Innovation Capability Center on ILA, Aircraft and Space Fair

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IMG_3068Dr. Michael Boronowsky visited the ILA Berlin Air Show on 2.-3.6.2016. Goal of the visit was to promote the new INTERREG EUROPE project P2L2 (Public Policy Living Lab) and to support our partner cbProcess presenting our commom project cbCert.

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Presenting the cbCert project on the cbProcess booth of the BDLI.

This visit was also an excellent opportunity to meet with regional stakeholders (like AIRBUS and AIRBUS DS) and to learn more about the lates trends in Space and Aircraft technologies.

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Rainer Elvermann, CEO from cbProcess (4th person from left) introduces the cbCert Project to a high level delegation on the AIRBUS booth (Prof. G. Gruppe, Board Member of DLR, 3rd person from right)

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State of Bremen is presenting the new EcoMat center

The federal state of Bremen presented on their own booth the ECOMAT (Center for Eco-Efficient Materials and Technologies). The Innovation Capability Center of the University Bremen supports ECOMAT as methodical partner in the area Organisation / structures / processes. The cbCert project provides a tool for context based knowledge management and certification and the new P2L2 project is a policy oriented project to foster research and innovation in advanced materials:

  • coordinated and effective regional development and innovation policies
  • cooperation between EU regions in the field of advanced materials and Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM).
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Deputy Prime Minister Ilse Aigner, of the State of Bavaria. ILA Charlet of Federal States Bremen, Lower Saxony, Bavaria.

The ILA was also a impressive demonstration about the importance of the Aerospace domain in the northern part of Germany.

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Rainer Elvermann, cbProcess (right) after successful presenation of his company on the ILA.

 

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Space Pavilion on the ILA

 

Participation in the FETRIC Stakeholder Workshop, Tunisia

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The Team of Innovation Capability Center participated in the Stakeholder Workshop that was organized by the  Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MHESR) and the Project Management Agency (DLR-PT) in the context of the FP7-FETRIC Project.

Agenda FETRIC Stakeholder Workshop

Agenda of the Workshop

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Tanja Woronowicz is presenting the findings of the three innoSPICE assessments.

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Prof. Dargouth, president of IRESA and partner of the DAAD RAMSES Project, in discussion with Tanja Woronowicz and Prof. Ralf Isenmann from University of Bremen.

Mrs. Tanja Woronowicz presented the results of three innoSPICE assessments that had been carried out during the last month in three Tunisian research centers (CERTE, CRTEn, CBS). These results were discussed with participants from the different research organizations and leading representatives form the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Research.The detailed analysis provided by Tanja and her conclusions were commented by the participants very positive.It was remarked “that thecenters had participated in several different assessments, but that the innoSPICE approach can really help to improve the situation of the centers”. Prof. Ralf Isenmann gave an introduction to the methods foresight and road mapping. He is professor at the Munich University of Applied Science and also Member of the University of Bremen (IPMI). Dr. Michael Boronowsky presented the University of Bremen and introduced the Innovation Capability Center to the audience. In this context he also gave a brief introduction to the DAAD Ramses project that is performed in collaboration with the Tunisian IRESA institute.

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Impression from the wonderful conference location at the Movenpick Hotel in Tunis.

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Dinner in the Medina of Tunis

Academia-Industry Interface Improvement – Absorptive and Desorptive Capacities

Academia Industry Collaboration for innovation

Photo based on Petr Kratochvil under Public Domain License (http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=72981&picture=hands-holding-jigsaw&large=1)

Introduction

We, the Innovation Capability Center, are sub-titling our activities with the term “Improving the Academia/Science-Industry Interface” or “Improving the Science-Society Interface”. As we at least are talking about two different stakeholders and an interface between them, it is interesting to understand the diverse dimensions of this task. Think about an optimized flow of knowledge from a knowledge creator to a knowledge recipient that should lead to Innovation.

Absorptive Capacity

Photo by George Hodan under Public Domain License (http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=30522&picture=domino&large=1)

Photo by George Hodan under Public Domain License (http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=30522&picture=domino&large=1)

One dimension is the absorptive capacity of e.g. a company receiving knowledge form an university within a regional knowledge transfer. According to wikipedia absorptive capacity has been defined as “a firm’s ability to recognize the value of new information, assimilate it, and apply it to commercial ends“. In principle the responsibility and active part for improvement in this case is on the side of the company. In the context of the science-industry interface this could mean, that science is producing valuable new knowledge, and the better the absorptive capacity of the company gets, the commercial success of the company is increasing.  A provoking question in this context is:  “does this work for all kind of knowledge that is generated at the academic side of the Interface?“. In fact this question is very difficult to answer. On the long run several examples can be found how basic research results have become very relevant for commercialization within a period of several years or even decades. We personally don’t think that even the highest absorptive capacity will help to turn every scientific result into an economic success. There is no invariance of the “kind and quality” of a result to become an innovation. But, at least companies need the capability to understand the implication of new research results for their own innovation processes.

