1 Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise "Giuseppe Caporale" (ITALY)
2 Università degli Studi dell'Aquila (ITALY)
4 University of Helsinki (FINLAND)
5 University of Science and Technology (POLAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 4325-4332
ISBN: 978-84-09-27666-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2021.0880
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
The Erasmus+ project Learning Genomics for Food Safety (LEGO) aims at defining an innovative professional profile, the “Food Microbial Bioinformatician” (FMB), at crossroad of different areas and able to use Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies for the analysis of food-borne pathogens. The creation of this new profile bridges a growing educational gap in the field of Higher University Education and meets the new research challenges in the field of Genomics applied to Food Safety.

Different Experts’ Knowledge Elicitation (EKE) methods have been adopted by LEGO to promote a quick, easy and reliable transformation of tacit knowledge into explicit information and addresses to reach the project expected goals. A concentric circles’ model from restricted to wide perspectives has been adopted to achieve a consensus-based conceptual abstraction.

After conducting a desk research to define the diverse working contexts of a FMB, macro and micro clusters of FMB activities, and also hard and soft skills required to the new profile, interviews and small focus-groups were organised within the LEGO project team to review and integrate the preliminary FMB identikit (first circle: internal restricted perspective).

After this phase, a questionnaire was submitted to almost fifty experts within the Consortium to peer-reviewing the FMB identikit and to deep relevance, frequency and complexity of FMB knowledge, technical competences, soft skills and interpersonal organisational behaviours (second circle: internal sub-intermediate perspective).

At this point, the FMB identikit - internally agreed - was presented to a multidisciplinary group of selected experts, external to the partnership, for collecting relevant contributions and remarks to compare and guide towards consensus different visions and positions expressed by the interested parties.

In order to select the external key players to involve, an internal stakeholders’ analysis, adopting the Delphi technique and consisting of two rounds, was launched within the LEGO partnership (third circle: internal intermediate perspective). The output of this crucial step was the LEGO Stakeholders' Matrix based on their influence and importance to the scope. Eight stakeholders’ macro-categories were selected by the Consortium according to their position in the matrix, and used to draft an agreed list of experts to interview.

Then, thirty stakeholders from the international scenario participated in an external survey managed through two Delphi sessions for first eliciting – by filling in a check-list – the consensus-based definition of the FMB profile (fourth circle: external intermediate perspective) and finally validating it (fifth circle: external final perspective).

The LEGO EKE model can be scaled to similar initiatives aiming at designing very peculiar professional profiles, not yet formalised in the educational and labour contexts.
Bioinformatics, genomics, professional profile, expert knowledge elicitation.