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Oliver Raud answers us with this interesting article to our three questions. Oli is Strategic Funding Manager at Plymouth College of Art

Can you explain what a Creative Jam is?

A Creative Jam is an event, as well as a process that provides participants the opportunity to bring ideas to life, prototyping products and services that respond to an identifiable challenge/issue/problem, based on a selected theme. In the AYCH project, we have chosen a number of themes that include challenges linked to sustainable development, social innovation, environment and climate change, circular economies, waste, mobility, mental health and (un)employment, among other societal issues of our time. As all partners of the AYCH project share borders, we also share a responsibility to develop new solutions centred on human and natural capital that will benefit us and future generations. The Creative Jam is the place to explore this, take risks and create agency among our young people to be the change that is needed in the world. The ultimate ambition for partners is that the Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs Creative Jams will launch the ambitions and careers of a new generation of socially and environmentally responsible young people seeking to tackle societal issues of the future, placing creativity and design at the heart of place-based development and regeneration, empowering them to pursue careers or educational pathways in the Creative Economy and beyond.

What are the benefits that activities like this can bring for the youth of your city?

The benefits are manifold. Through the Creative Jams, as well as the wider project, we teach Key Enabling Technology (Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) are a group of technologies that have a wide range of product applications such as developing low carbon energy technologies, improving energy and resource efficiency, and creating new medical products. They have huge potential to fuel economic growth and provide jobs) and Social Enterprise skills that expose young people to emerging economic opportunities, jobs and growth. This not only helps young people to learn digital, design and creative skills that are increasingly the driver for innovation it also brings them together, collaborating in teams with colleagues from across the Atlantic area. They can learn from one another and build connections, in a fun, dynamic and energising environment, whilst having fun and making new European friends. With a strong link to employers and industry, both delivering workshops and forming part of the judging panel during the Creative Jams, participants are able to speak to, interact with and learn first-hand from experts and entrepreneurs to build aspirations and break down the hierarchies that often impede young people’s progress – it gives a face to employers and young people can better understand the routes into (self)employment and education. Employers also act as mentors and support the personal and professional development of project participants, nurturing the workforce of the future that will need to be adaptable, collaborative and tech-savvy. For the city, it can build a bottom-up movement of young people that are looking to support the development of their local area and a pipeline of talented people that can actively support the growth of local economies and communities. “This project is not just about Smart Cities, it’s about Smart Citizens”.

In what way can an event like this influence the education of a young European?

The learning of these skills enables young Europeans to develop and gain a closer insight into Higher Education and Skills, enterprise and what is needed to gain those valuable attributes that can support their careers and lives. However, as technology is increasingly democratised and easy-to-access – 3D printing, IoT, VR etc. all of which are being taught as part of AYCH), so must education be. A major driving force of AYCH is the development of an education programme, that takes the ethos, values and elements of what is delivered among Higher Education but it is brought out of the institutions and delivered in non-formal settings, thus making it no longer the reserve of just fee-paying students. We believe this is the way that the most change can be affected, for the most amount of people and really gives credence to the notion that education is for all and in an knowledge economy, a skilled and creative workforce and citizens is arguably our most important asset. We want to give agency to our young people and empower them to make positive contributions to society, using an educational programme that is inclusive, entrepreneurial and rich in design-thinking theory, creativity, technology and media. We are looking for people to join us, on this journey, so please feel free to get in touch if you feel can contribute to any of these aspects of the Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs project.

This is your chance! In Exeter


Learn how to use a variety of platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, … undestand the market & how to connect them …

You’ll learn how to create the right media for your market in our FREE workshops led by an INdustry expert

6:30 pm – 9 pm stanting MOnday 15th oct

Every time we spend more time in them and every year new options to connect arise. Social networks are the order of the day, no company can be absent and few want to stay off the hook without having a profile at all.

There are all kinds, from generalists, such as Facebook, to professionals, pets, music … Despite this, we do not stop hearing and reading about its most negative aspects: that if they are a source of stress, that if they are a cradle of a new type of abuse, which without being simple platforms for custom advertising …

But Science has spoken. Here there are many amazing utilities provided by social networks.

