Self Commitment to the “Doing Development Differently Manifesto” and to PDIA Principles

Dr. Boronowsky signed on behalf of the Innovation Capability Center at Bremen University the “Doing Development Differently (DDD) Manifesto”. The Manifesto is a statement of the Doing Development Differently workshop. The workshop was hosted in October 2014 by the Building State Capability (BSC) program at the Center for International Development at Harvard University, and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

The Innovation Capability Center is fully agreeing to the common principles of successful initiatives addressed in this manifesto:

  • They focus on solving local problems that are debated, defined and refined by local people in an ongoing process.
  • They are legitimised at all levels (political, managerial and social), building ownership and momentum throughout the process to be ‘locally owned’ in reality (not just on paper).
  • They work through local conveners who mobilise all those with a stake in progress (in both formal and informal coalitions and teams) to tackle common problems and introduce relevant change.
  • They blend design and implementation through rapid cycles of planning, action, reflection and revision (drawing on local knowledge, feedback and energy) to foster learning from both success and failure.
  • They manage risks by making ‘small bets’: pursuing activities with promise and dropping others.
  • They foster real results – real solutions to real problems that have real impact: they build trust, empower people and promote sustainability.

Our center wants to be member of the emerging community of development practitioners and observers, that believes that development initiatives can – and must – have greater impact. We pledge to apply these principles in our own efforts to pursue, promote and facilitate development progress, to document new approaches, to spell out their practical implications and to foster their refinement and wider adoption.

Furthermore, we want to point out the importance of an approach called Process Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA) for building and developing state capabilities. PDIA is the building block of a fast growing initiative “Building State Capability” that is currently also supported by World Bank. We considerate it the future in building capability and will give a deeper analysis of PDIA and its adaptation to the domain “building innovation capability” in our next blog posting.

The development approaches of our center in the field of knowledge transfer, research valorization and innovation are highly in line with the ideas of PDIA. We understand all developments as highly contextualized with a strong need for local solutions of problems that require exploration, experimentation and failures as well. We do not believe that brute force copies of external best practices, tons of foreign “lecture style” trainings or huge investments in infrastructure without real adaptation to the local systems will help to generate sustainable societal and economic impact of research driven activities.

The tools and methods of the Innovation Capability Center follow the ideals addressed in the DDD-Manifesto and they are conformant to the principles of PDIA. They are supporting iterative continuous management approaches that can be adapted to any maturity level of organizations and are driven in a bottom up fashion, like the ISO/IEC standard conformant process reference model innoSPICE. Our center wants to complement input-output driven approaches. According to our experiences,  conventional evaluation methods might  be misleading for developing innovation systems. We provide sensitive instruments in capability development which feed small initiatives with space and conditions they need to grow.

The Innovation Capability center is committed to spread the word and the necessity of the principles of the DDD-Manifesto, approaches like PDIA, CLA and Adaptive Management among their partners and beyond. We want to be a part of an equal minded community digging deeper and do not stop until problems are solved in the real world and not only in papers!

The management team of the Innovation Capability Center at Bremen University

Dr. Michael Boronowsky & Tanja Woronowicz

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.

 

 

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

Innovation Capability Center visited Agya Conference, Berlin

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Migration and Transnational Cooperation

Dr. Michael Boronowsky from the innovation Capability center at the University of Bremen visited the conference

Migration and Transnational Cooperation in Education, Research and Innovation, 2 – 3 May 2016, Berlin, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Kapelle-Ufer 1, 10117 Berlin.

Migration and flight open up a wide variety of chances and cause at the same time major challenges to societies in the Arab world as well as in Europe, including Germany. The AGYA Working Group Arab and German Education provided new impetus on migration issues, in particular from Arab perspectives, and discussed on education across borders. In five thematic workshops renowned scientists and high-ranking experts addressed the following topics:

  • Agya-posterIntegrating migrants into the university
  • Innovation and knowledge transfer
  • Online and blended learning initiatives and institutions
  • Teacher education and education research
  • Migration research and education

Furthermore, the event offered a dialogue platform for Arab and German university presidents to enhance the mutual recognition of conditions and requirements in the respective higher education systems and to facilitate circular migration of students and scientists.

The event was visited by 200 scientist and Universities leaders from 19 Countries. It was an excellent platform for exchange on operative but also on a political level. The Innovation Capability Center visited the workshop for technology transfer and innovation, where several presentations were given related to the current situation of tech trans in the Arab world and several best practices were introduced during this event.

