DAAD RAMSES Overview

InnoSPICE Assessment in ESAK

In the latest visit at the Esak institution in Kef, the three assessor trainees of the innoSPICE methodology shared their views about the Ramses project and the innoSPICE approach. Ramses is a  DAAD project started at the beginning of 2016. The objective is the improvement of management capabilities of the participating universities in research and higher education.  It is a collaboration between IRESA and the University of Bremen.

Prof. Thouraya Souissi, when asked about the project, says that technology transfer is one of the strategic plans of IRESA. “Actually, this is one of IRESA’s mission” says Pr. Souissi. “The innoSPICE Tool fits very well on it. InnoSPICE is a tool that can be used for the improvement of all processes of an institution involved in innovation and technology. This could be very helpful to our organization ‘s improvement of technology transfer.”

A big challenge that a lot of research institutions are facing is the transfer of their results to end users, in this case farmers. Interesting research outcomes and publications are not being shared effectively. There is an understanding of this situation in IRESA, and the Ministry is trying to find a solution for these issues. “We are working to improve ourselves” Souissi says. “We are looking for new models of transfer and innovation that could help us to transfer a part of our interesting results.” Souissi believes that the use of the innoSPICE Tool, will assist with the evaluation of all processes that need to be improved. As a consequence, this could lead to the successful transfer of technology.

Prof. Souissi, said her interest in the innoSPICE tool was because she found it interesting to have a tool that can identify weak points in the organization and help improve their work. Other interesting aspects for Souissi are the opportunities that this tool offers: Staff of different categories and interests can come together and exchange ideas about the development of their institution.

“For me, it is a positive aspect of the tool, that people come together and discuss solutions and ideas that could help to improve the development and functionality of the institutions.”

Every innoSpice assessment gives her a positive impression because she already can see that the participants are getting more aware of the need to improve a lot of things.

Prof. Souissi describes it as a quick win. “I can feel that something is changing on the way that we see the things, and this is positive,” she says. In the future, Souissi would like to see the institutions, supervised by IRESA, to implement this tool in their daily work, “not just because it is required of them, but also because they see its benefit. I know that this is going to take a lot of time and work, but I am also very optimistic” she mentions.

Pr. Thouraya Souissi

Dr. Nouiri is also one the assessor trainees. He expects to train staff who, within a short period of time, could perform innoSpice assessments. “It will be very efficient if we make this a tradition, yearly assessment, and evaluation.” Nouiri believes that the innoSPICE approach can be very helpful in the Tunisian research centers of Higher Education and Agriculture. “It is exactly what we need,” he says.

Dr. Benrebah, also an assessor trainee, believes that the improvement of the research results could have a positive effect on the local community and could also increase employment in Tunisia. “The collaboration between research and industry actors can bring new results in the socioeconomic environment” he argues. Benrebah hopes that “after the completion of this project the participants will be able to apply the innoSPICE methodology on their research centers to improve the transfer of their technology and their innovative management activities.”

The innoSPICE Assessors in ESAK

DAAD RAMSES

In October 2017, Dr. Michael Boronowsky and David Wewetzer, members of the Ramses project from the University of Bremen, visited Tunisia for the further development of the innoSPICE Assessment Plan. Specifically, they visited the headquarter of IRESA, and discussed the training plan by the executive assessors and the future direction of innoSPICE within IRESA. IRESA is the Tunisian project partner of the RAMSES Project and the national center for research and education in agriculture.

The second visit of the Ramses project in Kef took place in 21 of November 2017 when, David Wewetzer together with the three trained assessors of the innoSPICE tool, Prof. Thouraya Souissi, Dr. Jamel Ben Rabeh and Dr. Issam Nouiri, visited the Esak Institute in Kef. After a requirement meeting with the Director of the Institute and the members of the group, the team decided the process that they will be focused on the next days.

David Wewetzer and Prof. Thouraya Souissi (Director of Pedagogical Affairs of IRESA) visited the Director of Esak, Prof. Mokhtar Mahouachi

On November 22, a second innoSPICE assessment was conducted with the participants. Because of the large number of participants with different interests, the group was separated in two smaller ones: one group whose focus is on research science and another whose focus is administration. The assessment was successfully completed for both groups on 24 November. The next meetings are planned in March 2018.