Do you want to learn them in Exeter? We will wait for you.

Unlocking potential with young people and their communities

Space is a bold, confident and enthusiastic learning organisation that unlocks the potential of young people and their communities by providing a safe space to grow, connect and inspire each other. We bring integrity and collaboration through all of our work and provide a wide range of targeted, needs-led, and professional services.

We support young people from all backgrounds to learn, create and realise their potential by providing a space to hang out with mates, talk about things you can’t ask your parents, gain confidence and try new things.

We are a not-for-profit social enterprise and as an independent organisation, we are able to focus on delivering the best services for young people in our communities. We manage risks, we are respectful whilst creating a fun space for people to grow, and we’re determined to give people a second chance as well as a third, fourth, and fifth one.


Today, we are having a great chat on the sofa with entrepreneurs to learn how to run a business every day as part of the AYCH Incubation Programme, in Plymouth.

“The successful warrior is the average person, with laser-like focus” Bruce Lee

The Aych incubation program is designed so that non-formal education reaches all young people in an informal, close and close way in which they feel a total accompaniment.

Alberto Costa: Empreendedorismo e Moda

Hoje estamos acompanhados por Alberto Costa, vice-presidente da Câmara Municipal de Santo Tirso, que gentilmente responde às nossas perguntas.

Qual a importância de Aych para os jovens da Câmara Municipal de Santo Tirso?

A crise económica de 2008 provocou um brutal aumento do número de desempregados na Europa, superando, atualmente, os 25 milhões de pessoas. O empreendedorismo representa, de forma transversal em termos europeus, uma das respostas mais eficazes a esta realidade. É, hoje, universalmente aceite que a Europa precisa de mais empreendedores para retomar o crescimento e níveis elevados de emprego.

No Município de Santo Tirso, o empreendedorismo constitui uma área prioritária na promoção do emprego jovem e qualificado. A Incubadora de Moda e Design da Fábrica de Santo Thyrso constitui uma referência regional e um equipamento único para a promoção e crescimento de projetos na área da moda, do design e das demais indústrias criativas. Através do projeto AYCH, a Câmara Municipal de Santo Tirso vê uma excelente oportunidade para encorajar os jovens a desenvolver as suas competências empreendedoras, através de um modelo de empreendedorismo que visa a conexão de hubs no espaço atlântico em torno do setor criativo.

Os jovens que participem no projeto AYCH são apoiados pela Câmara Municipal de Santo Tirso, através do INVEST Santo Tirso e de um conjunto de instrumentos que lhes permitirão transformar as suas ideias em projetos e ações que potenciem as suas competências e, consequentemente, a possibilidade de desenvolverem uma carreira no setor criativo.

Mais se acrescenta que a Estratégia de Especialização Inteligente da Região Norte – RIS 3 Norte, apresenta a “Cultura, Criação e Moda”, como como um domínio prioritário de atuação, que genericamente consiste na exploração do potencial das indústrias criativas (sobretudo nas áreas de design), de novos materiais e de tecnologias de produção inovadoras, na criação de novas vantagens competitivas em setores com uma forte componente de design (design based consumer goods), nomeadamente o têxtil e vestuário, calçado, acessórios, mobiliário, joalharia, etc.

O AYCH é, indubitavelmente, um projeto estratégico para Santo Tirso, dado ir claramente ao encontro deste domínio de atuação e contribuir igualmente para as prioridades de desenvolvimento, ao nível do emprego e do empreendedorismo, da Câmara Municipal de Santo Tirso.

Santo Tirso especializou-se na sua incubadora de Moda, como pode influenciar o resto das incubadoras, sendo tão criativo?

O setor têxtil e da moda é identificado como estratégico no âmbito da politica de desenvolvimento do nosso território. A atuação da Incubadora de Moda e Design (IMOD) e do Centro de Empresas e Inovação (CEI) do HUB Fábrica de Santo Thyrso será reforçada com o projeto AYCH, que apoiará e acolherá projetos de empreendedorismo associados ao Cluster da Moda e Indústrias Criativas.

