The international conference "INNOVATION - CREATING THE FUTURE" will present the results of the Action Project for Innovation (APInno) under the EU Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport - ERASMUS + . The conference will showcase the final results of a two-year project where international partners from the UK, Spain, Italy and Bulgaria had been working on developing an experiential learning methodolgy in the field of innovation management for fostering the partnership between business and universities.
"INNOVATION - CREATING THE FUTURE" will take place on 21 November, 2016 in Inter Expo Center Sofia, Musala Hall, blvd. "Tsarigradsko shose" 147, 1784 Sofia, Bulgaria.
The topic and concept of innovation management is still underexploited in Europe despite the efforts and financial resources provided by the respective framework programmes and financial instruments. Although а common standard is established, the concept of systematic management of innovation is not very widely used in reality. Business leaders agree that the insufficient innovation and entrepreneurial culture is holding back Europe’s economic growth. In this respect innovation management is and will be the necessary tool for businesses to achieve higher competitiveness and better conditions for economic results.
The APInno project aims at fostering business–university collaboration as one of the key factors enhancing the innovation culture in organisations. The project partners followed an innovative approach, developed and tested a new model and methodology for new skills and knowledge development in the field of systematic management of the innovation process. Moreover, a flexible and holistic model for successful partnership between companies and universities has been developed. Its further use and implementation could help organisations be more innovative and successful.
The conference will provide the opportunity for discussion of the future challenges higher education and business organisations face; exchange of good practices and experience, both by business and several academic organisations in Europe. The keynote speakers and panelists have many years of experience of teaching and consulting in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship.
The partners in the project are: Knowledge, Innovation and Strategies Management Club, University of Library Studies and Information Technologies, Anfi Ventures, Tecnalia, JODA Training and Middlesex University.
We advise you to register now to secure your place at the conference.
APInno Reference Number: - 2014-1-BG01-KA203-001561
The Knowledge, Innovation and Strategies Management Club joined the Bulgarian Network of the United Nations Global Compact in September 2016. KISMC was awarded a Certificate for joining the Global Compact and committing to promote the Ten principles of Global Compact in its everyday operations. The certificate was received at the National Council meeting on 20th September by Mr. Ognian Trajanov, Chairperson of the Steering Committee.
The Global Compact is the worlds largest corporate sustainability initiative with over 12 000 organisations involved from 170+ counries. The Compact is a voluntary initiative of the former UN Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan, bringing together business and non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, cities and UN agencies in a truly global forum to promote sustainable growth and civic responsibility. The ten Principles of the Global Compact are aimed at the implementation of responsible business practices in the field of human rights, labour standards, environment and anti-corruption.
The Bulgarian Network of the UN Global Compact, which operates as part of the global network and was officially launched on May 6, 2011 by H.E. Ban Ki-moon – Secretary General of the UN, is an association of companies and NGOs.
Reasons for KISMC to join the UN Global Compact
One of the main reasons for KISMC to join is to contribute and support one of the Sustainable Development Goals, i.e. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. This objective foresees the following development locally in Bulgaria:
Sustainable Development Goals of the initiative
The Sustainable Development Goals of the UN Global Compact strive for improving the world via a collective way. In September 2015 a plan for achieving a better future for all was adopted, i.e. to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect the planet Earth. At the heart of “Agenda 2030” are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
For more information on the Sustainable Goals, please read here
The 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact
The UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles are derived from: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.
During 2013-2015 CSI, in cooperation with the Knowledge, Innovation and Strategies Management Club, betahaus Sofia and Sofia Tech Park had been organising the so called Mercury - Jupiter Meetings to bridge the gap between scientists and business people in Bulgaria and help them understand each other’s culture. At those meetings groups of scientists and business people talked about their cultures and discussed ways to bridge the gap between each other.
For the span of those two years the meetings gathered interest from the Bulgarian community and many attended to get involved in the discussions and look for the best ways to reduce the size of the gap between scientists and businessmen.
The Mercury - Jupiter meetings were also attended by guest speakers who would guide the meeting towards a specific topic. The topics of discussions had been related to the experience of the speakers. Below you could see some of the guest speakers during 2013-2015.
On 7 May 2015 an interactive workshop was held at Middlesex University where the draft methodology based on initial research under the Erasmus + Project - Action Project for Innovation (APInno) was presented and discussed. Feedback from delegates was gathered and reflected in the revised methodology and final outcomes. The presentation was followed by a practical workshop where delegates were given the opportunity to experience the proposed learning methodology through real business challenges.
Action Programme for Innovation (APInno) involves partners from across the EU to develop a methodology to facilitate the transfer of innovation skills from Higher Education Institutes (HEI) to business. The project aims to develop an experiential learning programme (at degree and/or masters level) as part of the HE curriculum.
This will integrate the critical fundamentals of business, innovation management, growth, competitive dynamics and market simulation. The planned outcome will be the development of innovative course materials, online tools and a platform enabling idea generation and capture; including team work and analysis at successive stages of the curriculum, through to the final presentations.