Desorptive Capacity

Photo by Daniele Pellati under Public Domain License (http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=47378&picture=e-mc2&large=1)

Photo by Daniele Pellati under Public Domain License (http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=47378&picture=e-mc2&large=1)

Let’s think about the second dimension, with the responsibility and active part in improving the interface is on the side of academia. It has to be something opposite to the “absorptive capacity” maybe a “desorptive capacity”. And indeed in 2006, Lichtenthaler was defining the term desorptive capacity “which refers to a firm’s ability to identify technology transfer opportunities and to transfer technology to the recipient“. In our example the “firm” will be the university and its capability to produce results according to recognized acquirer needs and to hand over the results to them. This definition has two aspects. First

  • the capacity to understand technology transfer opportunities, including e.g.
    • the identification of suitable own research results,
    • adaptation of the own research to external opportunities,
    • an approach to analyze recipient needs etc.

and

  • the capability to handover results to the recipient including e.g.
    • form and quality of the released technology,
    • contractual issues with suitable agreements,
    • networks of potential recipients, investors, etc.

One may argue, that a higher desorptive capacity is increasingly violating the humboldtian model of the freedom of research.  This problem can arise when e.g. a research organization has no defined strategy on how much adaptation of the own research to external opportunities is needed for the operation of the organization. And in addition: to perform a better analysis of own research results for transfer, or to support the recipient to absorb the results more easily is not per se in conflict with the nature of the university! Instruments, like e.g. the ISO/IEC 15504 standard based model innoSPICE, can help to support research organizations to increase their “desorptive” capacity.

Conclusion

Collaboration between Academia and Industry shoulkd lead to Innovation

Photo by McLac2000 under Public Domain License (https://pixabay.com/de/puzzel-zusammenarbeit-partnerschaft-1020221/)

The motivation to write this article is based on the observation, that absorptive capacity currently has become a buzzword. We think that this term is a very convenient one for academia, as changes are not requested from them in a first step. For sure there is a need to improve absorption of new knowledge on the side of the companies or society. But in our opinion it is a mistake to understand absorptive capacity decoupled from desorptive capacity. There should be a common interest from academia, industry and even society to improve both capacities in a good Balance.

Invited Talk, ISO/IEC 15504 innoSPICE – Innovation Capability at the Science – Industry Interface

headerDr. Michael Boronowsky from the Innovation Capability Center at the University of Bremen was invited by the Verwertungsverbung Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (VVB-MV) to present the topic “ISO/IEC 15504 innoSPICE – Innovation Capability at the Science – Industry Interface. The presentation was part of the event “Competitive Advantages by Innovation Management” (german only). This event was the starting point for a series of events to the topic “Innovation as a driver for growth”. The event was organized by VVB MV, the ATI-Küste GmbH (Enterprise Europe Network) and the Patent und Normen-Zentrum der Universität Rostock.

IMG_1252The VVB-MV is the confederation of twelve universities and research institutes in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The office of the VVB acquires funding for the legal protection university’s own inventions, manages these funds and market the university inventions to the public.

The presentation of Dr. Boronowsky was touching the following topics:

  • The nature and challenges of the science – industry/society interface.
  • Insights to the innovation capability of Universities and research centers.
  • The relation of individual learning and organizational learning.
  • Reliability in action – process orientation and quality management in innovation, knowledge and technology transfer.
  • innoSPICE as a tool to manage and to support the continuous improvement of the innovation capability.
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Dr. Boronowsky from the Innovation Capability Center is presenting the specific challenges at the academia – industry interface.

The several practical examples of typical challenges in the technology transfer process sounded very familiar to parts of the audience. The presentation was stressing the fact, that a productive collaboration between university and industry has to be based on professional management principles. Up to now the principle of hope is to often the foundation of a collaboration in this field. But to be a capable player within the innovation cycle requires professional and reliable acting. innoSPICE was introduced as one important management tool, that helps universities and research centers to reflect on the own capabilities in a structured and standardized way. There is a urgent need to support organizational learning in this area. So the mere improvement of individual skills is not sufficient enough, as organizational learning is much more than the sum of the individual competences. To improve the organizational capability it is also important to improve the structure and the processes of an organization. Being a reliable partner within the science industry interface requires a continuous reflection of the own acting. The ISO/IEC 15504 standard based model innoSPICE is supporting this reflection, using principles that have been successfully applied in e.g. software development industry since more than 25 years.

