Dr. 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.
The 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.
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.
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.