The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) today announced its involvement as delivery partners in the EDUCAtional Technology Exchange (EDUCATE) project, a pioneering collaboration by industry, academics and teachers, which aims to catalyse the development of evidence-based EdTech products and services. 
The EDUCATE project will be delivered by UCL in partnership with F6S, Nesta and BESA, which represents over 300 of the UK’s world-leading educational suppliers. EDUCATE will bring together educators, researchers and the EdTech industry in order to develop and use the best research-informed EdTech. 
It will set up a physical and virtual working space where EdTech SMEs and researcher entrepreneurs will work together with researchers, educators and business experts. All participating SMEs will have access to research training, mentoring and support.
EDUCATE will translate research into new and better Educational Products, stimulating demand for new EdTech products by improving the quality of products and services and engaging with users as part of the design process.
The project is receiving up to £4.5m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
Caroline Wright, Director General of BESA said: “We know from our research that schools say there isn’t currently sufficient information to help them assess which EdTech products have the greatest impact in the classroom. The EDUCATE project will directly address this need, bringing together industry, academics and teachers in an unprecedented collaboration. We hope the results of the EDUCATE programme will set a new global standard for an evidence-based approach to Education Technology.”
Professor Rose Luckin, Professor of Learner centred design, UCL Knowledge Lab, UCL Institute of Education said: “As Director of EDUCATE I am thrilled that BESA have agreed to join the project as a partner. I know that their contribution will be considerable and enormously valuable. Their expertise will strengthen the project team and is a perfect complement to the existing partnership between UCL, Nesta and F6S. I look forward to working with them.”

About BESA: BESA, the British Educational Suppliers Association, is the trade association covering the entirety of the UK educational suppliers sector. It operates on a not-for-profit basis, and is accountable to an Executive Council that is elected by member companies.

It has an 80-year heritage serving the UK education sector, and represents over 300 educational suppliers in the UK, including manufacturers and distributors of equipment, materials, books, consumables, furniture, technology, ICT hardware and EdTech to the education market.

BESA has a Code of Practice to which all members must adhere, along with a stringent membership process, both of which assure schools of a high standard of quality.

About the EDUCATE project: EDUCATE will bring together educators, researchers and the EdTech industry in order to develop and use the best research-informed EdTech. It will set up a physical and virtual working space where EdTech SMEs and researcher entrepreneurs will work together with researcher, educators and business experts. All SMEs will have access to research training and support.

SMEs, teachers and researchers will be mentored to work with teachers and parents (their customers) to evaluate their product’s educational value and stimulate the demand. EDUCATE will translate research into new and better Educational Products, and will stimulate demand for new and improved products. EDUCATE will be running events such as what the Research Says and a lot more.

About European Regional Development Fund: The project is receiving up to £4.5m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund.

Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.

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