The methods used in the project involved business needs analysis conducted in every participating country; exchanging methodologies and good practices on open innovation; comparing and developing compendium and curricula, sharing teaching materials, preparation of teaching guidelines. Furthermore, OI-Net defining the Common Curricula Framework on OI in Higher Education and piloting. All communication, reports, materials have been available via the OI-Net platform and number of dissemination activities has taken place
To achieve the OI-Net aims and objectives, the consortium is contributing to 4 working packages focusing on implementation and content (in addition to 4 coordination packages):
- WP2 Identification of Industrial Needs for Open innovation Education in Europe
- WP3 Exchanging methodologies and best practices on open innovation
- WP4 Comparing and developing Curricula and Education on open innovation
- WP5 Consolidation of Common Curricula Framework for Open Innovation Education & Training in Europe
Coordination work packages are:
- WP1 on Management: monitoring of Gantt chart, progress reports, progress on deliverables reported by each implementation WP leader.
- WP6 on Quality Assurance: in addition to the Quality Plan, it includes the Progress Markers of the Outcome Mapping approach on OI in HE and of the outcomes monitoring on boundary partners of the OI-Net actors
- WP7 and WP8 on Dissemination and Sustainability activities: monitoring of the preparation of their deliverables (notably, the OIP, the journal, the participation to at least 3 international conferences related to OI or HE, the public reports on CCF, ToR for OI in HE, OI-Net leaflet/brochure in initial and final versions, OI-Net website.
a. Identification of Industrial Needs for Open Innovation Education in Europe
The first step in the OI-Net project was to collect information on the industrial needs for open innovation education. For this purpose, the first European Survey on Identification of Industrial Needs for Open Innovation Education was developed and launched. The OI-Net project partners collected over 500 responses from European companies (large, SMEs, and micro firms). It responds to the challenge of creating a European-wide open innovation policy that attracts qualified and experienced researchers to boost R&D, entrepreneurship and links between industry and society in Europe. The questionnaire was developed from a solid theoretical background and covered the following broad topic areas: 1) the current state of open innovation adoption in the industry, 2) the perceived importance of open innovation for multiple industries, 3) the importance of open innovation skills for industry employees, and 4) the needed/desirable set of open innovation skills for university graduates. Dedicated partners with solid quantitative methodology experience and conducting survey skills were involved in the survey development and number of face-to-face and virtual meetings were organized to facilitate the process.
Building a large sample of European companies and conducting such a large scale online survey was possible only thanks to active involvement of all the project partners and their commitment to the common goal. The results of this survey were later applied in the designing the OI curricular for higher education in Europe and Report on industrial needs for open innovation Education in Europe was produced including the state-of-the-art on open innovation in different countries.
Furthermore, based on the results, recommendations for Higher Education were developed and summary of the results in the form of executive report was shared publicly with different communities, presented during various events and conferences to gather further feedback from different stakeholders. The added value of conducting survey is reaching wider group of practitioners interested in the topic and involving them in discussions on open innovation skills for future employees. Based on the feedback received from the companies, the side effects of the survey are: the increased awareness on open innovation adoption practices and potential benefits of it; attracting the attention of companies to the special skills needed to perform open innovation and the necessity of training of open innovation professional. The feedback from the industry indicated that companies need more information on open innovation and on the methods for developing open innovation skills and competences.
b) Exchanging Methodologies and Best Practices on Open Innovation (WP3)
Another very important component of the project was knowledge exchange on methodologies and good practices in open innovation and thus, embracing the cooperation within consortium partners as well as on industry-academia level. In terms of online communities, the project developed the first platform that gathers different stakeholders (private, public bodies) interested in developing the curricula and sharing best practices.
To ensure effective networking and collaboration OI-Net has developed an OI-Net platform for sharing information and knowledge on open innovation and open innovation education. In order to design the online collaborative space on OI-Net Platform the online survey was launched to gather the needs at developing the OI-Net platform as the main repository of resources for university lecturers teaching open innovation and companies interested in topics related to open innovation. The results were analysed and various meetings took place between the members of this work package and other consortium partners.
