"ACE is in the third year of its four-year “Connect-Arch” programme which aims to assist the sector towards recovery and help architects to react to current challenges notably: intra-EU mobility, increased extra-EU competition, and up-skilling to adapt to digital and other new technologies.

To reinforce the sector’s capacity, ACE is pursuing the following global objectives:
Organisational Development
– to strengthen the ACE network and increase collaboration among its Member Organisations (MOs):
• build organisational capacity through knowledge-sharing and peer-to-peer learning activities;
• enhance MOs’ engagement and that of their Members through workshops / conferences;
• develop mutually beneficial schemes between MOs;
• build MOs’ capacity and leverage their positions at national / EU level through collective actions; provide opportunities for ACE MOs to participate in EU policy/law-making.
Improving the trans-national mobility of European architects – to help them access new markets
• identify opportunities and partnerships in the EU and beyond;
• negotiate Mutual Recognition Agreements with architects outside the EU.
Professional Capacity Building – to enable EU architects to build up their professional and business skills
• help EU architects advance their positions as leaders in the face of global challenges;
• support firms to maintain skills / acquire new ones, to remain globally competitive;
• improve the entrepreneurial skills of architects and their ability to flourish in new markets.
Collecting contextual data on the architectural profession
• provide comparative, quantitative and qualitative data and surveys on sector developments.

In 2019, ACE organised two web-streamed events (Innsbruck Conference Achieving Quality in The Built Environment and Perspectives: the Young Architects' Forum in Barcelona) as well as two other events: an Energy Day during the EU Sustainable Energy Week and an International Conference on Design Competitions organised jointly with the International Union of Architects, at UNESCO, Paris.

In furtherance of our internationalisation agenda, we pursued mutual recognition negotiations with South Korea and Japan, while consolidating the earlier agreement with Canada. We also maintained our Internationalisation & new business models task-force, which produced an Export Guide, a joint venture checklist for cross-border collaborations between practices and started work on a checklist for architect-client relations.

We initiated a second phase of our Study on the Value of Good Design and the Role of Architects and started to create a searchable, online repository for information contained in the various editions of the ACE Sector Study, Last, but not least, we created an exhibition to illustrate the solutions that architecture can bring to the challenges posed by climate change. The private view took place at the European Parliament in conjunction with a seminar for MEPs.

The later exhibition was shown at the Tour et Taxis building in Brussels and will be available to tour Member Organisations in 2020. In 2020, we plan to organise a Conference, in Brussels, on Climate Change & Built Environment. We will respond to approaches for mutual recognition talks with Mexico and Australia, finalise the architect-client checklist and publish a brochure on new business models. We will produce the 2020 edition of the Sector Study, develop a third phase of our Value study, initiate a study on Quality and arrange for our Climate Change exhibition to be shown in up to four EU Member States." Ian Pritchard

This report was presented during ACE digital General Assembly in May 2020. Read the full report here.

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