Interview with Alessandra Tomasini and Gianfranco Elia

Interview with Alessandra Tomasini and Gianfranco Elia, the developers of the Transnational Platform

The Partners of App4Inno took part in an ICT training in Milan on 21st-24th May, 2013. The event was hosted by METID, the Partner responsible for the development of the transnational platform for the competitiveness of the primary sector. The Platform provides services for agricultural SMEs operating in the Partner regions. We talked about the operation of the Platform with the developers: Alessandra Tomasini and Gianfranco Elia.

Could you introduce yourselves and your organization in a few words? What are the main focuses of your work?

My colleague Gianfranco Elia and I work as project manager in METID, the Politecnico di Milano service dedicated to innovative didactics and e-collaboration. Politecnico di Milano is one of the most important Universities in Italy in the field of engineering and architecture and METID was established to provide support to teachers in the didactical innovation process via the use of computer, multimedia and telecommunication technologies. Since 1996, it is the University Centre dealing with design, development and delivery of e-Learning and e-Collaboration services, at both national and international level.

How was the idea of the platform born? What were the main guidelines in its implementation?

As descripted in the project, “The platform will represent the tool with which the approaches and services defined within WP3 will be provided to the SMEs”. That’s why its implementation follows the 4 main topics highlighted in WP3 Operation Manual, which are:

This means that - through the platform and its flexible structure - App4Inno partners, on the basis of their SMEs’ needs, can interact and build their customised services, decide on which topic to focus, publish contents in order to achieve a great involvement of their target groups.

It aims to provide support for the agricultural SMEs via an online surface. What advantages have these new tools and services?

Working and collaborating online offer many different advantages. In particular:

Webinars will be important tools of communication and information providing. What are they and mainly for what purposes can they be used?

A WEBINAR is a seminar that takes place over the internet. During the webinar a speaker will introduce a topic and participants can interact with him by chat, asking doubts/questions or just listening.

The webinar is the occasion to improve professional competences, to be trained to new knowledge, to interact with colleagues in order to share expertise, ideas, to start building a collaborative network. The flexibility of this tool is so high that it can meet many different needs.

5, What can cause difficulties in the use of these online services and how can these be overcome?

In these days online tools have a so easy interface that usually their use is not linked to the need of high ICT expertise. This is could be, in fact, the main difficulty users can have approaching digital environment. In order to avoid this problem and feel users as much comfortable as possible, the platform offers a rich support service: FAQ, tutorial and “personal” help through chat and mail.

Moreover, the possibility, for users, to write and to convert texts (with Google translator) in own language will certainly be very helpful.

What ensures that the platform is going to function equally successful in every partner region?

The platform has been designed in order to offer the same tools in every partner region. Each partner is free to use and adapt them as they prefer in order to meet their SMEs’ needs. As not all regions have the same necessities, we think the best approach would be to give to partner, when needed, a personalized support in the customization of their national.

What were the main experiences and results of the 4 days long meeting in Milano?

From the 4 training days organized in Milan, we “bring home” the possibility to compare, more in deep, our national systems and necessities, to reinforce the collaboration, to let emerged new proposals, suggestions and ideas for the platform developing. We also think that the possibility to work directly on the platform tools and to experiment how they could be adapted to each region reality, has been fundamental in order to put into practice future project activities.

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European Union European Regional Development RefundSouth East Europe

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