DAAD RAMSES Assessment Training

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Introduction

The innoSPICE training at Cairo University (CU) was continuing from 8.-12.11.2015. Focus of this training was the performance of an innoSPICE based activity assessment with trainees from the nursing faculty, dentistry and the administration of CU. Beside this initial evaluation, the preparation for the planned innoSPICE assessment pilot and process improvement at level of the nursing and dentistry faculty was discussed. To prepare these assessments, the trainees will perform an analysis and write a report of two existing activities in two departments of each faculty (to be selected), thereby developing a better understanding how far societal or commercial needs are considered in these activities:IMG_1906

  1. The development and submission of the faculty’s research plan and the
  2. linkage and transmission of national priorities discussed in national platforms to suitable transfer policies in the departments.

The analysis will have to identify the status quo and provide initial concepts for improvement within the selected departments:

  • the individual steps, the involved stakeholders and their responsibilities, the administrative procedures
  • current and potential barriers and challenges to respect and to integrate societal and commercial needs
  • potential suggestions for improvement, suitable actions, and required resources.

Based on this analysis – In a second step – the most relevant innoSPICE processes will be identified and mapped to the activities. This set of processes is forming the tailored process assessment model to be used in the innoSPICE departments’ assessment.

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Process Management in Industry 

Beside the RAMSES assessment training, Mr. Rainer Elvermann from cbprocess was invited. Mr. Elvermann is expert in professional process management with a strong background from engineering. He was presenting approaches to context based process management. In several practical examples, he showed how process orientation can support structuring and IMG_1949reduction of knowledge with the use of the right tools. Mr Elvermann also supported the Innovation Capability Center to discuss process orientation and its professional support on management level. The collaboration between University of Bremen and cbprocess was also a source of reference for the training program. As knowledge- and technology transfer is also founded on a proper function of the science industry interface, it was very helpful to have some insights from the management of a company on these topics. Rainer and his colleague Esther Funken participated in the full training and contributed to the discussions from their point of view.

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Result of Self Studies

The trainees presented their understanding to some processes. Several innoSPICE processes (Contact Development, Communication and Tendering) were explained to the IMG_1921audience and discussed. Each presentation explained the original process, provided a description of the process in own words and an example form the scientific domain of the presenter. The trainers supported in sharpening the argumentation and suggested slight improvements of the interpretation of the tasks. In general, it was a very valuable trainings unit, and the trainees were highly committed in understanding these elements of the model.

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IMG_1948Painting the Big Picture

Tanja Woronowicz of the Innovation Capability Center “painted” the big picture of the innoSPICE process reference model. In several visualizations she developed the story of the full innovation cycle turning ideas into economic added value. Her scheme connects the different phases of this cycle to the innoSPICE processes and stimulated active discussions with the trainees. This presentation was intended to support the self studies of the innoSPICE model, as the initial intention of all processes was given. Beside these important details, a very relevant aspect of the innoSPICE model was addressed: Processes can describe similar functions within an organization, but with a different granularity and perspective. E.g. the Technology Transfer Driver process IMG_1941category (TTD) is dealing with the operation of a professional knowledge- and technology transfer. Moreover, there is a Technology Transfer Management process in the Organizational Process Category (ORG). This process describes the strategic element of the implemented technology transfer driver processes. According to an organization’s needs and targets the processes of the TTD processes category are managed by this process – it can be understood as the control process of the innovation funnel . The Support Processes (SUP)  like Alternative Analysis, Decision Making, Measurement, Contact Development, Documentation etc. can be understood e.g. to support all processes of the primary process category. They ensure the integrity of the individual transfer processes and enforce defined procedures.  Like always, the full picture could be even more detailed – but at this stage, it is appropriate  to look at the relation of the most relevant processes.

This big picture was completed with an explanation of the different professional roles of innoSPICE  application, that also can be understood as career path for the trainees:

  • The innoSPICE coach is the quality management expert of knowledge- and technology transfer processes inside an organization and supports their day to day operation. He has a deep understanding of the continuous process improvement within the own organization.
  • The innoSPICE consultant is consulting  different types of organizations for the targeted improvement of specific innoSPICE processes. With a background in innovation management  and in transfer methods, he can help organizations to find suitable measures for effective change. He has the competence to guide an innoSPICE self assessment.
  • The innoSPICE assessor is able to measure the process capability of dedicated innoSPICE processes and has the accreditation to lead assessments. The competence of the innoSPICE assessor is based on a professional background in knowledge- and technology transfer, the innoSPICE process reference model and extensive assessment experience.

One of the targets for the RAMSES training program is to support the trainees to become an innoSPICE coach.

