Title From Research to Market – Support to Knowledge-based Entrepreneurship
Project Number LLP-LdV-TOI-2008-LT-0017
Project Type Innovationstransfer
Marketing Text The knowledge-based entrepreneurship e-learning package developed during the project will complement the already existing more general entrepreneurship training programmes. It will bring in the special emphasis on the development of knowledge-based businesses and will promote the use of ICTs for learning purposes.
Knowledge-based entrepreneurship that turns research results into marketable products or services is highly valued and supported in the policies of EU countries as it adds to the competitiveness of any economy and is essential for achieving the Lisbon goals. However, intellectual entrepreneurship in Europe is still underdeveloped. Numerous studies show that lack of entrepreneurial spirit and knowledge are among the main constraints hindering researchers to pursue starting up their businesses.
The main aim of the ReMark project is to adapt an entrepreneurship e-learning package to the needs of potential knowledge-based entrepreneurs – mainly researchers, but also students and young graduates with technological/scientific knowledge, and test and disseminate it in Lithuania, Cyprus, Slovakia and Finland. Project objectives include analysis of the current e-learning package and its adaptation to the needs of the target groups and participating countries; e-learning package transfer to Lithuania, Slovakia and Cyprus by translating it and placing in the project partners’ websites; testing and evaluation of the e-learning package by the target groups; implementation of the valorisation strategy.
The project will be implemented by 6 partners from 4 EU countries. Helsinki School of Economics Small Business Center that belongs to the leading business school in Finland will provide the entrepreneurship e-learning package and together with other 5 partners – Kaunas Regional Innovation Centre, Kaunas University of Technology, Baltic Education Technology Institute (Lithuania), X-Panel Ltd (Cyprus) and elfa Ltd (Slovakia) will collectively adapt it to the needs of target groups and countries involved. Project partners have successfully co-operated in EU projects in the past; the consortium is based on a high level of mutual trust and it is expected that a flawless cooperation and high quality results will be achieved in this project.
The main outcome of the project will be an innovative e-learning package for knowledge-based entrepreneurship available online in Lithuanian, Slovak, Greek, Finnish and English. The project will also produce a number of results that will be used for valorisation purposes (valorisation plan, project website, leaflets, etc.), will help to promote the project and attract the representatives of target groups to test and evaluate project results. The evaluation will serve as a basis for improvements and preparation for further exploitation of the e-learning package.
The e-learning package will help to fill in the gap in the entrepreneurial training addressing the group of potential entrepreneurs that are likely to develop high value-added, knowledge and new technology based business. Researchers, young graduates and students with outstanding scientific knowledge will gain additional skills that will allow them to turn their knowledge into commercial benefit by developing successful business. The project will contribute to the efforts to develop knowledge-based entrepreneurship in project partners’ and other European countries.
Translating research outputs into marketable products, processes and services results in substantial contributions to the economy and broader community. Such activity that can be called knowledge-based entrepreneurship is highly valued and supported in the policies of EU countries as it adds to the competitiveness of any economy and is essential for achieving the Lisbon goals.
Despite its obvious importance knowledge-based entrepreneurship in Europe is still underdeveloped. The number of researchers in business remains low. There are many constraints hindering a researcher to pursue starting up a company: difficulties in abandoning or restricting research carrier, fear to lose some level of financial stability, lack of capital, etc. Insufficient business knowledge is also a considerable barrier to engage in entrepreneurial activity.
There are numerous European and country-specific documents confirming the need to support knowledge-based entrepreneurship and provide adequate training for this purpose. The Communication from the European Commission (COM(2006) 208 final) states that “most universities will need external support to (…) build up entrepreneurial attitudes” and “development of entrepreneurial, management and innovation skills should become an integral part of graduate education, research training and lifelong learning strategies for university staff“.
Two studies - “Complex study on Lithuanian Economy growth and sources of competitiveness” (2006) and “Study on implementation of Innovation policy (…)” (2005) – show that knowledge based entrepreneurship is very limited in Lithuania. The Country report to the EC “Strategic Evaluation on Innovation and the Knowledge Based Economy (…)” (2006) sees the weak intellectual entrepreneurship as one of the main threats in developing the regional innovation potential, and concludes that special emphasis should be put on the development of intellectual entrepreneurship competencies.
In Cyprus support to knowledge-based entrepreneurship is provided through business incubators, however no pre-incubation programmes exist and the number of knowledge-based start-ups in business incubators is very low. Lack of innovation culture and entrepreneurial attitude is confirmed by the latest research of the FP6 programme projects OMEN and 5Schemes.
One of the strategic objectives declared by the Slovak government is development of a knowledge based economy in Slovakia. The Ministry of Economy now aims to create a network of contact points where starting entrepreneurs could get necessary information and knowledge support.
An in-depth study conducted by Abo Academy University School and its partners in Finland (2006) shows that researchers feel a need for courses in entrepreneurship, and concludes that a lack of business knowledge may postpone or completely suffocate any entrepreneurial intentions.
