Mariana Ramos, Câmara Municipal Ílhavo; Christoph Busch, Director of the Hannah Arendt Institute; Rina Rabau, Mechelen City Counsellor for Education; EAEA President Uwe Gartenschlaeger; CEIPES President Musa Kirkar and Project Manager Sonia Nociforo at Mechelen City Hall.

Winners of the 2022 EAEA Grundtvig Award: Aging Laboratory & Brave New Words

The 19th annual EAEA Grundtvig Awards were given to projects which embrace transformative learning and values in adult education.

Transformative learning triggers fundamental change and assists people in understanding themselves, others, and different cultures. It is linked to critical thinking and social analysis, in which people can re-examining their values and beliefs.

The 2022 EAEA Grundtvig Award called for innovative projects that advance transformative learning and values. The winners of the award were selected in two categories: national initiatives and transnational initiatives.

A woman holding a certificate and a man standing next to her
Mariana Ramos, Câmara Municipal Ílhavo and Uwe Gartenschlaeger, EAEA

Aging laboratory brings together researchers, artists and seniors

The winner of the national category, Aging Laboratory is run by Câmara Municipal Ílhavo in Portugal. The project cooperates with more than 15 academic partners and associations, increasing knowledge on aging. Aging laboratory brings together researchers, artists, students, technicians, volunteers, and seniors and was developed in co-operation with the Coimbra university. The laboratory has two dimensions: The creation axis develops creative projects and fosters intergenerational learning between seniors and artists. The research axis hosts several research projects providing support to the projects and promotes interest in studying aging.

“We are really impressed by the creativity of the elderly people who took part in the programme,” said Mariana Ramos from Câmara Municipal Ílhavo who accepted the award on behalf of the municipality. “We are extremely honoured that our work on the local level was recognized. 

According to the jury, this innovative project demonstrates the expansion of knowledge and collaborative learning among different generations. The project includes both research and practical components, and its impact is well described. The jury consisted of EAEA Executive Board members George A. Koulaouzides, Hellenic Adult Education Association (Greece), Oleg Smirnov, Integration and Development Center for Information (Ukraine) and Balázs Németh, University of Pécs (Hungary).

Three people standing and holding awards
Uwe Gartenschlaeger, Sonia Nociforo and Musa Kirkar.

Offering a multisensory learning exprience

Brave New Words won the Grundtvig Award in the category of transnational projects. Run by CEIPES, Italy, the project has developed inclusive learning approaches using 3D Printing and Augmented Reality, especially designed for students with Special Learning Disorders (SpLD). According to CEIPES, the use of this special technology transforms the way people with SpLD learn by offering them a multi-sensory learning experience.

“CEIPES strongly believes in the value of innovation within learning pathways, not only addressed to traditional teaching but also to people with specific learning disorders”, says Project Manager Sonia Nociforo from CEIPES. “We have been working for a long time on projects that use the 3D printers as a tool to improve learning. The Grundtvig Award means an opportunity to raise visibility of the products of the Brave New Words project, empowering adult learners with SpLD and educators all over Europe.”

According to the jury, Brave New Words combines new technologies and innovative learning approaches for a clearly identified target group. 

The award ceremony was held in Mechelen, Belgium 30 May 2022. 


The EAEA Grundtvig Award was launched in 2003 by EAEA in order to recognise and celebrate excellence in adult education. It highlights project results that produce new ideas, new partnerships, new methodologies and a new understanding of how we can work in adult learning.

Contact information / EAEA
Gina Ebner
+32 (0)2 893 25 24

Contact information / CEIPES
Sonia Nociforo
Phone: +39 0917848236

Contact information / Câmara Municipal Ílhavo
Mónica Batista

30.11.2023 advocacy

From ‘Youth on the Move’ to ‘Europe on the Move’

Thanks to years of advocacy and multiple efforts in the last months, EAEA has succeeded in making adult learning an integral part of the new learning mobility framework. The new framework was proposed by the European Commission in mid-November.

28.11.2023 financing

Decreasing funding levels - and yet expecting miracles?

Recent reports from EAEA’s members reveal that Adult Learning and Education is facing considerable financial cuts in many European countries. Notably, Sweden and Finland which are known for their traditionally strong support of non-formal ALE, are now facing severe cuts.

27.11.2023 cooperation

Connecting research, policy and practice: a new collaboration brings EAEA and ESREA closer together

A memorandum of understanding, signed last summer by EAEA and the European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA), aims to strengthen the collaboration between the two organisations. EAEA’s Gina Ebner and ESREA’s Marcella Milana reflect on the past and future activities that brought both networks closer.