Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text InnoSkills, Innovation Management to support innovation in SMEs.
Summary InnoSkills project proposal means to tackle the lack of ability in acquiring innovation management techniques of Italian SMEs Middle Management professional profiles, and specifically in Veneto Region. In doing so, InnoSkills proposal means to take advantage of experiences of SMEs in Germany, Austria, Portugal and Czech Republic. The project wants to increase levels of competitiveness in SMEs rising their employees skills, considering such an industrial organisation as the most relevant for the economic model of the above Countries. With this aim, the project intends to localise, upgrade and transfer pre-existing learning materials (i. e. InnoSupport guide) suitable to transfer and improve innovation management techniques targeting groups of professionals, i.e. trainers, students, SMEs advisors and consultants and of course the Middle Management employees already working in SME environments of the above Countries. InnoSkills partnership to implement this proposal, has been developed in order to build an actual network, by means of partners chosen among the owners of the InnoSupport guide: LiNK and Pro Kompetenz in Germany and among Countries left out from the former InnoSupprot project: Treviso Tecnologia, Tinnova in Italy, E-Learning Concepts in Austria, the University of West Bohemia in Czech Republic and Parkurbis in Portugal. Each partner has been carefully chosen according its specific field of competence, particularly suitable to upgrade, nationally localise, highly customise self learning methodologies to wide spread the InnoSkills guide particular suitable to their national realities through their actual networks, which are reinforced by the availability of an extended network, already manifesting interests towards the porject’s results, and which will enable a concrete transfer of innovation management issues by a testing on field methodology. A major feature the project intends to carry out is a learning system especially available ‘just enough and just in time’ from the work station of any possible end user. The project’s products will consist on a InnnoSkills guide, on learning materials to be used especially in a informal and cooperative learning environments (web 2.0 technology). A web portal on Innovation Management, offering a customise e-learning tools reachable through a path of self assessment learning needs. InnoSkills project goals are to reach during the testing period 120 users. The dissemination strategy will warrant the involvement of 1000 people, via the partners network.
The project answers to the following deficits:
- Low diffusion of innovation issues at European, National and Regional levels with specific focus on the regional milieu.
- Low capacity within the SMEs to undertake and use innovative approaches and procedures.
- Low human resources ablility to wide spread and transfer system and approaches about general innovation.
- Generally, innovation management competences are scant, particularly among middle management professional.
- Lack of lifelong learning agile and flexible tools, fundamental and ready for use just enough and just in time.
Such deficit or gaps mirror difficulties (also cultural) to invest in human resources, in their professionalism and in their specialisation. Such difficulties slow down economic systems competitiveness and particularly they shrink enterprises ability to adopt new innovative systems or general innovation procedures.
Why the project is needed?
- The introduction of innovation within work place is an absolute priority for our Countries and EU economic competitiveness. Innovation to be real and effective has to be able to generate meaningful and broad changes, improving work tasks in people’s lives. In fact, employees’ behaviours should be constantly innovation driven, at any level and in any environment. The innovation is too often perceived as an issue concerning just a small group of people in charge of creating or inventing new ideas or solutions. Such an approach maintains separate transversal transferable innovation strategies from the majority of workers, who are on the opposite, those who would operate the real change, if just they would be daily involved in the use of innovative solutions and approaches during their work. Involving the vast majority of workers in the acquisition of innovation process implementation, means also provide those employees with strong learning needs, at any level of SMEs in the Countries involved in this proposal, with a competent and last longing answer in order to act with specialised and professional tools towards the global competition challenge.
- Through this general approach, the project means to transfer innovative solutions not diffused, which can be used transversally within different sectors. Particularly, the project aims to answer to employees’ needs, since they are reckoned being the most effective vehicle to drive innovation results and at the meantime, they represent the most active vehicle through which changes such as innovation processes can be transmitted. These employees will be the main source to get to know how the right approach to innovation should be dealt with, given that they will be directly testing its effectiveness renewing at the same time their own skills and abilities within a fast moving scenario, confirming the most advantageous changes.
- Improving SMEs employees’ competences, means assure SMEs development too. In fact, SMEs are continuously asked to renew production and management processes. Innovation processes have less to do with inspiration and much more with systematic work routines. To achieve skills during innovation processes and applications tests, employees need to learn new techniques and methodologies.
- The experiences (within the former Leornardo Project ‘InnoSupport’ and the following ones) demonstrated a large interest on learning modules, developed by InnoSupport project (from November 2005 more than 1000 users have been registered on the project website, from more than 50 Countries). Non registered users have not been tracked, however according to Google, 23.800 have been the visits from the beginning of the website up to 14th March 2007).
Main goals of this project for innovation transfer are:
- Localise, update and integrate existing products on innovation management (InnoSupport modules, and other project results as INNOMAT and U-SME).
- Localise contents on project’s partners National bases.
- Translate contents/products in different languages.
Objects realised for consultation and wide spreading will be of various kinds, such as, for instance, interactive and multimedia materials, to provide the wider visibility and access to innovation issues. Learning materials will be addressed to different types of users (target groups) according to characteristics of the territory, to organisational environment (type of enterprise, the enterprise role within the local economic milieu) and to professional profiles.
Easing target groups access to the online tools, assuring a broad use of contents and learning methodologies/paths tailored, informal and customised, directly reachable from a work station.
Starting by a shared and mutual virtuous circle of information and knowledge among, and between users and partners, it will represent a cooperative learning methodology, which is an additional project aim, as well.
Operational realisation modality:
- Upgrading the existing modules elaborated along the InnoSupport project.
- Improving users target groups’ access to learning paths through self-evaluation systems on professional learning needs.
- Translating and localising modules/contents in three languages (IT, CZ, PT).
- Widening dissemination within Countries and between Countries involved, by transferring project guide contents.
- Developing a portal on the ‘Innovation Management’ containing also the informal and cooperative learning community, usable from the work station too:
- the so called ‘innovation rooms’ as virtual classrooms set up for a closed users group on a chosen topic, which can also be users generated topics. Moreover, users can exchange their own ideas and use innovative methodologies;
- to provide further resources on the ‘Innovation Management’ issue, adducing someone’s own experience and providing various Internet links.
To staring up such a community there already is the live interest of 1000 users from 50 different Countries.
Open and distance learning
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities
Information and Communication
material for open learning
LEARNING NEEDS SELF ASSESSEMENT TOOL
Analisys and Self Assessment Tool for the evaluation of learning needs with a learning paths indication for specific professional needs.
INNOVATION MANAGEMENT GUIDE
five manuals supporting SMEs detection and management of innovation process solutions, updted, localised and available to the five Partner countries.
INNOVATION MANAGEMENT LEARNING MATERIALS
WEB Portal for a online community interested to the innovation management: informal and cooperative learning Portal for knowledge management.
INFORMAL AND COPERATIVE LEARNING GUIDE
How to use the learning portal. Best Practices manual on the use of informal and cooperative learning tools.
Projecthomepage www.innoskills.net; www.innosupport.net