Chancen & Gefahren gewerblicher Schutzrechte - Eine Einführung in die Rechtsgrundlagen PA Stefan Rieke, SCHNICK & GARRELS Patentanwälte, Rostock

Chancen & Gefahren gewerblicher Schutzrechte – Eine Einführung in die Rechtsgrundlagen PA Stefan Rieke, SCHNICK & GARRELS Patentanwälte, Rostock

Even if the presentation was very dense and speedy – there was a very active and positive discussion at the end of the presentation. Several participants were agreeing to the proposed challenges and the need for more reliable structures and quality management also in this area. Most obvious the topic is very relevant for people with an interest to improve the own performance in the knowledge and technology transfer process.

All presentation given during this event were well selected and informative. All in all, it was a successful start of this planned series of events. IMG_1832

Proposal Evaluation and Selection Meeting

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The management team of the Innovation Capability Center , Mrs. Tanja Woronowicz and Dr. Michael Boronowsky, were appointed to the Technical Committee of the Proposals’ evaluation and selection meeting of the “Improvement of the innovation management capacity of Research Centres” (IMC-RC) program call.  This competitive call for proposals was launched by the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MHESR) in the context of the FP7-FETRIC Project.

The proposal evaluation meeting took place at 13.10.2015 in Tunis, for the selection of one research centre/laboratory from each social challenge

  • Resource efficiency particularly Water,
  • High Quality Affordable Food and
  • Energy particularly renewable energies.

IMG_1823Research centres/laboratories were asked to specify their goals and gaps, identify own strengths and propose its approach for reforms at the level of innovation management capacity. In three pilot projects a adapted plan for improving innovation capacities will be developed for each research centre/laboratory beneficiary of the IMC-RC program.

 

Project “cb-cert” has started

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Link to our partner cbprocess.

In collaboration with our partner cbprocess, Bremen the project cb-cert has kicked off on 15th July 2015. This development project is actively supported by AIRBUS DS in Bremen. This innovation oriented collaboration is funded by WFB Business Development Agency Bremen in the framework of the FEI programme and will take 24 months.

cb-cert intends to develop a software framework supporting the coherent management and audits according to ISO9001:2015 and ISO/IEC 15504 innoSPICE. The focus is on improving the collaboration quality between heterogeneous partner organizations for innovation activities (on technical level as well as on the economical level). The solution will be piloted in the context of EcoMat – Center for Eco-efficient Materials and Technologies Bremen and will be extended to other large corporations in the second phase of the project.

An increasing global competition leads to a growing cost pressure. It also increases the need to coordinate processes systematically in research and development, manufacturing, distribution, service and logistics. Furthermore a certified, process-oriented quality assurance is a relevant component of many organizations’ business strategy. For some manufacturer, supplier and international acting companies a quality certification is even
mandatory. A fast, reliable and up-to-date communication flow between all stakeholders is essential to strengthen the competitive position of an organization. cb-cert provides a solution that allows links between different processes, documents and data with a high precision.

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cb-cert will:

  • make the new ISO 9001:2015 and ISO/IEC 15504 innoSPICE available in electronic form to support assessment, and process oriented quality management;
  • support the process oriented approach with flexible visualizations, cross linking between processes/base practices/process documentation/process capability assessments/process mapping etc;
  • ensure compatibility between different management systems and standard software suites. Products like MS Powerpoint, MS Sharepoint, SAP or the support of proprietary solutions via smart tags will be supported;
  • ensure appropriate integration of process relevant documentation;
  • support management oriented thinking by adopting Plan-Do-Check-Act-Cycles during process implementation.

ISO 9001:2015 and ISO/IEC 15504 innoSPICE are supposed to be synergetic components of quality management is expected to ensure a high degree of independence even in very close cooperation settings. On the other hand it will support the transfer of knowledge and technologies on a high quality level.

eINTERASIA Project finished

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The eINTERASIA project Team and the project reviewers. Meeting in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The Final Conference

The EU-FP7 Project eINTERASIA – ICT Transfer Concept for Adaption, Dissemination cropped-cropped-eINTERASIA_Logo_final11and Local Exploitation of European Research Results in Central Asian Countries – finished with the Final Conference at 27.08.2015 in Almaty at the premises of Almaty Management University (ALMA) and the final Review on 28.08.2015.

IMG_0532The objectives of the final conference: to get together the interested specialists to share the knowledge and ideas in the area of innovative IT solutions, technology transfer and to present the major results obtained within the eINTERASIA project.

IMG_0524About 100 participants from different sectors (academic sphere, transport and logistics companies, IT enterprises and technological parks, small and medium businesses) took part in this event.

Invited speakers:

  1. V. Kopanas (EC). ICT in Horizon 2020. Focus on Work Programme 2016-2017 download
  2. K. Magzieva (NCP – KZ).The Role of National Contact Point of Kazakhstan to strengthen cooperation between the EU and Kazakhstan download
  3. A. Kozhakhmetov (President of Almaty Management University). The use of innovative IT solutions at the university download

eINTERASIA project coordinator Prof. Novickis (RTU, Latvia) and Prof. Kozhakhmetov (President of Almaty Management University).

