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

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.

 

 

 

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

First innoSPICE Assessment at IRESA for the DAAD Ramses Project

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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.

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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.

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

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RAMSES Project start at IRESA

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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)

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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
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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.

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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.

 

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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