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The Assessment Training IMG_1944

During the training, a real assessment situation was taken to role playing for one process (Technology Tranfer Concept). Like in an full innoSPICE assessment, Tanja and Michael – the assessors – performed a targeted interview with two volunteering trainees. During this assessment role play, there was no discussion with the full audience about the general meaning of the different Base Practices,but the focus was just on the rating and evidence of the trainees. The “assessors” supported to find the right level of rating the different Base Practices. As the chosen assessment approach is based on a guided self evaluation, the final verdict was up to the trainees. It was a very positive experience not only for the assessed trainees and the audience, but also for the assessors which were very satisfied with the focussed and goal oriented discussion.

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Meeting with Prof. Amr Adly from the Electrical Power and Machines Department, the former executive director of STDF (right), Prof Mohamed Ewiss, principle investigator of the RAMSES project (middle), Mr. Rainer Elvermann from cbProcess (left) and Dr. Michael Boronowsky from the Innovation Capability Center.

Addressing the Management Level

Prof Mohamed Ewiss, principle investigator of the RAMSES project organized meeting to introduce Mr. Rainer Elvermann from cbProcess and his company to Prof. Amr Adly from the Electrical Power and Machines Department, councilor of Cairo university for post-graduate studies and research, former executive director of STDF to explore the cooperation of the automation system. Prof. Adly reported that even if Cairo University is an international scientifically highly ranked organization, there is a demand to have a better integration of industrial and societal needs into research activities. He welcomes and supports the ideas of the DAAD RAMSES project to raise the management capacity of CU and was positive about the training and assessment program based on the innoSPICE model. He provided the STDF Anual Report 2014 to give some ideas about the R&D environment in Egypt and Cairo University’s outstanding abilities.

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Prof. Gamal Esmat (Vice President for Graduate Studies and Research- right) and Prof. Mohamed Ewiss (Counsellor of Cairo University – middle) handing over the signed Memorandum of Understanding between Cairo University and University of Bremen to Dr. Michael Boronowsky Managing Director of the Innovation Capability Center – left)

 

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Prof. Abeer Eswi, Vice Dean of the Nursing Faculty in discussion with Rainer Elvermann.

In a meeting with Prof. Gamal Esmat  (Vice President for Graduate Studies and Research) the current state of the RAMSES project implementation was discussed. Dr. Boronowsky reported that the training will now start to practice inside the nursing and dentistry faculty and that the team prepares for an innoSPICE assessment in selected departments in the beginning of next year. This innoSPICE assessment will be performed by the Innovation Capability Team of the University Bremen. Mr. Boronowsky explained, that the current training of innoSPICE coaches is very valuable to support a sustainable process improvement inside the piloted faculties. He emphasized that is will be important to empower these trainees to be responsible for the internal technology transfer quality management at the end of the project.

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IMG_1953Tell us about innoSPICE

An important element of activation in this training unit were presentations of the innoSPICE approach by the trainees. The task given by the trainers was simple: “Present the innoSPICE approach to the colleagues of your faculty to inform them before an assessment takes place”. Goal of this task was to cross check, if the former training sessions provided a solid base for the second year of the IMG_1955project. There was a positive tension, but also the question on how much of the theoretical knowledge is already activated within the trainees. IMG_1957The trust in the capability of the trainees was fully justified and the trainers were very proud to see the great development the trainees after only one year. All presenters found their own interpretation about the needs and values of innoSPICE in the Egyptian innovation system. In several very unique talks a very convincing story was told. The positive finding for the trainers was that it not was just a copied, repeated version of the given lectures’ input. The knowledge about innoSPICE was activated and adapted in a very convincing way to the own needs. The trainers only had minor remarks and the positive spirit of this whole session was the motivating closure of this training. The IMG_1959first project year laid a solid foundation for the next project year that will aim to even more activate the trainees to support the improvement of knowledge- and technology transfer within their own faculties. At the end of the training the whole team was invited to a common dinner, with several informal discussions.

The project – the whole team – is on a promising path. We are happy to continue this very important mission.

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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

RAMSES visited FETRIC

IMG_1813The RAMSES project team from the Innovation Capability Center at University Bremen, Mrs. Tanja Woronowicz and Dr. Michael Boronowsky, attended the steering group meeting of the FETRIC project on 12. October 2015 in Tunis, Tunisia. The European FP7 Project FETRIC aims to strengthen the bilateral cooperation between the EU and Tunisia, by enhancing synergies between actors, projects, and programmes in Science and Technology from EU and Tunisia. The project is coordinated be the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MHESR) and beyond others the DLR (International Bureau of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research) is partner of this BILAT EU-TUNISIA project.

