Marie Curie RISE Proposal: Educate, Ideate and Diffuse

Dear all – in Zweibrücken we laid the foundation for a new project proposal under the leadership of the University of Padova focused on disseminating the capability to accelerate the diffusion of innovations from ideation to market saturation. Three basic phases were identified: Educate, Ideate and Diffuse. The phases would of course be “packaged” in the normal supporting work packages around management, quality assurance, effectiveness evaluation etc. like we have in our current Knowledge Alliance proposal. The image is a first draft of a potential logo and name courtesy Peter Plapper, University of Luxembourg. The proposed project name of “Kardinal” needs to be explored further since it will need to represent a suitable acronym.

Structurally we discussed creating a distributed network of higher education nodes across Europe where researchers would deliver the phases and “circulate” participants among themselves in enable cross-contamination. Starting nodes could be in Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia (for the Baltics), Luxembourg, Portugal, and Slovakia. The opportunity of creating nodes outside of Europe with the support of the Entovation Network (www.entovation.com) needs to be explored.

After some initial investigation I am recommending to create a proposal in response to the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) call which is due April 28th, 2020. Pending a lot more learning about the requirements of the call we could target a 4 year project with at least 2 full time researchers/fellows per node and a significant mobility component. The current business representatives of the Knowledge Alliance proposal could join and by requesting fellowships we would also be able to support individual colleagues from a variety of organizational types. From my current understanding RISE funds researcher / fellow staff positions on a unit cost basis. Essentially this is a proposal to create a distributed innovation acceleration SPACE from ideation to market saturation for high value manufacturing based on STEAM principles (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math). Once we understand the participation requirements of the call we will be able to issue invitations for participation.

The below image is a first attempt to illustrate the phases of the project. Looking at our efforts to date the COST proposal will accelerate creating the network, the ERASMUS+ Knowledge Alliance proposal will do the research and piloting, and the RISE proposal will primarily diffuse the new knowledge across Europe (only a small research component involved).



The education offering will be tiered to support higher education, vocational, and continuous professional development levels. It will be joint ECRS (6 CPs ?) accredited, “stackable” and micro-certified to build towards a specialization in “Innovation Diffusion Acceleration” that could be at home in existing Masters programs initially.

Potential existing efforts we could learn from are ENACTUS (https://enactus.org/) and KTN (https://ktn-uk.co.uk/). 

On a work packages side we discussed that developing the educational materials might be supported via ed-Media and initial deliveries via the nodes could be coordinated via Uni Luxembourg. The nodes would then leverage a toolbox of methods to deliver ideation workshops and the diffusion of created innovation would then be monitored using the innovation diffusion toolsets/simulations from our current work.

We also gathered the following required benefits for participants in the proposal and these will need to be embedded in the proposal design – no particular order in the following list:

·         Growth in individual and organizational reputation
·         Money flow to university
·         Creating a new breed of innovative entrepreneurs
·         New staff positions (at least 1 per organization)
·         New university training offerings
·         Consulting team and coaching programs for technological companies and government
·         Personal marketing, personal individual income and engagement expenses covered
·         Flexible workloads that are easily distributed over time
·         Protected intellectual capital
·         Tangible products with recurring revenue

Finally we gathered a list of criteria for a successful project – list below without particular order and original inputs a little edited to consolidate the story:

·         Management
o   Good / strict project coordinator
o   Sanctions for non-performance
o   Define and agree on work packages, expected outcomes, time/deadlines, budgets
o   Excellent project and time management
o   Excellent knowledge / information management
·         Deliverables and Milestones
o   Agreed
o   On-time
o   Observe deadlines
o   Few and very clear actions
o   Spell out input for each part before kicking off, i.e. paper writing, set up authorship upfront
o   Challenging
o   Clear model of innovation based on analysis
·         Collaboration
o   Transparency
o   To listen to each other
o   Be committed to same goals
o   Reciprocal sharing of responsibility
o   Clear work package leadership
o   Accident free communication
o   Take advantage of existing initiatives
o   Complementarity
o   Trustful
o   Open adaptive tribal
o   Respect each others input even if you don’t agree with it
o   No ego shooters
o   READ what is circulated and come with that knowledge to discussions
o   Socialization and face to face meetings to create trust
o   Mutual sympathy
o   Treat all partners with respect
o   Trust in the competence of partners
·         Network
o   Self-selection
o   Co-ownership and co-evolution
o   Spread across Europe (i.e. 4 partners, 2 west, 2 east Europe)

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