Several presentations of the conference have been devoted to the outputs of eINTERASIA. Beyond others Mrs. Tanja Woronowicz presented “Standardized Knowledge Transfer linking European Research with Central Asian Business Development  – ISO/IEC 15504 innoSPICE” and Dr. Michael Boronowsky were talking about “Showrooms as a Windows to Scientific Based Innovations”

Informal discussion between presenters and participants has been held after the presentations session. Ways of bilateral cooperation beyond the project between different partners have been agreed.

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The final review of the eINTERASIA project

The Review Meeting

The formal closure of the Project was the final Project Review held on day after the final conference. The eINTERASIA Project aimed at supporting an international cooperation with Developing Economies of Central Asia by creating an innovative ICT Transfer Concept and business model for adaptation, dissemination and local exploitation of EU research results. Geographical region of Central Asia which is of great importance to the EU as a bridge to China, Afganistan, Vietnam and the Middle East was selected to demonstrate eINTERASIA universal approaches. In the consortium the Region was represented by organizations from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan with main focus to Kazakhstan (low and middle income countries).

During the meeting the results of the last deliverables were presented and discussed with the reviewers. The very active work and the convincing team play was positively perceived and the deliverables were accepted by the reviewers beside two minor remarks. The Innovation Capability Center was very pleased to work within this consortium, to visit regions with huge future potential, and to learn from each others perspectives. The project was coordinated by Prof. Leonids Novickis from Riga Technical University (RTU), and we are thankful for the very professional work and the excellent management of our project!

The eINTERASIA Technology Transfer Questionaire

Beside the great partnership, the new networks and the insights that we have developed during the project, the Generic Technology Transfer Concept will be a sustainable result for the Innovation Capability Center. Based on the partnership with Prof. Antanas Mitasiunas from Mitsoft the Innovation Capability Center at University of Bremen was responsible to develop this concept. It is founded on the ISO/IEC 15505 Standard based model innoSPICE to facilitate transformation of ICT research results into local Innovation. A questionaire was developed that is alligned with the structure of the innoSPICE process reference model. In eINTERASIA this questionaire was used to transform individual research results into a unified representation – helping to strucutre relevant Information related to the commercialization and the transfer of the results into new application areas. This questionaire is dealing with a central challenge in assessing the transferability of individual research results – how to structure the transfer relevant “non technical meta data” of a research result. The Innovation Capability center will continue to establish this idea as an element of the knowledge- and technology transfer process. The questionnaire can e.g. be an important standardized element to improve the deal flow from university to potential investors.  It will an efficient way to understand the readiness and completeness of research results to generate societal or commercial values from an non-technical perspective.

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Impression from the great nature in Uzbekistan at the eINTERASIA project meeting in Tashkent (Mai 2015)

 

ENGAGE selected

Our finished European INTERREG 4C Project ENGAGE logois selected to represent the INTERREG 4C program (now INTERREG Europe) on the 25 years anniversary of the INTERREG program. The event will take place 15.-16.9.2015 in Luxembourg and ENGAGE will be presented during the “Project Slam”. The draft program of this event can be found here.

Among others the project was selected because of its “outstanding” and “cutting-edge” communication strategy with “high reach into politics”. Together with our regional partners from eventfive we were responsible for the planning and implementation of the project communication strategy.

Technology Transfer Handbook released

The Technology Transfer Handbook – Moldovan-Estonian cooperation in Technology Transfer by learning good practices, was recently submitted for download as project output of the BITTEM project.

The innovation capability center had supported the BITTEM Project founded by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. BITTEM stands for Bilateral Technology Transfer Excellence for Moldova and was coordinated by Tallinn University of Technology from Estonia (TUT) and Industry of Republic of Moldova (CCI RM), the Agency for Innovation and Technology Transfer (AITT), the Organization for Small and Medium Enterprises Sector Development (ODIMM), the Center for International Projects of the Academy of Science of Moldova (ASM). As a good governance project, BITTEM aims improving the coordination, information flow, transparency, and accountability of the technology transfer process between the most important Moldovan stakeholders and private enterprises, aiming at Public Private Partnership.

Technology_Transfer_HandbookOur team had supported the training event in Feb. 2014 in Chisinau, Moldova and contributed to the Technology Transfer Handbook with a chapter: “innoSPICE: Prepare the implementation in Moldova”.  Reflecting on the potential benefits on the use of innoSPICE for the Moldovan innovation system.

The Project was led by Dr. Siemon Smid one of the leading European experts in technology transfer and Entrepreneurship support.

The handbook can be downloaded here.