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The 4th industrial revolution has been associated with production efficiencies, cost reductions, streamlined labour requirements and business model adaptations. However, this is accompanied by social, economic and organizational challenges such as income inequalities, public perception of job quality and scarcity, legal issues and data security.

The Research and Innovation Actions (RIA) under this Horizon Europe Programme's call will investigate the social and economic impacts generated by emerging disruptive technologies (artificial intelligence & machine learning, block chain, big data, internet of things, 5G, etc.), robotisation and digitalization on labour markets and business models. They will explore innovative methodologies in redefining work activities and automatable tasks also through an historical comparison with previous industrial revolutions, including cultural, ethical, and regional perspectives, combining the tools of social sciences and humanities (SSH) disciplines with the insights of industry leaders (large companies, SMEs, regional ecosystems) and social partners.

Several dimensions should be explored: job nature and skills including the impact generated by the covid-19 outbreak, labour productivity, employment and mobility, quality and new forms of work, business value chains, management and organisational models, gender aspects, workplace and socio-demographic characteristics, territorial structures.

Proposals will comprehensively assess how benefits are distributed in all sectors and, keeping into account similar ongoing exercises (e.g. OECD, Cedefop, etc.) as well as national industry 5.0 initiatives, they will forecast the expected dominant trend of jobs, mapping the emerging occupations and predicting the future skill needs and shifts by industry, also improving the critical understanding of those which cannot be automated (creativity, social intelligence, problem-solving, etc.).

Furthermore distinctive learning trajectories and training paths will be identified for both STEM and soft skills, including combined public-private learning ecosystems and collaborative learning techniques/tools. Skills taxonomies will be developed in order to monitor track changes in the demand that are continually challenged by technological progress, thus contributing to close unintended skill gaps and unemployment spill-overs.

This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities.

Applications can be submitted by the 21st October 2021, 17:00:00 Brussels time.

Opportunity Details

Target audience
Digital skills for the labour force.
Digital skill level
Geographic scope - Country
Industry - field of education and training
Generic programmes and qualifications not further defined
Type of initiative
EU institutional initiative
Form of funding
Financing conditions

Activities are expected to start at TRL 4 and achieve TRL 6 by the end of the project.