EPIC – Enhancing and Promoting International Business Communication supports SMEs to improve their international competitiveness. It has been found that, companies which undergo a proper (i.e. regulated) communication audit tend to operate more effectively in selling their goods and services into markets where their mother tongue is not spoken. By signing up and taking part in the audit scheme, the companies are taught intercultural skills and communication skills, which are reflected in an increased annual turnover. The EPIC scheme helps businesses overcome language and cultural barriers in international trading.
Programme: (EACEA) – Lifelong Learning Programme – Leonardo – Transfer of Innovation (TOI)
Project duration: 01.10.2013 – 30.09.2015
The aims and objectives of the EPIC project are based on the key targets of the Lisbon Agenda and refer to Priority 1 as the project aims to improve identification of skills and competences needed in SMEs by applying VET based skills through an auditing process. It supports the Agenda for new skills jobs by introducing a new workforce category taking into account the needs of the labour market and suggesting competence-based communication changes within the SME sector. The project also supports the key competencies of communication in foreign languages and digital competence through the creation of a multilingual resource platform for European auditors and companies alike. Based on a feasibility study, EPIC focuses on training auditors with the skills to enhance individual companies’ trade performance in identifying linguistic and intercultural barriers and finding solutions to overcome these. They will review the feasibility of audit schemes in Poland, Lithuania, Spain (Basque Region) and Italy (Sicily), adapt, produce and enhance the training materials in five partner languages (PO, LT, ES, Basque, IT), to implement and trial these materials by training auditors and carrying out pilot Communication Audits of SMEs in the target countries (thus encouraging the business services support system to adapt accordingly).
- To pilot the new extended audit scheme in 4 countries and regions (Poland, Lithuania, Spain-Basque region and Italy-Sicily), to identify and remove linguistic and cultural barriers which arise from cross-border trade thus enhancing their competitiveness.
- To pilot developed audit schemes for SMEs in PL, LT, ES, IT;
- To extend and implement a training programme for Communication Auditors in 4 countries and in 7 languages;
- To develop practical materials adapted for each country’s particular environment for the Auditor workshops;
- To introduce a theoretical part with an exam section with materials available on-line;
- To promote the Communication Audit Scheme;
- To select and train up to 40 language auditors across 4 countries (PL – 10; LT – 10; ES (Basque country) – 10; IT (Sicily)- 10;
- To pilot European Communication audits in 80 SMEs across PL (20), LT (20), ES (Basque Country) (20) and IT (Sicily) (20)
- To review progress and produce report
- An operational Audit scheme in 4 new countries managed by a Chamber of Commerce, government body or private organisation
- A Communication Audit Training Scheme set up and operating
- A dissemination plan for promoting the Scheme and the Training Programme
- Training workshops in each of 4 new countries, regions (the Basque Country, Lithuania, Sicily and Poland) including cross fertilisation of ideas
- Website in Polish, Lithuanian, Spanish, Basque, Hungarian, English, Italian with news of developments and summaries of the work undertaken, downloadable materials and guidance for auditors
- Validation report in 6 languages with summary in English
Danmar Computers (leader) from Poland
Semantica Ltd (UK)
Euro-Friend Change Management Consultancy Ltd. (HU)
Centre for Creative Development Danilo Dolci.
Kauno Prekybos, Pramonės Ir Amatų Rūmai (Kaunas Chamber of Commerce) (LT)
Elhuyar Zubize (ES)
Dario Ferrante – Centre for Creative Development Danilo Dolci
Centro per lo Sviluppo Creativo Danilo Dolci
Via Roma 94 – 90133 Palermo, Italy
Tel. +39 091 6177252
Project details: N/A
Project number: Project Nr: 2013-1-PL1-LEO05-37888
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.