Marionela SimovaAPInno survey analysis, KISMC

Marionela Simova Eugenia Kovatcheva Innovation Management - the opportunity to develop - Analysis of research APInno In Proceeding of the National conference: ICT in library and information studies, education and cultural heritage, May 29, 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria, pp 207-220, (to appear in Bulgarian language)



APInno Intellectual Outcomes

  1. Methodology

    The development of methodology for IM started with the Cross-Country Needs Analysis performed through desktop research, literature review, online questionnaire and interview of SMEs of various industries from the partner countries, together with academic institutions on the topic of IM, with significant contribution from the students in the participating Universities. The surveys for both target groups were focused on the importance of IM and the level of students' readiness to work and collaborate with co-mates following other majors to solve real business case (for students) and the readiness of the business owners/representatives to seek for practical answers for their businesses' challenges from students, showing them data and processes that are restricted to the general public. In the survey participated 223 students from 35 countries of origin, studying in 23 universities in 8 European countries, and majoring in 12 fields: Accounting and Finance; Architecture; Business Management; Computer Science; Engineering; HRM; Languages; Mathematics; Media and cultural studies; Medicine and Healthcare; Regional and Environmental Economics; Social Studies, etc.; and 65 business representatives from 17 countries of origin, having companies in 18 European countries from various industries and on various top-level management positions.

  2. Innovation management course syllabus

    A detailed description and plan for a course in IM for different fields of study - ICT, business, engineering, etc. and different qualification levels was produced by the leading partner and the support of the consortium. A System of IM qualifications for BSc, MSc and CPD was developed. This activity included the development and design of a course in IM with all required elements: vision, goals and outcomes for competence development: assignments and activities, common tasks and tools, evaluation, course syllabus. Core element of the course was practice. It comprised the ration 2:1 in favour of practical experience. Another part was the process of evaluation of students' performance - it allows three-fold grading: by mentors and teachers, by business representatives, by team-members. The course was developed in a way that allows implementation into curricula for bachelor, master or executive level, regardless of the previous professional background of the student. Effective combination of practical experience and academic research together with online tools and interactive platform are core elements of the course. It was designed for students who passed corresponding professional courses in their respective fields. The course leads to getting skills and knowledge in identified key IM-related job profiles. The course is designed in a way that allows distance and face-to-face learning. Its experiential nature allows quickly to prepare students with the theoretical part and move to the practice. During this activity one workshop in May ‘15 with stakeholders was organized in UK where representatives by business, public bodies, competence building experts, regular students and consortium members participated and tested some of the tools to be included in the training process. The main purpose was to validate the methodology and the course. Promotion of the forthcoming testing was also achieved and the business representatives were convinced to fully participate in the testing, sharing their expertise and looking for University-business cooperation.

  3. Training materials

    Three sets of materials/handbooks were prepared in accordance to O1 and O2 results for the project’s target groups: a handbook for students, for mentors, and for challengers. The handbook for students initially comprised 137 pages, with large amount of theory and many exercises that made the testing phase overloaded and needed some extra knowledge and skills from students to reach the targeted outcomes. After the target groups’ feedback analyses, the partnership agreed that the amount of theory is much more than the 180 hours limitation of the course, some of the steps in the process could be skipped without influencing the logic of the IM process, and thus the final Students’ handbook reached 63 pages, with interactive elements: video clips, external links, exercises and templates, etc. The content includes practical examples and best practices from businesses for IM. Further, the students’ handbook was adapted with national examples for better understanding and more active participation of the students. In addition to the handbook, a MBTI based material was produced so that to facilitate the mentors and the students in the process of teams’ forming. The guides for managers and trainers includes detailed information both on the content and coordination responsibilities in the teaching process: they clarify and detail the activities to be performed, responsibilities, key dates, current and future target groups to assure the appropriation and sustainability of the project’s outcomes and their future implementation. The managers and trainers were trained in the methodology, equipped with all necessary toolbox, media, and materials to transfer knowledge to students and mentor/coach them during the process. They played the vital role of two-level coordinator - once for the student teams and then mediating the relationship between student teams and their client - the SME managers. The manual for business managers outlined the course and the process of work with students and included expected outcomes, tasks and involvement at each stage. The main goal of APInno was to equip managers (senior level) with ready-to-implement innovative solutions to their preliminary set challenges and yet not to occupy their limited time. Their role was limited and their presence was requested only at the milestone results when they meet with students to hear their findings and oversee their progress. Key element of the manual was the guidance for how and what managers to define as their growth and innovation challenges as a case study/challenge of their businesses and giving students the right direction for work during the course. The materials were based on interactive approach, allowing better and easier understanding of the new concepts and encompassing all aspects of IM as it is outlined in the O1 and O2.

  4. Guide for collaboration between business and academia

    The main output, a guide for university-industry collaboration was created with the intensive collaboration of all consortium partners. Evaluation, led by Tecnalia helped the consortium to systematically achieve its aims on a process level. It scrutinized, accompanied and improved the model for cooperation between business and academia that the project is creating and created indicators for “successful” collaboration. This activity aimed to evaluate the quality of the knowledge exchange resulting in APInno, and on the base of the conclusions to prepare a useful guide for Industry-University collaboration in IM. The Guide for collaboration in IM aimed to facilitate the active engagement of universities and other higher education institutions in cooperation with research centres, businesses and other partners. It was published in a pdf format for free download from the project website and was distributed to interested stakeholders via broad range of media like social media, interactive platforms, Internet sources, on the E2 event. The Guide could serve as a model for best practice as result of the project and could be further used in similar initiatives for business-University cooperation, with small adaptations, depending on the projects’ topics.