LACE Workplace Learning Analytics Workshop at the World Manufacturing Forum 2014


A post conference Workshop was organised by Lace together with Gala and Manuskills EU projects for the World Manufacturing Forum 2014 held at the marvellous Palazzo Mezzanotte, the headquarters of the Italian stock exchange, in central Milan in July 2014.

The workshop was dedicated to Innovating Manufacturing Education & Training and it was the perfect match for the general WMF event, a high end executive gathering of world leading industry stakeholders, governors and academics to discuss the future of industrial policies and investments at the dawn of what many call, the 4th industrial revolution.

Workplace learning needs a new learning process!

Summary Info Graphics designed live during the WMF 2014 main event..
Workplace learning needs a new learning process!

The World Manufacturing Forum main web site is available at and is holding all event and post event workshops presentations. The LACE workshop presentations are available under the “side events” tab, Lace Workshop and clicking on the presentations button (!presentations-manuskills-workshop/c1rcv)

World Manufacturing Forum home page

World Manufacturing Forum home page

The world manufacturing forum

The world manufacturing forum is an international gathering of high level industrialists, policy makers and key societal stakeholders across  the globe  who, similar to the world economic forum held in Davos, Switzerland, every year, come together to answer the question on what is the way forward in advance manufacturing to provide growth and prosperity for all.

As the world continues to experience economic challenges, policy makers have recognized manufacturing’s contribution to economic success as a strategic pillar to economic health. In response, governments are working to create favourable conditions for growth while industry is faced with volatile and highly competitive market conditions in what many consider being the dawn of a new industrial revolution, that of cyber physical manufacturing.

This year edition was held   with the support of the European Commission, the Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (IMS) international cooperation program and that of international sponsors including sedApta ( the  new Italian-German manufacturing IT listing amongst its brands also Infinity Technology Solutions, the partner guiding  the workplace learning activities of the LACE project (WP 5).

The WMF was organised in 2 days each with 4 plenary sessions dedicated to:

Day 1: Industrial policies, next generation manufacturing, workforce education & human centric manufacturing, venture capital & start ups

Day 2: Robotics for SMEs, global standards, cyber security and key enabling technologies for manufacturing.

The event also had a very busy  exhibition area where several EU Projects and Companies where exhibiting. LACE project had a very visible set up near to main conference entry.

LACE exhibiton Table at the World Manufacturing Forum 2014

LACE exhibiton Table at the World Manufacturing Forum 2014

Active talks at the LACE table on workplace learning at the WMF 2014

Active talks at the LACE table on workplace learning at the WMF 2014

The two day saw a relevant presence of EU Policy Makers (from Zoran Stancic Deputy Director General of DG Connect to Khalil Rouhana, Director, Components & Systems, DG Connect to Clara de la Torre, Director Key Enabling Technologies, DG Research & Innovation) , Industry leaders (Whirpool, McKinsey, Dassault Systems, Boeing, Samsung, Siemens, Kuka, ABB, Comau , BAE Systems and many others) and international academic and governmental experts.

Zoran Stancic, Deputy Director General, DG Connect, European Commission, presenting "Europe's Digital Agenda Supporting Innovation in Manufacturing"

Zoran Stancic, Deputy Director General, DG Connect, European Commission, presenting “Europe’s Digital Agenda Supporting Innovation in Manufacturing”

All speakers stressed that one of the key factors for a manufacturing policy to succeed in the highly increasingly competitive global marketplace will be the availability of an educated, flexible and knowledge-based workforce. The manufacturing workplace of the future will therefore have to give more and more importance of the human dimension with new workplaces offering extended services to the workers in terms of safety, accessibility  and work satisfaction Technology innovation for better STEM Education, workplace training and performance support being a must in many presented national policies.

In particular in the Workforce Education and Human Centric Manufacturing session, Arturo Molina , Vice President, Research, Postgraduate studies and continuous education, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico highlighted that young people in Mexico are looking for new ways to market without spending years in college and university courses which often educate for jobs no longer existing. The concept of lifelong learning access to technological resources providing effective education continuously when and as needed is particularly attractive for such purpose. On the other hand industries are reluctant to undertake workforces which are not fully trained to the needed skill level or invest huge resources on workplace training since the turnover is too high and you risk to train resources for others. The task for academic institutions and industry is to design and create innovative educational models and solutions that are rapidly customised for the evolving needs of the future workforce helping it to develop high value knowledge and skills, achieving life long learning abilities and capabilities in a highly dynamic world.