The ReMark project aims to adapt an entrepreneurship e-learning package to the needs of potential knowledge-based entrepreneurs – mainly researchers, but also students and young graduates with technological/scientific knowledge, and test and disseminate it in Lithuania, Cyprus, Slovakia and Finland. A number of objectives is set in order to achieve the aim of the project:
• To analyse the e-learning package developed by Helsinki School of Economics and adapt it to the needs of the target group by developing an additional e-learning module “From Research to Market” and increasing the value of the other 7 e-learning modules by adding information specific to the target group,
• To adapt the e-learning package to the conditions and requirements of the project partner countries by adding country specific information and translating the e-learning package into the languages of the participating countries and into English,
• To accomplish the technical transfer of the e-learning package (e-learning modules and knowledge bank) from Finland to Lithuania, Cyprus and Slovakia, and place it on project partners’ websites,
• To test and evaluate (and amend if necessary) the e-learning package in the project partner countries,
• To disseminate the final version of the e-learning package in the project partner countries and to prepare for its further exploitation.
The main target group is researchers that have potential to commercialise their research results but lack knowledge, information and encouragement in order to start their own business or get otherwise involved in entrepreneurial activities (commercial contracts with industry for applied research, technology transfer, etc). Many valuable research results do not get turned into innovations and successful business because of this lack of entrepreneurial spirit and competences. The researchers need a comprehensive and easily accessible training/learning package in order to understand the benefits and learn the principles and processes of knowledge-based business.
The project also addresses young graduates and students that have good scientific background but need support in order to develop their business ideas, business plans and turn their knowledge into profitable businesses.
The e-learning package will help to fill in the gap in the entrepreneurial training addressing the group of potential entrepreneurs that are likely to develop high value-added, knowledge and technology based businesses.
The results of the project will contribute to the efforts to develop knowledge-based entrepreneurship that are promoted and encouraged by project partners’ and other European countries.
The progress of the project will be measured using quantitative and qualitative indicators that will be further described in the Quality Management Plan:
• Number of participants involved in testing and evaluation of the e-learning package. The planned number of participants (50 in total) should be achieved in order to have sufficient feedback on the quality of the e-learning programme.
• Level of satisfaction of the target groups defined as a result of the evaluation analysis and compared with needs analysis will show how well the developed package meets the needs of the target groups in terms of contents, presentation and effectiveness. On-line evaluation tool will be developed in order to collect the evaluation data, all participants of pilot training will be asked to participate in the evaluation.
• Number of potential users of project results addressed. The dissemination activities will be used to attract the interest of potential users-multiplicators (business incubators, science parks, research institutions, etc). At least 20 of such organisations should be addressed in the project partners’ countries in order to sufficiently disseminate project results and make basis for their further exploitation.
Anerkennung, Transparenz, Zertifizierung
Sectors Erbringung von Freiberuflichen, Wissenschaftlichen und Technischen Dienstleistungen
Verfahren zur Analyse und Prognose des Berufsbildungsbedarfes
Unterlagen für offenen Unterricht
This proposal is developed on the basis of e-learning package consisting of e-learning modules EntrepreneurPalette and Internet based knowledge bank ePOLKU developed by the Helsinki School of Economics.
ePOLKU knowledge bank enables easy access – a one-stop-shop – to important information when setting up and running a business. The main content of ePOLKU is related to the life cycle of running a business. It is categorized in the following topics: (1) Business idea and starting a company; (2) Managing risks and introduction to business law; (3) Marketing for SMEs; (4) Finances; (5) Leadership skills; (6) Taxation for SMEs; (7) Business Plan. There is also an extensive, up-to-date list of website links and business literature, entrepreneur interviews and video clips. The material offers the user a chance to gain better understanding of running a company, and evaluate their own entrepreneurial strengths and weaknesses.
EntrepreneurPalette consists of seven e-learning modules, which follow the same topics as ePOLKU and contain module specific assignments, additional material, discussion forums and group assignments. Each module is 100% distant learning with scheduled learning tasks and expert trainer/tutor support.
This ePolku - EntrepreneurPalette e-learning package was chosen to be further developed because it represents a complete and easy-to-use learning tool for starting entrepreneurs. The package has already been successfully tested (2005-2006) and is further applied in Finland.
The ReMark project aims to transfer this e-learning package to three new EU Member States: Lithuania, Cyprus and Slovakia. The existing product will be translated into Lithuanian, Greek, Slovak and English and adapted to the needs of participating countries by adding country-specific information. Furthermore, the e-learning package will be amended having in mind the needs of the target group, i.e. the specific aspects of knowledge-based business that relate to the commercialisation of research results. One additional e-learning module – “From Research to Market” will be added to the current package, and the other modules reviewed and amended. As a result, the value of the current training product will be increased both in contents and in the geographical area it can be applied in.