O Hub “Fábrica Santo Thyrso”, ao representar para o projeto AYCH um importante polo da Moda, Atividades e Indústrias Culturais e Criativas, dará importantes contributos para a potenciação do Empreendedorismo Jovem e Criativo.

Este Pólo da Moda e de Atividades e Indústrias Culturais e Criativas na Fábrica Santo Thyrso apresenta importantes valências para o projeto AYCH. Conta com uma Nave Cultural e Industrial, espaço para eventos e iniciativas culturais, um Centro de Empresas e Inovação, espaço de acolhimento empresarial focado na tecnologia, com sinergias importantes na fileira da Moda, uma Incubadora de Moda e Design, espaço de incubação de projetos criativos e um Centro Interpretativo da Indústria Têxtil do Vale do Ave, núcleo de memória da fábrica.

A IMOD dispõe de um Fab Lab de Moda & Design, altamente inovador, constituído por um Laboratório de Confeção, um Laboratório de Design e Modelação em CAD CAM e um Laboratório de Estamparia Convencional, que está ao dispor dos jovens, não só de Santo Tirso e território de proximidade, mas de todo o espaço atlântico, quer no âmbito das residências de incubação, quer no âmbito do apoio a programa de estágios do projeto AYCH.

De ressalvar, também, a importância da rede de Stakeholders que é colocada ao dispor do projeto AYCH, e que inclui parceiros como o MODATEX – Centro de Formação Profissional da Indústria Têxtil, Vestuário, Confeção e Lanifícios, a Universidade do Minho, o P. Porto –  Instituto Politécnico do Porto, entre outros, cuja atuação concertada com a Câmara Municipal de Santo Tirso é fundamental para o sucesso e criatividade do projeto AYCH.

Para este ano de 2019, quais são os objetivos da Câmara Municipal de Santo Tirso para a Aych? O que você quer fazer?

Para dar continuidade ao sucesso do trabalho desenvolvido em 2018 no âmbito do projeto AYCH –  Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs, o ano 2019 será decisivo para a Câmara Municipal de Santo Tirso, através do INVEST Santo Tirso, implementar a estratégia AYCH de suporte ao desenvolvimento de oportunidades de negócio e de criação de emprego no setor criativo. Esta estratégia terá como foco dois eixos de atuação, que correspondem ao Programa de Incubação e ao Programa de Estágios.

É ambição da Câmara Municipal de Santo Tirso, através do INVEST Santo Tirso, incubar, em 2019, 20 jovens empreendedores e apoiar o desenvolvimento de 20 projetos no domínio da moda e/ou indústrias criativas. Este eixo e foco estratégico de atuação para 2019 não descura a participação noutras atividades do projeto como os planos de capitalização com os stakeholders, a dinamização dos workshops KET “Key Enabling Techologies”, a participação no Creative Jam em Jigón (Espanha), e o apoio à criação da política de conexão de hubs AYCH no espaço atlântico, através da rede de experts, entre outros.

QUESTIONS: Oenone Thomas


Today we start a new section on our website to bring you closer to our project. Different AYCH protagonists will pass through Questions and we will make them 3 interesting questions about the project. We start with Oenone Thomas. (Oenone in the center of the picture: between Oliver and Richard).

What motivates a person like Oenone to coordinate a project like Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs ?.

Most of my professional life has involved a combination of working with Young People, Employers and Education Providers. I’ve worked in the private sector in international Information Technology companies, the public sector as a qualified secondary teacher and worked freelance managing and evaluating projects for a range of Public Sector and private clients. But underpinning all of my work has been that I am a ‘people person’ who enjoys working collaboratively to help to make a positive difference. I know that partnership working is challenging but ultimately it is the most rewarding way to work. The European dimension of this project is important to me.  

What is your job in Aych ?. Is it easy to coordinate so many partners with such difficult characteristics?

