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IOB hosts European launch of innovative MiCreS project

MiCreS project will see the development and delivery of Europe’s first ecosystem for micro credentials in financial services.

IOB today hosted the European launch of MiCreS, an innovative project that will lead to the development and delivery of Europe’s first certification system for micro-credentials and professional qualifications in the financial services industry.

Under the Erasmus+, Forward Looking Programme (Co-Funded by the European Union) and coordinated by the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, the MiCreS project will establish Europe’s first blockchain-based ecosystem for micro-credentials in financial services.

The project will also develop a prototype for a digital wallet for individuals to store and share verified credentials. The prototype design will include provision for linking with Europass, to allow for improved portability of credentials for individuals working in financial services.

MiCreS group photo

(Pictured left to right: Dr. Joachim Schwerin, Principal Economist EU - GD Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Fatma Dirkes, Director and Vice President Frankfurt School International Advisory Service and President of EBTN, Minister of State Thomas Byrne TD, Mary O'Dea, CEO of IOB, Gavin Kelly, President of IOB, Mr. Christian Resch, Deputy Head of Germany’s Mission in Ireland)

The project aims to provide innovative and flexible learning opportunities for individuals to acquire or enhance their certified competencies and skills related to environmental, social and governance practices (ESG).

The first pilot micro-credential in development as part of the project will respond to skills shortages in the area of sustainable finance. A European Foundation Certificate in Sustainable Finance will launch in early 2025.

Welcoming the launch of the project, Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath TD said:

“I welcome the launch of the MiCreS project which is an important European initiative that will empower people working in financial services while providing greater transparency for employers. The use of innovative technology to deliver greater flexibility in sharing verified education credentials is very encouraging and I am delighted that the IOB are hosting the launch in Dublin. Skills development is at the heart of the Irish Government strategy to develop our international financial services sector. Ireland for Finance, and we welcome the focus on enhancing environmental, social and governance practices (ESG) capacity. I want to wish the team behind MiCreS and the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management all the very best with the project.”

Fatma Dirkes, President of the European Banking & Financial Services Training Association (EBTN) said:

“MiCreS is an exciting and innovative project aiming to develop the first sector driven ecosystem for micro-credentials in financial services in Europe. The purpose is to design and test a stackable micro-credential prototype in Sustainable Finance. MiCreS will benefit from the active collaboration of 13 leading financial services education and representative bodies from European and third countries. We look forward to working closely with project coordinator, the Frankfurt School, IOB who are hosting our launch today and all the project partners in this milestone initiative for financial services. The education of employees in financial services is a key factor to contribute to more sustainable finance.”

Mary O’Dea, Chief Executive of IOB said:

“We are delighted to host the European launch of the MiCreS project in Dublin. As Ireland’s education partner for the financial services sector, we are proud to collaborate with international partners to support financial services professionals to gain world-class micro-credentials and to pilot the first programme in Ireland. This is an important initiative as part of the international pillar of our IOB 2030 strategy. With our innovative blockchain-enabled system, we look forward to enhancing the portability of acquired skills and competencies in financial services across Europe.”