Skills and Innovation for Adult Social Care

The LAPIS project is a three-year European participatory action research project led by Lancaster University, and partners with other sector specialist organisations and learning providers across the EU and UK.

Our project is focusing on Innovations and Skills in the Adult Social Care sector, particularly looking at work-based learning – where employees learn on the job.

Connecting with organisations, managers and leaders

We aim to connect with suitable organisations, managers, leaders and leadership teams, in order to build a picture of the barriers to effective work-based learning across the sector, and how to overcome these as informed by our research. These conversations will also help us develop sets of policy recommendations, and we will be holding round table discussions on these with key influencers, policy makers and Government representatives across the UK and EU.

Taking Part

Another important aspect of our work is to assist in building networks of providers and key stakeholders from the public and private sectors, who in turn may support and share together, and develop a unified voice and community of practice. We hope that participants will help us by taking part in discussions, consultations, interviews, and workshops, and help us also to test our tools and the app, during the piloting process.

Get involved

If you think our project could bring value to your work, or feel we could benefit from your expertise and understandings we would love to hear from you please. Thank you !

You can contact us by email to our Research Associate and EU Project Administrator Rebecca Harris: E: r.harris3@lancaster.ac.uk 

Contact Us


Lancaster University

Lancaster University campus occupies a beautiful 560-acre parkland site and is proud to be one of only a handful of UK universities to have a collegiate system.

Lead Partner

Dr. Carolyn Downs
Our Principal Investigator is Dr Carolyn Downs of Lancaster University Management School, Carolyn is a senior lecturer and EU Projects Director. Carolyn was a late entrant to the academic world, having previously worked as a credit control and quality control manager. Carolyn decided to go to university because she was bored with her job.

As well as being a university lecturer she enjoys knitting; reading; gardening; country dancing; but her favourite thing is to go for a long walk on the beach with her dogs.

Rebecca Harris- Research Associate

University of Lodz – Poland

The Faculty of Management has nearly 4,000 students and 150 academic staff. One student in ten is an international student – this rich and diverse community contributes to creating a supporting environment for learning and personal development. Every member of our community has been committed to the pursuit of excellence in teaching and research from our inception on September 1, 1994.


dr Izabela Bednarska-Wnuk (Management; Specializations: Organizational Behavior, HRM), Master of Science (Management; Specializations: Change Management)

Contractor of many European projects: Empowering VET Teachers – Innovative & Enhanced CPD for Newly Qualified VET Teachers Working with Migrant Students, HELPCARE – Health and social care workers: Employability Learning and Professionalization, ELIEMENTAL: Breaking Down Barriers to Enterprise, Life Long Learning UE, 2014, FOLPSEC- Functioning of Local Production Systems in the conditions of economic crisis (Comparative analysis and benchmarking for the EU and beyond, 7th Framework Program of the European Union for Research and Technological Development, Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IEIE)) Novosibirsk Russia, Grant 2013.

Author and co-author of 6 books and over 60 articles on organizational behavior and human resource management.

Zbigniew Mikurenda

Currently ICT Senior Specialist in the Department of Management at the University of Lodz, Poland. Academic teacher with 40 years of experience. For 35 years he was the head of the Interdepartmental Unit of New Media and Distance Learning of the University of Lodz.
ICT coordinator of the following projects:

  • Polish-American MBA Studies – cooperation with the University of Maryland, Towson University and Minot State University;
  • Postgraduate Studies “Master of Science, Science Technology Commercialization” – cooperation with the University of Texas at Austin;
  • E-Economics studies without barriers, Faculty of Economics and Sociology, University of Lodz;
  • PHD-HUB – The European PhD Hub connects universities, students and business at local and European level via an online platform for research and innovation ( ICT specialist, ERASMUS+).

Co-author and lecturer of Postgraduate Distance Learning Studies in cooperation with PGCC (USA). Co-author of projects for vocational schools implemented in cooperation with Arlington Public School (USA), as part of programs financed by the ESF. Secretary of the Board Users’ Council and member of the MSK LODMAN Technical Team Co-founder of the “Association of academic e-learning – SEA”; Main areas of competence: e-learning platforms; videoconferencing in scientific and educational projects; Designing and creating multimedia content for e-learning courses.

Assoc. Prof Ilona Świątek-Barylska PhD

A professor in the Department of Management at the University of Lodz, Poland and Head of University of Lodz Doctoral School of Social Sciences. She teaches courses on postgraduate studies, as well as in a variety of custom executive programs for professional managers. She is a global visiting lecturer at Universities and a researcher in international projects. Author and co-author of 5 books and more than 50 scientific papers and an experienced management consultant.

Associazione Submeet – Incontrarsi per Crescere – Italy

Submeet association is a not for profit organisation established in March 2011 with the aim to promote transnational mobility activities targeting learners and staff. We support learners in the acquisition of competences with a view to improving their personal development and employability in the European Labour Market, support the professional development of those who work in education and training with a view to innovating and improving the quality of teaching and training around Europe, and reinforce synergies and transitions between formal, non-formal education, vocational training, employment and entrepreneurship.


Fabiana Rocchi President of Submeet Association
Fabiana Rocchi President of Submeet Association
Graduate in Economy and Business Administration at the University of Rome and having a Master in Tourist Economy at the University of Perugia, Fabiana began her career teaching Marketing of tourism in different courses financed by the European Social Fund at regional level.
Over the years, thanks to the implementation of numerous projects, she has been able to consolidate her expertise as EU projects expert as well as to develop a dense network of national and European contacts. In 2011, she decided to establish Submeet to offer valuable work experience to students/trainees coming from other European Countries.