As a result, the OI-Net Platform was designed to include (but not limited to) useful materials, slides, teaching e-handbook, repository of cases, list of games to be used for teaching and coaching OI, reports developed by OI-Net project partners and beyond, articles, teaching videos, information on workshops, seminars, links to external sources, Common Curricula Framework for Open Innovation etc. Moreover, the platform itself is a social network, a community to share ideas, which provides an opportunity to build an own broad network of contacts in open innovation area. It provides a messenger and forum possibilities to discuss topics related to open innovation and open innovation education.
As part of this work package, the intellectual property issues were also elaborated to ensure the successful facilitation of OI-Net platform. Furthermore, template for permanent cases collection was developed to ensure quality of teaching materials uploaded by community members.
The exchange of methodologies and good practices on open innovation took place not only virtually via OI-Net online community, but also during meetings and workshops organized or supported by OI-Net project. In addition, a special issue on the topic of open innovation and open innovation education in open-access Journal of Innovation Management (www.open-jim.org ) was launched.
c) Comparing and Developing Curricula and Education on Open Innovation (WP4)
To raise the awareness among the European universities about the importance of open innovation as a subject to be integrated into the curriculum in all study programmes (at different levels – bachelor, master, PhD) within the project collected and analysed over 270 Compendium on Existing Curricula on Innovation, OI, and Global Innovation Management in Europe to define the role of implementing the multi-disciplinary approach to OI in higher education. This was done in the form of a questionnaire that all consortium partners were asked to fill and distribute within their network. The results were concluded in the form of a report available on the OI-Net platform and presented during OI-Net meetings.
Furthermore, the Manual for New Courses on Open Innovation Development, Considering the Multidisciplinary Approach in Open Innovation and Higher Education was developed in the form of a Report. The input was gathered through active involvement of all consortium partners and their networks. This document builds on the analysis of the content of the other disciplines deployed within the Open Innovation (OI) framework and provides recommendations for implication on a multi-disciplinary approach in OI and in Higher Education. This deliverable also includes the training material, illustrating open innovation curricula and multi-disciplinary approach.
The third task of this work package was to develop the Indicators and Progress Markers for OI Curricula in Higher Education in Europe which was accomplished in the form of publicly available report.
d) Consolidation of Common Curricula Framework for Open Innovation Education & Training in Europe (WP5)
Based on extensive input from previous work packages that scrutinized the needs of businesses as well as brought together numerous good practices and teaching methodologies concerning OI, the Common Curricula Framework (CCF) was developed that can be used for setting up tailor-made OI courses around the globe.
In order to fine tune the CCF the consortium organized a dedicated survey to identify generic and specific competences and skills for OI teachers and trainers. Teachers in several countries across Europe were invited to participate in the on-line survey and over 300 were recorded, analysed and shared publicly on O-Net platform in the form of report.
The Common Curricula Framework as well as materials gathered on the OI-Net platform were validated through 13 pilots (originally planned for 3 pilots) at different teaching levels (bachelor, master, PhD and executive training) in 8 different countries. Based on the extensive pilot evaluation, the pedagogical guidelines for open innovation and policy recommendations for open innovation education and higher educational institutions governance were developed. Furthermore, workshops focused on insights on teaching open innovation were organized as part of the training of trainers approac
During the project, partners of the consortium expressed their interest and commitment in developing an e-Teaching Handbook on Open Innovation that is dedicated not only to educators but also industry and policy makers by exploring the why and the how of OI in education. The greater part of the e-book is dedicated to teaching support and pedagogical guidelines in line with the CFF. The book will promote the results of the OI-Net project and ensure its sustainability and exploitation beyond the project scope.
These approaches result in better trained, more innovative graduates, ready to transfer their ideas for their own benefit as well as the benefit of the companies that they are going to work for. They are able to work in open innovation ecosystem, ultimately, producing high added value for the society, in general. The efficiency of these actions is ensured by the established, cooperative and coordinated network of partners, with high level of commitment.
The activities of the OI-Net community of practice will be supported by the usage of colaborative tools in addition to these on-line and face-to-face meetings, such as PADs, on-line collaborative and shared documents, wikis, open kanban... The on-line social media tool integrated within the OI-Net website will also enhanced the development of hte OI-Net Community of Practice.