My job as the Coordinator for Devon County Council AYCH’s the Lead Partner is to work with and coordinate all the 12 delivery Partners from Belfast in Northern Ireland to Santo Tirso in Portugal and some Associate Partners. To help partners to be able to achieve the many targets we have to offer Young People new opportunities in Technologies and Entrepreneurship outside of education, so that they can solve some of the challenges we face and lead worthwhile and fulfilling lives. We need to develop networked resources, build a sustainable legacy and spread the word – we have a lot to do!  

It’s not easy to do. Our AYCH partners are very different types of organisations, we speak different languages, we have different cultures, ideas and attitudes. Online conversations can be very challenging, travelling isn’t always possible or easy and we have a very tight deadline to meet. But we all believe that Young People are our future and that we need to think ahead and to behave responsibly and sustainably for the planet. These common values and concerns are what keep us together.

Why do you think that Aych is the best project that Interreg has in operation?

I am sure that there are many interesting and essential AA Interreg projects, some of which we can work with. But I think AA Interreg have noticed that AYCH aims to break new ground and has the potential to change the fortunes of Young People in the Atlantic Areas of France, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom, and to bring new products and services to market which solve our shared challenges. If a significant portion of Young People are not able to live independent and fulfilling lives than future generations will suffer too. Investing in Young People, tackling common global problems and working to share expertise and ideas are great reasons to believe that AYCH can be the best!

Thank you Oenone!

Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs: a young European Oportunity

by Xosé L. Garza (Chair of Communication)

In the Europe of convulsions provoked by the unconsciousness of political solitude, projects such as AYCH emerge, showing that reason is on the side of those who come after our steps: young people.

A year ago the European youth was working to find solutions to problems that our old continent has, our cities, our Atlantic ocean, … creating prototypes that with imagination and creativity are surprising us very pleasantly.

From the United Kingdom we are told about applications to achieve people’s empathy, from Spain they tell us that they are prototyping so that emigration that comes to our Europe has other opportunities, and so we could list hundreds of ideas that aych is producing and that will be known in this 2019.

As usual, reality surpasses dreams, puts in its place the need and the ambition to create a new model that goes beyond the education that young people receive today. Aych is above all a creative space managed by partners from four countries where young people can develop their ideas regardless of their origin, training, ideology … Young people who come to us have clear that if they do not have training we give it, if they want to learn we accompany them, if they want to share we help them and if they want to do we are there; always with a transnational zeal that surpasses even what is imaginable.

But Aych is even an exercise in high international politics where the political decisions of some are far below what is really true; the reality of a convulsed Europe in recent times is far below the aspirations of all young people who meet in our project because the ultimate goal is to create a new Europe, and begin as in everything, by the foundations.

Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs (aych.eu) is a project co-financed by the European Regional by Development Fund through the Interreg Atlantic Space program that takes place in France, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

Business challenge at Nantes Atlantique School of Design


Within the project Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs, l’Ecole de design Nantes Atlantique is working on methodological support for project acceleration through the design thinking tools. Through the project, the school works for their dissemination and appropriation to partner hubs.

During 3 days, 45 students in MDes Mutations in the built environment and Urban Design worked on an innovation challenge. The objective of the innovation challenge was to test, deploy and improve design thinking tools to go from ideation to project realization.

Several themes of the city such as heritage, transport, sports, trade spaces or third places have been explored with the aim of proposing an innovation. Experts then intervened (CAPEB Pays de la Loire, Nantes Métropole, Nantes City Lab, Nantes History Museum, DICI Design, Design in, ID4CAR competitiveness cluster and NOVABUILD) to validate hypotheses and propose deployment tracks at the end of the challenge.

More information here.


Eli is the AYCH Project Coordinator at Plymouth College of Art, today she is with us to answer some questions.

PCA was amongst the first AYCH Hubs to launch the Incubation Programme. How do you see from your perspective the evolution of the young people who work with you?

That’s right, we launched the first cohort of our 9-month Incubation Programme with the mission to help young people from all backgrounds to take their idea to life. We selected 9 participants coming from Plymouth with various backgrounds. They had different and impactful projects ideas around upcycling old clothes, designing a restorative space for ill people, developing an AI software for retailers, publishing a cookbook, becoming a creative activist YouTuber, launching a sustainable fashion brand, etc.

