials below and as reference book to assist the learning process for all participants of the course. Moreover, it is also a stand-alone publication covering latest insights from research and economies in regards of eco-innovation for electronics products towards more circular economy approaches. To comply with this aspiration, the guidebook is regularly updated by the consortium, making it a working document on latest steams in the field of interest.

 

Pillar 1

Quality of Product

In the first pillar, an overview of existing regulations and standards pertaining to electronics products is given. This includes not only an introduction of main directives and how they affect electronics product development, but also safety requirements (human and product perspective) towards directives for environmental improvements in product performances and waste handling. This also includes main labeling mechanisms such as CE and IEC standards.

Pillar 2

Eco- and Circular Design

This pillar is covering a positioning of electronics within the concept of circular economy with focus on its waste management. In addition, the pillar offers approaches and guidelines for SMEs to reuse electronic waste products. Such E-waste is a growing challenge for European society as it is seen as crucial materials being reused in production and manufacturing. Through this, environmental performances of electronics can be heavily improved.

Pillar 3

Quality of Production

The quality of production does not only measures for improving the value of a product or service. Moreover, workplace and product safety are key criteria for qualitative production chains as well. Hence, this pillar is introducing into general performance optimisation and product safety principles, but also provides a stronger focus on workplace safety to elaborate and position the human factor in electronics production chains.

Pillar 4

New Circular Business Models

The fourth pillar mainly covers new circular business models in terms of the electronics consumption and its lifetime, waste and recycling procedures, including the aspects of growing needs for electronics and its challenges, rationale marketing, marketing methods and tools, marketing framework and sustainability, efficient and effective marketing of electronics and different practices. Environmental dimensions of supply chain, product life cycle, key social impacts of electronic production and Wee-recycling as well as policies and actions are being taken in order to reduce the negative impacts of it.