Above: The subgroup focused on administration activities during the innoSPICE assessment

Below: The subgroup focused on research activities.

Trifold’s Coaching for StartUps

David Wewetzer during a workshop with researchers in CBS

During a recent series of workshops within the Trifold project, junior scientists of research centers in Tunisia, thinking about running a startup company by bringing a result of their organization to the market, shared their thoughts about pathways to research valorization in Tunisia.

David Wewetzer from Bremen University and part of the Trifold team visited among others the Center of Biotechnology of Sfax (CBS) in November. “My main aim is to help researchers to succeed with their startups,” he said. “There are a lot of opportunities in terms of education and many ideas-good ideas. I am here to offer support, to show the differences of being a researcher and being an entrepreneur. Here, our project activities are addressing all levels of scientific staff in the six partnering institutions“.

 David Wewetzer visited the General Director of CBS, Pr. Sami Sayadi

Imen Zouari, a young engineer and Doctor in Biotechnology at CBS is optimistic about her progress. “I want to formulate and develop a scale-up of my product in a way that can be efficient in the market,” she says. Imen hopes that the Trifold coaching will help her with new ideas to achieve her goals while she is infrastructurally supported by the CBS- business incubator.

The incubator offers accommodation and professional support to newly created companies. In the future, the General Director, Pr. Sami Sayadi, wishes moreover to have lectures and conferences on the topic of startup formation. “This could be helpful for young researchers to achieve a high level with their products and management support,” he says.

When asked about the capacity development activities at CBS, he says: “For us, Trifold is dealing with two things. First, the transfer of our technologies into economic added value and second, a future vision, a roadmap, the building of a strategy.” Pr. Sayadi believes that Trifold is a worthy project. “We can study or gain a good idea on how our Centre could be in 5 or 10 years,“ he says. For Pr. Sayadi it is important that Tunisian research results are available to the regional industry: “It is important – not only in CBS but also in other centers”.

Pr. Sami Sayadi, General Director of CBS

Imen Zouari, Engineer and Doctor in Biotechnology, CBS

Besma Sioud, Engineer in Biotechnology in CBBC and a member of the TTO team called ARTT, says that she would like to see each single scientist to “think about technology transfer in his research.” As a member of ARTT, she would like to achieve more concrete results and hopes that the training and coaching measures of the project will help her team to accomplish this mission.

Besma Sioud

Lobna Mansouri, Chemical Engineer in CERTE, Borj Cédria, adds that for the Tunisian research centers generally “there is a big challenge to improve the relationship of economical and scientific level”. Regarding her coaching within the Trifold project, Lobna says “this is an opportunity to learn something new”.

Lobna Mansouri

 

Technology Roadmapping as strategic tool for research management within TRIFOLD

Professor. Ralf Isenmann provides international expertise to implement the roadmapping approach in the Trifold project

Prof. Ralf Isenmann from Bremen University is recognized as international expert for technology roadmapping, a tool set used in the Trifold project. “The starting point is the focus area, that each partnering research center is defining individually” he says, “because each one has a different set of adressed research subjects and technologies being developed. CBBC for example has its focus in biotech, especially in agriculture. So we decided to frame the generic roadmapping in this area and to customize it to an organization-specific level – “biotech in agriculture” would be too broad to serve as a decision making support tool for CBBC’s research labs”.

Professor Isenmann’s contribution in Trifold is specifically to provide expertise in technology roadmapping to all six partnering Tunisian research centers and all issues around it. “Roadmapping is an excellent instrument for the management of technologies and innovations“ he says. “It has proven its usefulness in the last thirty years in many industries and application purposes including technology transfer and re-arranging respective organizational strategies.”

The roadmap is a tool, flexible in its applications. It helps to systematically develop a clear and visible strategy, integrating future developments of technologies as well as of market requirements and customers’ needs. “A roadmap visualizes a strategy, so it is a powerful instrument for communication, inside an organization as well as outside to any external stakeholders. Due to its tangible visualization, it looks compelling and attractive, while linking market drivers and customer’s needs with design, function and performance indicators of products and with technological solutions, capabilities and other resources needed”.

Roadmapping workshop in CERTE, Borj Cedria

Isenmann compares the process of creating a roadmap for a Tunisian research center with working on a spreadsheet. “You can think of a roadmap is a navigation plan or as an empty table with a number of columns and rows” he argues. “The question is which are the proper levels, the proper names of the rows. Any rows are indicating a perspective that you are looking into the future. Usually, you are just focusing on technologies and on market needs. Integrating this tow perspectives is a very important and crucial task” he points out.

