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Student innovation labs - a way to sustainable and socially responsible growth
Date du début: 1 sept. 2014, Date de fin: 31 août 2016 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

Context/background of project The EU has defined smart and sustainable growth as one of the priorities (EU Strategy 2020). An essential part for reaching these priorities is innovation. Innovation structures and support measures are being established and provided at the EU and at various levels in its member states. However, recently there is more attention to bottom-up rather than top-down innovation: for example, innovative, new business and project development which is based upon ventures from creative and business class: students from universities, polytechnics, art and business schools. This approach has been employed in several places and has a good innovation potential. The project is based on the knowledge transfer idea from countries where there are established efficient, bottom up innovation structures and platforms which address sustainable and social issues in society, such as in the Netherlands, and Denmark. The other partners who represent countries with lower innovation capacities (Latvia, Estonia and Cyprus) want to learn from this experience, test the approaches and establish similar labs in their countries, making long-term, interesting and innovative projects and businesses which are sustainable, socially responsible and are recognizable in the region where the innovation model is operating. Objectives of your project Project aim is to raise bottom-up innovation capacity for the benefit of sustainable and socially responsible growth in Estonia, Latvia and Cyprus, based on the experiences from Denmark and the Netherlands. To reach the project aim, the project defines following sub-objectives: 1) To learn about student based innovation labs in the Netherlands and Denmark; 2) To transfer, mutually learn and disseminate knowledge about student based innovation labs; 3) To establish cross sectoral, student-based innovation platforms (Innovation labs) linking universities, intermediaries (innovation and sustainability agents), local industries and stakeholders; 4) To link education with practical innovation projects by engaging university students and teachers to work on practical, multidisciplinary sustainability and social issues on the selected practical issues, creating together new innovative projects or ventures which benefit the issues of sustainability or social challenges, as a part of their bachelor or master education; 5) To develop and carry out 4-5 student projects for Innovation labs in each partner university; 6) To disseminate project results. Number and profile of participants There are 8 organizations in the partnership: Foundation for Society (NGO, Latvia); SEI Tallinn (NGO, Estonia), Interfusion Services Ltd (SME, Cyprus); Vidzeme University (university, Latvia); Sticthing NHL (university, the Netherlands); Aalborg University (university, Denmark), Cyprus University of Technology (university, Cyprus) and Estonian Academy of Arts (university, Estonia). Description of activities The project will carry out preparatory, implementation and dissemination activities: carrying out feasibility studies, preparation of development plans for universities ; staff training and study visits to the NL and DK; putting innovation labs in operation via student projects (all universities); various dissemination and engagement activities (stakeholder workshops, presentation at conferences, final event in a form of summer campus; project website, student project contest and others). Methodological materials for Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship and guidelines for intermediary innovation networks will be produced. Methodology to be used in carrying out the project The project methodology is based on a) understanding of the scene, stakeholders and innovation methods and tools; b) learning by doing by establishing innovation labs via practical, hand-on approach of student projects; c) evaluation of the work of the labs by producing methodological materials; d) dissemination of project activities and results. A short description of the results and impact envisaged - At local level, there will be increased innovation capacity, raising the competitiveness of organizations/regions, local industries and other stakeholders; -Benefits for wellbeing of local societies by innovative solutions; - Regional competitiveness will be enhanced by new business opportunities, innovation and creativity; - Students will increase their employment, creativity and entrepreneurship skills; - Sustainable innovations - we should expect emergence of innovative products, services, initiatives that benefit society. Potential longer term benefits: We expect that innovation labs will continue to work in future and will result in new, innovative activities,products, services, spin-offs and start-ups, thus raising innovation capacities, economic attractiveness and sustainable development of local regions where they operate and stimulating bottom-up innovation for the EU organisations at international level.



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