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During the Meeting DLR presented the project task “Plan for improving the innovation management capacity of Research Centres”. The overall objectives of this task is to address the problem of the lack of linkages between the research community and the enterprises, and also the lack of skills ensuring interfaces and methods to create trust IMG_1814between the two worlds. Against this background the MHESR initiated in collaboration with the DLR a programme for the “Improvement of the innovation management capacity of Research Centres” (IMC-RC Programme). The programme IMC-RC aims to strengthen the innovation management capacity of the Tunisian research centres by introducing major changes in their way of governance, mainly in their administrative management and innovation strategy, and management of project and research activities.

IMG_1819A competitive call for proposals was launched by the MHESR. Research 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 willbe developed for each research centre/laboratory beneficiary of the IMC-RC programme.

It is planned to apply a similar methodological approach like in the RAMSES project (Coordinated by University of Bremen), based on an Innovation Capability Assessment according he ISO/IEC 15504 standard based model innoSPICE. This mission will be conducted by the Innovation Capability Team from Bremen University with the support of Tunisian experts, DLR and MHESR.

Through this action, the MHESR considers

  • positioning research laboratories in relation to the targeted objectives and international good practices in terms of management of knowledge- and technology transfer processes, and
  • establishing a “Plan for improving the innovation management capacity”.

This link between the FP7 FETRIC project and the DAAD RAMSES project is a valuable base to increase the impact of the RAMSES project in Tunisia and to increase  the application  base of the innoSPICE standard based model for innovation, knowledge- and technology transfer.

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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)

 

The second RAMSES training workshop took place

IMG_1525The second RAMSES training workshop took place in Cairo from 6.-12.6.2015 and was performed by Dr. Michael Boronowsky from the Innovation Capability Center, University Bremen. The first goal for this training session was to give an introduction to the collaboration tools that were selected for the RAMSES project. A shared document space in the cloud and several shared Google-sheets are used to synchronize the trainings and the “homework”.

Michael Boronowsky

Dr. Michael Boronowsky introduces innoSPICE at Cairo University

One of these sheets has a representation of the innoSPICE model and the trainees will develop “translation” and explanations of the different processes and practices in the terminology and specific cultures of their faculties during the project. The innoSPICE training started with a set of pictures showing different collection of gears. Dr. Boronowsky explained the analogies of these assemblies with different types of organization. Another set of pictures showing plugs and devices was used to illustrate the relation of individual skills and the capability of an organization.

The innoSPICE training was focussing to improve the self study capabilities of the trainees. General difficulties for the trainees are to deal with the very abstract process descriptions and to relate them to real world process implementations. Dr. Boronowsky explained the motivation and the need of the abstraction in the standard based innoSPICE model, followed by a very active discussion of the group. To understand the meaning of a process it is important to catch the intention why such a function might be important inside an organization. The descriptions of the process purpose or the individual base practices of a IMG_1474process are similar to the text of a law. A law often should allow to regulate certain behaviour in an abstract fashion. If it is too concrete, it will only be valid for the concrete case described in the law. So a law will generally be formulated to be valid for a certain class of cases, even for future ones. To understand a law it needs an interpretation. And to have a good interpretation for a law it is helpful to know the intention of the law, to realize why this specific regulation became relevant for society. Similar things can be said about the process descriptions in the innoSPICE model. And like a law – the intention is not written as part of the law, maybe it is documented or research work for historians. As innoSPICE is based on standard procedures in innovation, knowledge- and technology transfer it is much easier to derive the intention of the process.

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Part of the RAMSES team at Cairo University

The important learning goal for this training workshop is to motivate the trainees to think about the intention of the process and to use the available process descriptions to develop the requirements to fulfill this intention. This way the group work became very complex with several longer debates. The current training will help to increase the efficiency of these discussions in the future.

IMG_1476A second help for a better analysis of the individual processes was given during the training. Several processes are based on a similar pattern in the order of the base practices – they follow a Plan-Do-Check-and Act cycle. E.g. the innoSPICE Process DEV 5 (Prototype Development) – Base Practice BP1-BP4 are concentrated on the planning of the prototype, BP6-BP6 are related to the design and implementation of a prototype (so the “doing”) and BP7-BP8 are about test and evaluation (Check) and BP9-BP10 are preparing at least the improvement of the prototype (so a not fully implemented “Act”). The awareness of such a pattern is an important support in understanding the process. In addition a second pattern was presented, that can be found e.g. in TTD1 (Technology Transfer Concept). In this process the base practices are requiring the collection of individual information (BP1-BP7) and the last practice BP8 is the aggregation of the information that is collected before in a report (here BP8 – the technology transfer concept).