Participants from academia and business had the opportunity to network and discuss the draft methodology to date and played interactive games where the entrepreneurs and business delegates had to solve specific challenges.
After the summer holidays, on 3 October KISMC organised a seminar on the SME Instrument and HORIZON 2020 showcasing the opportunities SMEs have for financing of their innovations after introducing the new EU programme period 2014 - 2020.
The seminar's objective was to look at H2020, introduce case studies of the SME Instrument, practical advises and instructions on the applications forms. The topics were covered by representatives of KISMC, Innovation Management Academy, HIRON Management Consulting, Energy2Go and by the special guest of the event - Xavier Aubry, ZAZ Ventures, who has got an extensive portfolio of helping SMEs secure funding and has offices in Brussels, London and Zurich.
‘Action Project for Innovation’ (APInno) is an exciting project aiming at fostering the collaboration between businesses and universities by developing an innovative approach and methodology for teaching Innovation Management. APInno is co-funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus + Programme 2014-2020 (the EU Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport, Key Action 2 - Cooperation for innovation and exchange of good practices) after submitting an application in April 2014 and being successfully approved to work on tackling the future challenges that higher education and business organisations are facing and ways in which innovation management can help mitigate the effects of the rapidly changing world.
The project will be executed in 2015-2016 by a balanced partnership which includes two HEIs (Higher Educational Institutions), two SMEs, a Research Centre and an NGO active in HEI-business collaboration and adult training from four different countries - Bulgaria, Italy, Spain and the UK - KISMC, University of Library Studies and Information Technologies, Anfi Ventures, Tecnalia, JODA Training and Middlesex University.
Innovation + Education
On the one hand, innovation - the ability to reap the rewards of scientific achievements - requires much more than the ability to turn a new idea into a working product. It requires the systematic and holistic approach of innovation management. On the other hand, education is on the dynamic path of change and modernisation where it becomes necessary to embrace new innovative cross-functional and cross-disciplinary approaches, to engage business, external stakeholders, the public, researchers and other third parties.
As most of us are aware, the Europe 2020 strategy, its Flagship Initiatives and the Modernisation Agenda of European universities put knowledge at the heart of the Union’s efforts for achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It is crucial to include practical experience in courses which will help attune curricula to current and emerging labour market needs and foster employability and entrepreneurship (Agenda for the modernisation of Europe's higher education systems, 2011).
The main output of the APInno project, which is entirely focused on developing an Innovation Management methodology and an Innovation Management course, specialised training materials and most importantly a guide for business-academia collaboration, is to contribute to the future approaches of engaging all parties such as academia, businesses, researchers. These will help HEIs and SMEs to develop new practices to systematically manage their potential for innovation and identify the best ways for triggering creativity.
Most importantly, looking at the longterm benefits of this project, SMEs will gain higher awareness of the role Innovation Management plays in shaping their future so they can compete in the business environment by using creative approaches and encouraging innovation via engaging with young people eager to work with businesses. Also, academic institutions and researchers will be able to build models and identify upcoming challenges in the above mentioned field as well as provide ready solutions; the Guide for business-academia collaboration will then be easily replicated along with the APInno experiential model.
KISMC and the other partners in the project will be keeping you posted about the thrilling activities of APInno in the KISMC social media channels as well as on the project website: www.apinno.eu
KISMC organised its own discussion panel during the 12th annual forum "European Day of the Entrepreneur 2014" to promote entrepreneurship in Bulgaria, which takes place within the European SME Week during 16th and October 17th 2014., Inter Expo Center in Sofia.
The panel's title was 'Innovation - a bridge between science and business'. The topics that were covered at the panel were: Open innovation and student internships - an unexpectedly good combination; Corporate entrepreneurship - a catalyst for knowledge and breakthrough innovations; Innovation Management Training.
KISMC is grateful for the active participation of representatives of the Innovation Management Academy; MTM College; Team Europe Junior; Business Club Sofia University; Alumni Association, FEBA, Sofia University as well as the interest from school students representing the Private Secondary School Ivan Apostolov and other organisations curious to learn about the connection between education, science and business and what this means for innovation.
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.
In July 2014 the Knowledge, Innovation and Strategies Management Club with the support of the Innovation Management Academy and Bulgarian Industrial Association organised a workshop on Innovation Management - how to assess the innovation potential of companies, how to generate new opportunities and how to realise them, more about innovation strategy, innovation culture and leadership as well as open innovation.
More than 50 people joined the workshop where topics on innovation management were discussed. The interest of Bulgarian companies on the subject is well grounded as in the current economical situation if companies do not innovate and invest in R&D it's more likely that they will not survive in the next few years or even much less than this. This workshop is the first of such on the theme of Innovation Management.
If you are interested in participating in similar workshops, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Blog post by our team, innovation contributors, VIP members, blog guests, etc.
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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