The official ceremony for the final stage of the first Initiative 'APInno - Innovation in Action' of the Innovation Management Academy took place in Radisson Blu Hotel on 16 July 2014. Ognian Zlatev, the head of the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria, opened the ceremony stating how important innovations are to improve the competitiveness of Bulgarian companies and in general the whole of Europe.
For more than a month students from different schools and disciplines were working in the field of innovation. Their training based on practice and experience was part of Bulgaria's first business practice in innovation management "APInno - Innovation in Action". The main purpose of APInno was to upgrade the skills of young people to generate innovative business ideas, encourage creative thinking and to introduce modern techniques to resolve companies' problems. Some of the work phases included generating ideas, analysis and evaluation, development of concepts and business models, etc.
The mentors participating in the project have experience in the field of innovation management, business development and strategic management in Bulgaria and abroad (HIRON Management Consulting, MT&M College, Az Upravlyavam). The APInno approach was based on learning through experience and the students’ interest in learning and practising innovative management had been tested. Also, this project checked the benefits that companies could have when collaborating with universities.
At the closing ceremony Ruslan Papazyan, director of Trelleborg Bulgaria, awarded the students:
1. The Medical Applications team won the prestigious ‘First place’
2. The Electronics team won the prize for ‘Creativity and Presentation’
3. The Sanitary products team won the prize for ‘Comprehensive industry analysis’
All participants in APInno - Innovation in Action received a certificate from the Innovation Management Academy. The certificates were handed by Vesselin Iliev, DG International Economic Relations in the Bulgarian Industrial Association.
After the ceremony all participants enjoyed the delicious taste of Portuguese wine, delivered by Transimport.
The first Innovation Management Academy(IMA) in Bulgaria has launched with the so called project 'APInno - Innovation in Action'. The project aims to build a bridge between educational institutions and businesses and get those that help develop innovation and innovation management at different levels. The main objective of this first initiative of IMA is to introduce the world of innovation and its management to students, professionals and organisations through teamwork, interactive discussions, games and most importantly real cases of innovative companies to be resolved.
In Southeastern Europe it is often talked about innovation, but rarely it is discussed what innovation is and how innovation could be managed. Therefore, IMA which has launched in Bulgaria has the opportunity to introduce new tools and interactive games that help students to acquire knowledge and skills in a real environment and at the same time face the challenges of businesses. The idea behind is that this way of working not only could motivate students to exchange ideas and experiences with colleagues and professionals in the field of innovation and innovation management.
The first initiative of the Innovation Management Academy has started as a strategic partnership between KISMC, Trelleborg Bulgaria and MT&M College. The initiative is a modern way to fill the gap between universities and businesses by providing real life challenges of companies to be resolved by carefully selected students with a variety of backgrounds. All students will get knowledge and skills in the field of innovation and innovation management, team work via interesting games and help from the teams' mentors related to resolving the company's innovation case. All aspects of challenges involved have the purpose of giving a taste of what should be expected of people working in the field of innovation management.
The students of APInno are already generating ideas, working hard and reaching results due to a well structured programme focused on important skills and competences.
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The Knowledge, Innovation and Strategies Management Club is a non-profit organisation set up in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2012 to foster knowledge and innovation management across South East Europe. KISMC is supporting the development of the innovation ecosystem in the region by bridging the gap between education, research and business.
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