Prof. Isenmann describes the methologogical integration to the other project workpackages in his most recent visits to the research centers in Tunis, Borj Cédria, Sfax and Médnine as a “four-step, fast-start approach”

  1. Give a general introduction to technology roadmapping with its basic principles and project-oriented process model to start and implement quickly
  2. Conduct customized roadmapping, fine-tune it to the specific needs and requirements of each center
  3. Provide management support along the initiated roadmaps
  4. Offer customized trainings and coaching through a fine-tuned series of capacity building modules.

After the implementation in this TRIFOLD project, Isenmann hopes that technology roadmapping might be understood by the Tunisian research managers as a powerful instrument, fully integrated then as an ongoing process linking roadmapping activities with general strategic planning. He says that he would love to see the roadmapping approach as part of any research project, technology development and start-up in all research centers in Tunisia.

 

 

 

Recent actions for the Trifold project

The overarching aim of Trifold is to support the six selected Tunisian research centers in improving their research valorization. Capacity development measures have been implemented to introduce changes to their internal processes in order to increase their transfer and innovation capabilities.

Improved research valorization will have a threefold impact to the national Tunisian innovation ecosystem:

  • In terms of the evaluation methodology to be used
  • In terms of new role models being piloted in some Tunisian research centers
  • and in terms of organizational developments and institutional settings.

Research scientists in CBBC (Centre of Biotechnology of Borj Cendria) introducing their valorization activities to David Wewetzer

In October, the Trifold team from the University of Bremen visited the partnering centers in Tunisia for another working meeting with different labs and to coach their activities and deeper analyse the needs of the institutions:

In CBBC Borj Cedria, Dr. Michael Boronowsky continued the training program based on the innoSpice process capability assessment which was conducted in summer 2017 and generated a detailed assessment report. Following the report’s recommendations, the team from ARTT gets insight into many details of how to develop an individual result into a marketable thematic platform. In addition to the training sessions, individual coaching was also provided.

Participants on the project exchanging ideas about their work plan in ARTT

Ms. Tanja Woronowicz and Prof. Ralf Isenmann, also a member of the University of Bremen, coached their colleagues in IRA Médenine and the centers CERTE and CERTEn in Borj Cedria. Prof. Isenmann introduced to them the methodological approach of technology roadmapping with its principles and benefits for strategic research planning . He customized a technology roadmapping according to the very specific needs and requirements of each institution. In November 2017, both met with the General Directors of CBS in Sfax and IRA Médenine to figure out their fields of potential collaboration via a cooperation roadmap.

David Wewetzer during a workshop about startups with participants from CBS (Centre of Biotechnology of Sfax)

Mr. David Wewetzer of the University of Bremen, during his last visits in November 2017 in Tunisia, provided consultancy services to support company communication of four start-ups at CBS.

 

 

Workshop at the UNESCO IDUAI Celebration Day 2017 in Mauritius

The Innovation Capability Center will be present at the celebration event of the International Day of Universal Access to Information (IDUAI 2017) that takes place on the 28th of September in Port Luis, Mauritius during eLearning Africa, the 12th International Conference on ICT for development, education, and training. The event is hosted by the Government of the Republic of Mauritius with over 50 inspiring sessions, interactive discussions, highlight talks and keynote speeches by experts and innovators from all over Africa and beyond.


Workshop: “Knowledge societies and SMART Development”

The Innovation Capability Center is organizing on 29th September 2017 the session “Access to Space technology and knowledge for S.M.A.R.T. Development”. In this workshop, Mrs. Tanja Woronowisc, Head of Development at TZI Innovation Capability Center, will exchange ideas with other speakers about innovation as a process, good multilevel governance systems, anticipatory governance and participatory governance, build on knowledge strategies and innovation management in a multistakeholder environment that are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely). The aim is to support countries towards sustainable development based on best practices of information and knowledge transfer systems and lessons learn.

The following topics will be discussed:

  • how knowledge transfer can help further to create impact for the implementation of smart development.
  • Improved research and innovation management capacity

Confirmed partners in this session are the International Federation of Information Processing and the European Space Agency.