Beside this general aspects during the workshop DEV1 (Knowledge Creation Project Proposal Preparation). In this process there was a discussion e.g. to whom a proposal is submitted and other aspects like “according to programs objective” was clarified. DEV5 Prototype development was broadly discussed and the different types of prototypes were introduced (e.g. scientific prototype vs. industrial prototype). It was summarized, that a prototype is also a tool for communication with potential stakeholders – it is different to the prototype that was e.g. developed during the research. The prototype on DEV5 has the goal to transform the results into the context of an application, illustrating a function that is enabled by the research result.  As the Technology TransfIMG_1477er Concept (TTD1)  is very fundamental in the transfer chain and the trainees had several open questions, this process became the base for further discussions. Michael used this process and draw the relation to the prototype development process, to illustrated that these processes are in correspondence. It shows that there are interfaces between knowledge developer (the scientist) and the transfer drivers (e.g. technology transfer officers) – as prototype development can be supported by e.g. technology transfer office supporting the definition of features , definition of target groups etc. Same applies to knowledge creation processes DEV2,3,4.

The training workshop also had sessions with group work. The trainees were asked to present their descriptions of the TTD1 (Technology Transfer Concept) process. The groups were structured according to the different faculties and the individual presentation of the results made clear, that parts of the group were still oriented too strong in the wording of the process but the very activeIMG_1513 and intense discussion slowly generated the understanding  that the intention of the process is the better guide to learn the details of the processes.  The fourth day of the workshop started with a detailed discussion of the Work Environment process. The trainees developed a good understanding of this process quickly. Beside this several genreal aspects were discussed in this context, like:

  • Every process needs an responsible process owner. That does not mean that this person has to implement all practices. He or she has the responsibility to manage the process and ensure proper operation.
  • Several innoSPICE processes distinguish between maintenance of the plan and maintenance e.g. of the working environment  (so the implementation of the plan). It is important not to mix it up, as people maybe are aware to maintain the thing they directly connected with (like the work environment) but are not clear about update of the general plan.
  • To perform an assessment of an process you have not to be an full expert in the area being assest.
  • The processes in the innoSPICE model are a decomposition of activities within an organization related to innovation, knowledge- and technology transfer. According to the specific distribution of work and responsibilities within an organization, several innoSPICE processes can be (partially) executed  by a single person in the organization.

IMG_1527After this lightweight introduction for starting the day the trainees were facing the toughest challenge. The plan for this day was focused on the introduction to the universe of the Technology Transfer Driver processes (TTD1-TTD13). Even if the level of detail was very reduced it was hard stuff. The trainer Michael decided to give this introduction to explain how the individual processes are related to the innovation funnel. The individual processes have different functions at different phases of the innovation funnel. To understand the processes it is important to understand the innovation funnel and when a process is generally applied. However, the lecture was recorded, and Michael was referring several times that the trainees can look at the details again in the video. But he also promised to write down the details later on and make it available. The trainer had recommend the group to look for and study literature in the area of:

  • Innovation Managment (eg. http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-EHEP003053.html)
  • Market and Competitive Analysis
  • Go to Market estimation
  • Value proposition statement
  • Business plan and business case development

On the last day of the Workshop it is planned to discuss another 2-3 processes of the process reference model. Even if there is still a long way to go, the huge interest of the trainees in the particular topics and the active discussion of all participants is a positive motivation for the trainer but also for the trainees.

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Meeting at the presidents office. Prof. Nasser (middle), Prof. Ewiss (right) and Dr. Boronowsky (left)

The very intense workshop ended with a visit at the president office of Cairo University. Prof. Mohamed Ewiss and Dr. Michael Boronowsky informed the President Prof. Dr. Gaber Gad Nassar and the General Secretary of Cairo University, Yousry Ibrahim, about the progress of the RAMSES project. It was reported, that the trainees are very motivated and that they are very expertised to relate the processes in the innoSPICE model to the operation in the different faculties. According to the current state of discussion the innoSPICE approach is very suitable to be applied in the structures of Cairo University. The RAMSES project runs under direct responsibility of Prof. Nassar and he was satisfied about the state of implementation. It was agreed to communicate the RAMSES project also on a higher political level, as this project has the potential to generate an impact to the structure of the science system in Egypt. 

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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.