IIE Network - Fall 2013 - (Page 26)

RESEARCH AND INNOVATION Clustering Innovation and Industry: New Opportunities for Europe By Endika Bengoetxea DESPITE EUROPE’S SOLID academic and research base, dynamic companies and creative talent, good ideas don’t often follow a natural progression toward becoming new products or services. There is a real need for Europe to focus on creating a more innovative and entrepreneurial culture. The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is a body of the European Union based in Budapest, Hungary, launched in 20101, that responds to the European Union’s innovation challenge by growing innovation capacity through the formation of “Knowledge Triangles.” These triangles are organizational partnerships working in the domains of higher education, business and research. The European Institute of Innovation and Technology promotes multidisciplinary, multi-character and international partnerships in science and innovation. In the past, the big scientific discoveries and innovative ideas were made by people working individually (examples include Newton and Einstein). But then, in the second half of the 20th century, innovation came from teams of scientists working together, in many cases, from different interdisciplinary backgrounds. (An example is the team that discovered DNA and its structure). But in today’s globalized world, innovation now happens in complex multidisciplinary and multi-character networks where clusters of industry, academia and other institutions attract the best individuals, form a strong team, create respect for the topic being studied and build teams of members that complement each other’s strengths2. The EIT’s main goal is to consolidate and fund these sorts of networks. The Institute encourages prominent organizations to work together to plan out common strategic agendas. This helps to ensure that universities look for input from business and research institutes when they map out training and research activities, and vice versa. 26 The EIT’s work is mainly performed through “Knowledge & Innovation Communities (KICs).” These partnerships consist of prominent universities, research centers, large companies, small and medium enterprises, and other organizations involved in the innovation processes. They represent world-class excellence in the areas of higher education, research, entrepreneurship and innovation. They are designed to be international innovation hubs working across borders, where each KIC addresses one single societal challenge. Since 2010, there have been three KICs: climate change mitigation and adaptation3, future information and communication society4, and sustainable energy5. Each KIC manages its own budget for a period of seven to 15 years. The Institute provides up to a quarter of the funds, and the rest must be gathered from other sources, both public and private. KIC Activities include: • Education and training activities promoting the development of innovation skills, improving management skills and fostering mobility of students and researchers. • Innovation and European value investment, integrating higher education and research to achieve a critical mass and encourage the dissemination and use of results. • World-class research and innovation in areas of economic and social interest, with the potential to strengthen Europe’s competitiveness. • Dissemination of best innovation practices, targeting the creation of partnerships between the areas of higher education, research and business. The main characteristics of the KIC partnership model are: • A high degree of integration: each KIC is an independent legal entity, gathering world-class KIC partners from higher education, business and research, based on a partnership with the EIT. • Long-term strategic approach: KICs are not traditional partnerships where partners join together just for a short project. KICs are set up for a minimum of seven years in order to eventually become self sustainable. • Autonomy and flexibility: KICs have the flexibility to give their experts the freedom to define the work plan for the short and long terms. KICs also have the freedom to determine their organizational structure. • Results/high-impact-oriented activities: KICs are designed to operate like a business, implementing a business plan with measurable deliverables, results and impact. KICs are run by a CEO and a lean management team at central and co-location levels. • The co-location model: Co-location of team members from diverse backgrounds is an essential part of KICs. A co-location center is a geographical location where all or a large part of the innovation web are in close proximity, bringing together people from different organizations, sectors, disciplines and countries, united by common strategic objectives. This builds on regional clusters and raises them to international levels of competitiveness.  Typically each KIC has four to  six co-location centers in different EU countries. • Culture: KICs are shaped by strong entrepreneurial mindsets and cultures, driven by creativity and excellence. As of March 2013, the EIT has a total of 296 partners: 86 universities, 62 research centers, 122 business and 24 cities, regions or NGOs. Opportunities for Participation The EIT and its Knowledge and Innovation Communities offer interesting opportunities Continued on page 45 www.iie.org/iienetworker http://www.iie.org/iienetworker

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Network - Fall 2013

A Message from Allan E. Goodman
News
Megatrends: Predicting the Future of International Education
Considering Study Abroad’s Past to Prepare for its Future
The Promise of International Education: Building a More Just and Elevated Civil Society
Global Research and Commercialization: An Under-the-Radar Next Big Thing
Clustering Innovation and Industry: New Opportunities for Europe
Connecting the Dots: Integrating Engagement with International Stakeholders
The Rise of Real-time, Online International Recruitment
Hold on to Your Hats, MOOCs... Here Come the TOQUES!
The Global Youth Engagement Platform: A Peace Corps for the 21st Century
Growing Globally Competent Students to Achieve True Internationalization
Beyond Ourselves: Embracing Our Global Responsibilities
India: Expansion, Equity, Excellence
The Growing World of Collaborative Internationalization: Taking Partnerships to the Next Level
From Multi-national Universities to Education Hubs to Edu-glomerates?
Advertisers Index
Beyond the Numbers: The Who, How and What of Global Student Mobility

IIE Network - Fall 2013

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