UNESCO and IDUAI

  

September 28th is the International Day of Universal Access to Information (also known as IDUAI). The official event takes place at UNESCO’s headquarters, with guests from all over the world, including academics, community leaders and journalists who are working towards the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs recognize the power of communication, freedom of expression and public access to information and ICT in development cooperation. UNESCO is committed to create inclusive knowledge societies and empowering local communities by increasing access and preservation.

According to UNESCO, the resolution of marking the 28th September as the “International Day for Internet Access to Information” gives the opportunity to more countries to adopt freedom to laws with access to information, policy development for multiculturalism in the cyberspace and to guarantee the integration of men and women with disabilities and ensuring that no one is left behind. The respect for Human Rights is a priority for all people of the world, without distinction of race, gender, nationality, language or religion. The importance of this day in Africa was also officially recognized by Resolution 222 of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights at its 50th ordinary session.


 

 

Innovation Capability Center attended the Smart Regions Conference in Helsinki

Dr. Michael Boronowsky represented the Innovation Capability Center on the second edition of the Smart Regions event, that took place on the 1-2 June in Helsinki and provided the opportunity to national and regional authorities to share experience of how smart specialisation has been implemented in their countries and regions. In 2014 smart specialisation strategies were introduced in the European Union´s Cohesion Policy as the basis for research and innovation investment. As a result, over 120 strategies have been established to shape investments from 2014-20.

The event provided the opportunity to share experience between projects supported by the European Structural Investment Funds and other EU programmes and policies in the areas of research, industrial policy, education and skills. It has been enabled project promoters to learn from experience in other regions and find cooperation partners across EU in areas such as energy, agri-food, industrial modernisation, cybersecurity, health and the maritime industry.

In addition, there was an opportunity to debate the future of innovation in the context of European regional development with senior representatives from the European institutions and national and regional governments. The conclusions of the discussion will be a contribution to the discussion on the future of Cohesion Policy post-2020

P2L2 Newsletter

The Public Policy Living Lab (P2L2) project supports countries and regions invested in the field of advanced materials by introducing or improving local policy to support innovation in this field.

P2L2’s main aim is to improve policy instruments by supporting innovation ecosystems of advanced materials; supporting the implementation and evaluation of the Smart Specialization Strategies (RIS3), and coordinating regional policies between sectors to facilitate a real innovation ecosystem beyond administrative regional boundaries.

What you might have missed

Some of our recently concluded activities include:

Study visit Vilnius (Lithuania) 4th-6th April 2017

On the first week of April, the Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre (MOSTA) together with the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA) hosted a regional study visit. Participants had the opportunity of analyzing the main elements of the Lithuanian ecosystem and meeting important players responsible for the definition, implementation and review of the RIS3.

During the study visit in Vilnius, the project partners also visited some local companies, institutes and research centers such as:

EKSPLA, a manufacturer of lasers, laser systems and laser components for R&D and industrial applications;

Elinta, a company specialized in trading in automation elements, industry automation, electric vehicles, charging points, trading in measurement instruments, production of computer vision systems, electric drives for bicycles;

National innovation and entrepreneurship center (NIVC), an institute devoted to implement the highest standards of innovation development in all science and business cooperation fields at national and international level. Main services: innovation management, technology transfer, intellectual property management, research and development;

Altechna, a supplier of laser-related products and solutions, specialized in the following key fields of activity: laser-related components, distribution of well-known photonics industry brands in local markets; R&D solutions in laser optics; manufacturing of laser-related components;

Center for Physical Sciences and Technology (FTMC), the largest scientific research institution in Lithuania carrying out a fundamental research and technological development works in scientific fields of laser technologies, optoelectronics, nuclear physics, organic chemistry, bio and nanotechnologies, electrochemical material science, functional materials, electronic etc.

 

Recent activities of P2L2

Kick-off meeting Bremen (Germany) In June 2016, the project organised the kick-off meeting in Bremen, hosted by the three regional partners. The participating regions presented their policy instruments for analysis and improvement. Partners had the opportunity of meeting regional representatives responsible for the RIS3 strategy and meeting stakeholders from Bremen and neighbouring regions like Airbus DS, and Hamburg State Chancellery representatives. Participants also had the opportunity of visiting interesting installations like the Airbus New Materials Centre (ALM Additive Layer Manufacturing Plateau) and the Ariane Rocket Integration facilities.

