To this day, in the 28 countries of the EU there are about 610,000 inmates. Of these only 1 out of 5 is involved in any kind of employment, and just the 3% of them works for external companies or entities which provide occupation (both in and out of jail). The lack of employment, the not so easily accessible delivery of training paths, the loss of self-esteem and the consequent sense of isolation are the main determinants of the high levels of recidivism, especially among the youngest and most disadvantaged individuals.

The project aims to give an answer to such issues by involving detainees in one the most innovative phenomenon of ICT economy: 3D-printing, by focusing the skills needed in order to set up and use a 3D-printer. As a matter of fact, 3D-printing is going to play one of the most relevant roles in the creative and productive processes for small and medium enterprises all around the world in the fields of fast prototype-making, industrial design, engineering, architecture, clothing, jewelry, medicine and scientific research. Notably, such revolution is happening in a European industrial framework, where the demand for personnel with appropriate technological skills increases but is not covered by the existing labor-market.


The project responds to the specific needs of:

  • The inmates, who need to be active and acquire new certifiable training opportunities to possibly deliver into employment, the key factor for social reintegration;
  • The penitentiary educators, who will enhance their digital skills in order to innovate the content and teaching/training methods adopted both during and after detention;
  • The prison system, which will be able to increase the quality and quantity of the employment opportunities for detainees, thus improving the quality of life and reducing the risk of recidivism.

The project aims to reach the following specific goals:

  • Definition of the non-formal/transversal and formal/specific skills that detainees must learn in order to use the appointed technologies;
  • Development of specific training modules about the new printing technologies, applicable all around Europe, inside prisons or at distance learning, fostering their transferability to individuals with fewer opportunities;
  • Promotion of new practices among penitentiary institutions and private-social organizations facilitating the re-employment of inmates and the substantial recognition of the 3D-printing competences acquired;
  • Definition of European standards in terms of internal organization of productive

The project is in line with:

  • Europe 2020 strategy: inclusive growth, support to adults who will acquire new competences and adapt to the evolving job market.
  • ET 2020 priorities: 3rd strategic goal: promotion of equity, social cohesion and active citizenship, 4th: support to creativity and innovation […] at every step of education and training.
  • EU Council Decision 2015/1848: guideline 6, raising the skill and competences of the workforce […] in an increasingly digital economy and in the context of technological change.
  • Joint Report of the Council and the Commission (2015/C 417/04) “New priorities for European cooperation in education and training”: priority areas 2 and 3.
  • Motion for a European Parliament Resolution on Prison Systems and Conditions (2015/2062(INI)): articles 8,15,18,32,62.

Following the training courses and experimentations (verified directly with the prisons collaborating with the partner entities for the re-employment of unprivileged individuals) and through the methodology of Action-Research and the support of a dedicated virtual platform, the project aims to develop 3 innovative tools for the use of 3D-printing technologies in jail:

Framework of specific Skills
Training Models
Operational Guidelines

For a period of 36 months, the project will seamlessly involve 24 operators, coming from the 7 partners at the coalface, dozens of penitentiary educators and trainers from 6 Countries, and approximately 270 inmates. Everyone will be able to access and use the produced tools, translated into the main languages of the involved Countries and made available for free over the Internet in a time frame of about 12 months after the completion of the project.

During this 36 months period, 3,000 individuals will access to the project, including penitentiary and social workers, entrepreneurs, volunteers, and, of course, inmates from different situations in at least 5 EU Countries, plus Turkey.

On a long-term basis, the project will support:

  • Promotion and increasement of digital training paths inside the prison environment, through the professionalization of every involved actor;
  • Employability of ex-detainees, promoting skills marketable on both a local and European level;
  • New models based on the synergies among the security, training and digital-industry systems.