Elio Bucciantonio Vice President of Submeet Association
Graduated as an industrial engineer at “La Sapienza” University of Rome, he has been working for 16 years in some of the main international tier1 suppliers of the automotive industry.

He started his career as a logistics manager dealing with several cross-sectorial kaizen projects. Since 2007 he took responsibility for the whole plant, first at Isringhausen SpA and later at Bode Sud and ISA.. In 2013, he decided to establish Stark to support SMEs at EU level to benefit from his previous experience and to implement R+D+I activities thanks to EU Programmes and Funds. He is a logistics lecturer at the University of L’Aquila (Engineering Dept) and responsible for the H2020 infopoint at the Professional Order of Engineers in Chieti. He is a TIE/TPS expert and Green Belt certified. Recently he become CEO of DIGEMA SL, another consultancy company with the same mission of Stark in Spain. In SubMeet Elio offers his expertise in industrial engineering, team-building and team-performance training individuals, companies and VET organisations.

Druzhestvo Znanie – Bulgaria

The Centre for Vocational Training in Znanie is an especially established unit for training of adults – continuous training and qualifications, and lifelong acquisition of skills. It provides initial and continuing vocational training of young workers, the unemployed and the disabled. Amongst the priorities of the Centre are labour market analysis and qualification shortfalls, the provision of training courses internationally and the training of NGOs collaborators and volunteers.


Valentina Georgieva
In her role of a President of Znanie Association is responsible for reaching the strategic goals of the organization, overall management, financial stability and long-term planning. For the last 20 years Valentina has been working for Znanie, Sofia from junior expert, all the way through project coordinator, project manager. Experienced trainer and passionate promoter of lifelong learning concept. Since 2014 is part of the Management board.

Vassilena Varbanova
Vice-president of Znanie Association and member of the Management board, Vasilena is a youth worker and project coordinator, responsible for realization of EU co-funded projects. She is experienced in designing and implementing training programs on topics such as: motivation, implementation of interactive methods, team work, intergenerational learning, and intercultural activities.

Yoana Novachkova
4th year student at Sofia University, Social Pedagogy. Part of Znanie team since the beginning of 2021, Yoana is supporting the online activities, takes active part in organization and coordination of events, trainings and other project activities, with strong interest in social and health care area. She also has diverse interests including cooking, music, animals care and growing plants.

Applied Industrial Technologies (APINTECH) Ltd – Cyprus

APINTECH is an ICT and Electronics provider delivering globally ICT technology and devices (big data applications, communication applications, on line energy meters and a number of sensors) wireless protocol and Internet aware applications in a number of domains.


Nikos SAKKAS Dr. Eng
Nikos is the manager of the LAPIS activities responsible for seeking new opportunities for technology deployment in the social case sector.

Nagia ATHANASIOU Dipl, Eng (M.Sc)
An expert in leiminte (AI machine learning) user requirements and quality assurance issues and is responsible for for the effective adaptation of tools to address LAPIS requirements.

Mehul JOISAR ICT expert
Responsible for the Ouput 7 technical developments.

50+ Hellas Astiki Me Kerdoskopiketairia – Greece

50plus Hellas consists of experts and volunteers with the vision of a fair and friendly society for all generations. Activation of older people as well as intergenerational solidarity are our primary goals with actions, campaigns and festivals of digital empowerment, active and healthy aging, intergenerational participation and mutual support.


Dr.Myrto-Maria Ranga
Psychologist-Gerontologist, CEO and Board Member of NGO 50plus Hellas since 2015, with extended experience in the activation and participation of older people in the society, life-long learning projects and research projects on age-friendly technologies as well as didactical methodology for teaching new technologies to older adults. Expertise in qualitative living conditions for older people through intercultural research Germany-Greece.

Chelsea Lazaridou M.A.
Adult educator specialized in teaching methodologies for encouraging participation of older adults in learning processes, as well as developing learning material for older learners. She is a native english speaker with extensive experience as project manager on European projects , as well as local authorities to promote active and healthy ageing.

Lancaster and Morecambe College – UK

Lancaster and Morecambe College (LMC) is a public sector college of further education and the main provider of vocational and adult education and training in North Lancashire and South Cumbria, UK. The international project team is currently working on a wide range of KA1 and KA2 projects. As a unit within Lancaster and Morecambe College Employer and Partnerships Department, we have great experience of pulling together a multidisciplinary project team to tackle project outcomes and call upon a vast array of skills with local, regional and international partners.


Paloma Vera
An International Engagement Assistant and Researcher in the International Projects team at Lancaster and Morecambe College. This role includes the creation of digital resources for Erasmus+ projects as well as communication with partners around Europe. Previously completed an Erasmus + EVS Volunteering Programme for six months at Lancaster and Morecambe College. Holds a degree in International Studies from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

Mathew Hayes
An experienced Project Manager and Researcher with over 6 years’ experience working within the Erasmus+ programme on a wide range of different projects. Previous to his work in international projects, he worked in the ‘Welfare to Work’ sector for 5 years over a variety of Government and DWP contracts. Experienced in working with learners in a variety of different capacities in relation to employability, training and personal development. Has assisted a variety of individuals to develop self-employment and entrepreneurial ideas and to put these ideas into action. Possesses a level 4 qualification in Information, Advice and Guidance as well as educated to degree level in Psychology and Sociology.

Brigitte Rogers
A skilled administrator. She has a good working knowledge of ESF and Erasmus+ funded projects at Lancaster & Morecambe College. She has been monitoring and coordinating administrative aspects of all Erasmus+ projects at Lancaster & Morecambe College and in previous programmes for over 15 years.