I find it fascinating to mentor these young creatives and follow their progress in shaping their projects. What I’ve noticed throughout the Incubation Programme was their level of confidence and the skills they develop. They realised they had talent and potential to do something great, and as they learned new enterprise skills to frame and pitch their work, they build up confidence.

And because we always work in non-formal settings, the participants felt at ease to express their fear and challenges in front of the group, which takes courage but it led to lots of knowledge sharing and collaboration.

We now have a group of trained young entrepreneurs who help each other, after 3 months of weekly sessions, some of them are already close to launch their product to market or set-up their new business, it’s very impressive. Next steps for them are to test and develop their product and business in another AYCH Hub through the International Residencies where they will benefit from specific expertise and will connect with other like minded creatives, such a great opportunity for them, I’m really looking forward to following their adventures!

Eli, as a young woman: what would you say to girls like you who want to start their career and do not dare?


  1. Be proactive, ambitious and only apply for positions that truly appeal to you!
  2. Mobility helps a lot because it takes you out of your comfort zone and that’s when you learn and become more confident
  3. Don’t hesitate to travel, even for a job interview, that’s an investment but it shows courage, agility and motivation
  4. Be patient, it takes time to find a great job

Nowadays, there are so many opportunities to gain experience, travel and learn skills (AYCH being part of them now). I was born and raised in a working class family in a small town in Brittany, France. Thanks to the great number of educational programmes, I have managed to study in Rennes and Montpellier, France but also in Finland (Erasmus). I was then selected to work in Greece (internship) and in the USA as part of my Masters. Then I worked in Paris (internship) a few months and I’m now working in the UK.

Today I’m 25 years old, I have almost reimbursed my student loan, but what’s most important is the experience I have in project management and cross-cultural communication and all the great people I met and places I discovered on my journey. I’m now working for young people in an inspiring place (plymouth city and the art college) and I’m seeing all those great projects and initiatives for a more sustainable future, I could not ask for a better job!

What do you think Aych offers that does not offer another project, or another educational program?

AYCH offers so many free opportunities for all young people. It’s a unique and visionary programme because it’s non-formal (cool, creative, innovative) and it adapts to your needs while focusing on what will be needed in the future (digital skills, sustainability focus, self employment, collaboration, creativity, etc).

You can learn skills in problem-solving with the design thinking approach but also digital, creative and enterprise skills. You can also develop a project, product, business with the help of experts and you also get to travel and meet like-minded young people across the Atlantic Area. You meet people and you get to think out of the box. You get lots of support on your personal and professional journey and you also get to use plenty of equipment in the AYCH Hubs that often include FabLabs, co-working spaces, etc.

AYCH an amazing project/community to be part of!


Aujourd’hui, Madeleine Au nous parle, elle est responsable du service emploi insertion économique de la métropole de Brest, qui a gentiment répondu à nos questions.

Pouvez-vous me dire ce qu’est la métropole de Brest ?

Brest métropole est la 2ème métropole de Bretagne. Elle compte 215 000 habitants et rayonne sur un bassin d’emploi de 400 000 habitants.

  • Capitale européenne des sciences et technologies de la mer : 60% de la recherche française et 1er pôle de compétitivité à vocation mondiale « Mer Bretagne Atlantique »
  • Activités maritimes militaires et civiles : près de 25 000 emplois industriels liés à la mer, 1er port français d’entretien de la flotte militaire et de réparation navale civile
  • Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication : 25 000 emplois, 1er pôle de compétitivité à vocation mondiale « Image & Réseaux »
  • Enseignement supérieur : 24 000 étudiants, 1 Université, 8 grandes écoles d’ingénieurs, de management dont l’Ecole Européenne Supérieur d’Art de Bretagne

Comment les jeunes de Brest peuvent bénéficier du programme AYCH ?

Le territoire de Brest dispose d’un tissu dense de partenaires très impliqués dans la formation et l’insertion professionnelle des jeunes : Université, grandes écoles, organismes d’insertion sociale et professionnelle des jeunes, acteurs des quartiers de la Ville de Brest, … S’appuyant sur ce réseau, Brest métropole organise des rencontres collectives et individuelles pour promouvoir les actions  proposées par les acteurs brestois du programme AYCH.