Research meeting (Lithuania) In September 2016, a number of partners took part in a workshop to define the Limited Mapping methodology for analysing the process of definition, implementation and evaluation of RIS 3 strategies, with special attention to advanced materials.

Study visit Bremen (Germany) In September 2016, Bremen partners hosted a regional study visit. Following the fishbowl methodology, the participants exchanged knowledge and experiences on the Bremen policy instrument, specifically about the ECOMAT Centre for eco-efficient materials and technologies which are currently under construction.

In these two and a half days, the partners visited the Alfred Wegener Polar Research Institute (AWI) and met with representatives from the Bionic Lightweight Design and Functional Morphology Department, the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM), the Carbon Fibre Composite Centre (CFK) and the research facilities of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR).

Study visit Rzeszow (Poland) In November 2016, the Rzeszow University of Technology, together with the Marshal Office of the Region Podkarpackie, hosted a study visit in Rzeszów.

Participants exchanged experiences on the Podkarpackie RIS 3 policy instrument with representatives of the regional ecosystems like the Aviation Valley Association and the Rzeszow Innovation Agency, one of the biggest clusters in Poland. The hosting partners offered a comprehensive overview of the best regional practices. The functioning Podkarpackie Innovation Council and the Aviation Valley explained their connection with the regional strategy for advanced materials.

The study visit benefitted from the participation of experts in R&D, innovation, and regional policy like Mr Krzysztof Mieszkowski from the Joint Research Centre in Seville.

Partners visited research and production facilities of important players of the aviation valley like Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky a Lockheed Martin Company, the laboratories of the Rzeszow Technical University, Podkarpackie Science and Technology Park “AEROPOLIS”.

Meet the Public Policy Living Lab

The Public Policy Living Lab (P2L2) applies interregional policy learning and exchange of experiences on important aspects of the regional innovation ecosystems, focusing on the field of advanced materials.

P2L2’s main aim is to improve policy instruments by

  • supporting innovation ecosystems of advanced materials;
  • supporting the implementation and evaluation of the Smart specialization strategies (RIS3);
  • coordinating regional policies between sectors to facilitate a real innovation ecosystem beyond administrative regional boundaries.

The project runs from April 2016 to March 2020. During this time partners will have the opportunity to exchange, compare, and learn from each other how to improve their relevant policy instruments. After 2 years of policy learning and exchange, each region will prepare an action plan with the main action to be implemented at the regional level and monitored during the last 2 years.

P2L2 goes beyond traditional ‘good practice sharing’. Results will not only improve policy instruments for increasing growth and innovation rates. The project will also deliver a “limited mapping” tool and add value by aligning S3 strategies within one field – that of advanced materials –  between different regions to identify overlaps, gaps, complementarity and opportunities for European collaboration.

The Participant Regions

Bremen

The State of Bremen (Germany) has several policy tools for fostering research, development, and innovation in regional enterprises. This project focuses on EcoMat – a center for eco-efficient materials & technology that involves actors from industry such as Airbus and research.

Podkarpackie

The Podkarpackie Province is a region with a strong regional focus on Aviation and Defence industries. Their policy tool aims at constantly involving stakeholders into policy framing, creating medium-term strategies, identifying business and scientific fields of excellence, and developing cooperation projects.

Piedmont

The Piemonte region in Italy focuses on establishing advanced materials as key enabling technology across a wide range of industries. Promoting advanced materials as a cross-sectional element of different production processes would boost innovation potential.

Aquitaine

The Aquitaine region (France) focuses on the field of chemistry for developing the competitiveness of the advanced materials. Their aim is to check whether their strategy is sound in terms of creating an innovation ecosystem, industrializing businesses, and demonstrating the cross-cutting capacity with other specialization areas.

Denmark

Denmark pursues its own Cluster and Network Strategy. This strategy is an attempt to integrate innovation networks at both the national and regional levels, thus creating an effective framework for knowledge sharing and growth in the networks while optimizing the delegation and coordination of tasks among the involved public bodies.

Lithuania
Lithuania presents its Innovoucher LT policy instrument. The aim of the instrument is to encourage business-science cooperation by providing SMEs with a voucher to perform R&D activities with research institutions. Innovouchers are one of the supportive services in the field of Lithuanian advanced materials sector.