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


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.

First innoSPICE Assessment at IRESA for the DAAD Ramses Project


The RAMSES project Team from University of Bremen, David Wewetzer and, Dr. Michael Boronowsky, performed an innoSPICE Assessment on management level at the Tunisian research institute IRESA, from 21.3-23.3.2016. It was the first assessment of a planned series of innoSPICE assessments within the networks of the connected Research Institutes and Higher Education Institutions. IRESA is comprising 23 Research Centers and HEIs and is directly connected to the Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture. IMG_2929The DAAD RAMSES project has the goal to improve the management capacities in the area knowledge- and technology transfer. This assessment was focusing on the validation and reflection on the new structures, that are currently established within IRESA. The IRESA team was headed by the President of IRESA, Prof. Mohamed Aziz Darghouth.


The Team from Bremen University was very impressed how fast the whole IRESA Team was getting into the innoSPICE approach. The overall atmosphere oft he assessment was very open and targeted. The three days were very dense and productive, and a lot of challenging details, related to improvement of organizational processes had been discussed.It was summarized by the participants that the assessment was
a valuable and helpful experience and that there is an interest to learn how to integrate this approach into the management practices of IRESA.


The innovation Capability Center team is very happy about this cooperation and we are looking forward to continue the project work soon.


RAMSES Project start at IRESA


Prof. Mohamed Aziz Darghouth, Dr. Ali Rhouma, Prof. Thouraya Souissi (from left to right)

The DAAD RAMSES project is based on a partnership between Germany, Egypt and
Tunisia. In the starting phase of the project the activities were concentrated on Cairo University. According to the operative planning the project activities were starting in Tunisia this week with the institution of Agricultural Research and Higher Education  IRESA. logo-iresaIRESA is constituted of 12 research institutions and centers and 11 institutions of Higher Education in Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, with the following major research Areas:


  •  Food security
  •  Sustainable management of natural resources (water, soil)
  •  Development of crops of high added value for exportation
  •  Quality of agricultural products (vegetables and animals)


In a very productive meeting  Mrs. Tanja Woronowicz and Dr. Michael Boronowsky from the Innovation Capability Center of the University of Bremen, discussed with the IRESA management

  • Prof. Mohamed Aziz Darghouth: President of IRESA
  • Prof. Thouraya Souissi: Director of Pedagogical affairs
  • Dr. Ali Rhouma: Director of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation of research programs (Directorate of research)
  • Mabrouk Helali: General Secretary
  • Issam Rebai: Engineer Responsible of the quality in ag. higher education at the directorate of the pedagogical affairs

Mrs. Tanja Woronowicz presents the innoSPICE approach, that is applied in the framework of the RAMSES project.

about the current strategic orientation and about the organizational challenges of IRESA.The objectives of the RAMSES project are in good correspondence with the management objectives. There is a strong interest of RAMSES to increase the employability of the graduating students due to a better alignment with the requirements of the job market. IRESA management team also is interested to improve the internal structure and processes and to develop a stronger position in the valorization of the research results. The ISO/IEC 15504 standard based model innoSPICE was introduced and understood as a valuable instrument to support and improve management processes at IRESA. The Innovation Capability Center was invited to present the innoSPICE concept in upcoming conferences. It was agreed to start with the innoSPICE guided self assessment in the begin of the next year.