Peter Frise, CEO and Scientific Director of Auto21, a network of excellence for the Canadian automotive industry, introduced a thorough analysis of the Canadian automotive industry employing more than 300.000 employees in a 110+ B $ market to witness how the Canadian policy makers have taken a leadership approach to skills development and update in the sector.

Finally Jouko Suokas, Vice President Smart Industry and Energy Systems of the VTT Technical Research center in Finland deepened the economical, socio-political and technological dynamics that influence production and company processes towards customized and adaptable product . As a consequence the manufacturing workplace is changing and only those companies and societies who adapt to change better than others will survive.

In summary all speakers in all sessions underlined several times that the a new pressure is getting in place moving the focus from cost and time reduction to product customisation and personalization capabilities. Whilst Internet of Things, 3d printing and Advanced Robotics are making all this feasible from a technology standpoint, the ongoing industry transformation also requires new business and process models in place and, above all, a workforce capable to embrace and implement such changes. New training and performance support models will be needed to accelerate learning curves and improve efficiency. Measuring and monitoring user performances, relating them to related training gaps and needs will be king to make the up skilling cycle sustainable and compatible with the pace the transformation pace the industry demands.

The LACE workshop on learning games and analytics

On July 3rd 2014 LACE organised a public post conference workshop  in collaboration with  the other EU support actions GALA and Manuskills dedicated to Learning Games and Analytics for Manufacturing.

The workshop was opened by Marco Taisch of Polytechnic of Milan and Fabrizio Cardinali of sedApta Group, LACE WP5 Project Manager using an  infographic on Workforce Education and Human Centred Manufacturing drafted during the previous days at the WMF main sessions.

Workplace learning needs a new learning process!

Workplace learning needs a new learning process!

The LACE workshop hit a relevant 100 subscribers  with attendees coming from more than 15 countries both from Academic, Industry and Governmental stakeholders.

In its opening LACE EU Project Officer, Liina Munari, introduced the LACE, Gala and ManuSkills Support Actions and stated the relevance of the manufacturing sector for demonstrating effective and efficiency of innovative learning technologies summarising  a set of projects funded by the FP 7 calls specifically addressing the manufacturing education and up skilling focus (e.g. Tell Me,  VISTRA,  SEFI, Teaching Factory).

Liina MUnari, LACE Project Officer, starts her presentation at the LACE post conference Workshop at WMF2014

Liina MUnari, LACE Project Officer, starts her presentation at the LACE post conference Workshop at WMF2014

Liina confirmed the relevance of possible future joint actions between DG Connect and DG Enterprise for sustaining manufacturing up skilling as the most important source of economic development and growth for Europe’s agenda towards 2020.

 Liina Munari, LACE PO  presenting LACE project at the WMF 2014

Liina Munari, LACE PO presenting LACE project at the LACE post conference workshop during WMF 2014

After the EU introduction Manuskills and WP5 LACE Project managers (Marco Taisch and Fabrizio Cardinali) gave frame presentations on the numbers and needs of the manufacturing educational and training sectors highlighting the importance of manufacturing for the EU economy specially as regards to creativity and innovation.

Fabrizio Cardinali’s keynote frame introduction is available at .

The workshop then progressed with a list of project presentations including that of LACE focussing on the need for embedded and stealth measurement of trainees during manufacturing IT training sessions and the market request of standard tracking mechanisms and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to support continuous up skilling and training processes improvement for learning analytics to succeed in the industrial sector.

The LACE presentation is available at whereas all WMF and LACE workshop presentations will be available shortly respectively at the main event web site ( and LACE workshop page (!side-events/c14ny) .



About Author

Fabrizio Cardinali is one of the EU's leading technology enhanced learning solutions entrepreneurs and interoperability standards experts. After helping to start, position and sell several learning technologies companies world wide (e.g. Giunti Labs, eXact Learning NA in the US and Harvestroad Hive in Australia), Fabrizio is today CEO of Skillaware ( a new generation Performance Support & Learning Analytics solution for workforce training and engagement during the roll out of new software platforms and procedures. The Skillaware innovative design is natively based on open standards interoperability such as XAPI, DITA and BPMN. Fabrizio leads the Work Package 5 of the LACE project, dedicated to the promotion and awareness of the use of learning analytics solutions and standards in workplace learning and performance support scenarios.

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