Ce réseau de partenaires est un relais indispensable pour diffuser l’information en direction des publics de moins de 30 ans.

Ce travail en réseau permet de toucher un public venant de différents horizons, la diversité des profils faisant la richesse des échanges entre le public et des projets développés.

Que voudriez-vous que les jeunes de Brest se rappellent de AYCH dans quelques années ?

L’objectif est que le projet AYCH aide les jeunes à concrétiser leur projet de développement en leur apportant des contenus, des méthodes de travail et des contacts utiles pour lancer leur activité.

Pour ceux qui ont eu l’opportunité de participer aux creative jam ou aux résidences dans les pays européens partenaires, l’important est que ces expériences leur apportent une ouverture d’esprit, la découverte d’une autre culture et des pratiques différentes et pourquoi pas, des contacts pour leur projet.

Comment Brest métropole met en œuvre le projet AYCH sous l’angle de la jeunesse, du chômage, des nouvelles technologies, de la formation …

Grâce à la mobilisation des partenaires intervenant dans des champs de compétences complémentaires, Brest métropole conjugue le projet AYCH au pluriel.

L’implication dès le début du projet de la Mission locale pour l’insertion socio-professionnelle des jeunes, de l’Université via son fablab UBO Open Factory, de l’Ecole européenne supérieure des Arts de Bretagne et du Technopôle Brest Iroise, constitue un marqueur garant de la diversité des publics ciblés, pouvant bénéficier de compétences croisées au service d’un domaine d’activité prometteur pour le territoire.

Brest métropole en tant que partenaire du projet AYCH, œuvre à élargir la participation d’autres structures expertes, à même d’apporter des compétences complémentaires et nécessaires à la réussite des projets du public.

María Montoiro: “The Importance of Europe”

María Montoiro, of Galician origin, is a lawyer, lives in Rennes and has been working on European projects for years. She is currently the project coordinator in Atlantic Cities and develops part of her work in our project.

Why Aych can become important for the Atlantic Cities?

After 2008 economic and financial crisis, the Atlantic Cities were notably touched by this negative event, bringing its population into increasing numbers of unemployment, notably within youth. Therefore, in today’s economical context with rising youth unemployment AYCH Project allows Atlantic Cities to work closely with young people interested by the creative and cultural sector on their projects, ideas and more so as to “shape the future for an innovative economy”. In a few words, AYCH will empower youth from all backgrounds.

Atlantic Cities is all about youth and has developed its “Atlantic Futures” programme for youth. It includes various initiatives and EU projects such as AYCH. It is a perfect match with our ambitions for young people. We see it as a wonderful opportunity to create new synergies and share our values across European cities of the Atlantic Area. AYCH also serves as an indicator for Atlantic Cities to evaluate the youngsters’ needs so as to develop new ideas and initiatives to favour their future employment. Furthermore, as a transnational association, Atlantic Cities is working within the project on political capitalisation so as to give more visibility to AYCH and promote its outcomes to EU institutions and organisations.

The European cities for a “new moment”, will this affect the youth of the European countries the situation with the United Kingdom?

The situation of the United Kingdom will affect directly European youth in terms of mobility, by restricting them mobility opportunities as once the United Kingdom will be out of the European Union they didn’t be part of an open space with no borders.

Mobility opportunities in terms of studies and labour opportunities are a key element for create synergies within European youth in creative and cultural sector.

What connections can young people from European countries create through a project like Aych in the future?

Thanks to AYCH young people from various countries sharing the same interests have the opportunity to work together on new ideas but also to develop their intercultural knowledge. Once the project will be over, they can keep in touch through a network of former AYCH members which could act as a continuous platform for collaboration.

Moreover, Youth taking part in AYCH project will be in direct contact with business and organizations working in creative and cultural sector which will allow them to keep close ties afterwards. It will be very good for those looking for an internship or wanting to develop their own business in the future.