The Innovation Alliance Project will strengthen the knowledge triangle, building sustainable collaborative relationships between universities, SMEs and innovation support organizations.

To do so, we will build synergistic relationships between key stakeholders in the field of higher education and small enterprise to create a new culture of collaboration in innovation support. We will consolidate this culture by achieving 2 specific goals: training SMEs in the skills needed to effectively engage with HEI research and supplying HEIs with case study guides to illuminate new methodologies for innovation transfer.

It responds to the problem of increasing fragmentation in the field of innovation promotion, especially the dislocation between those who generate knowledge that could spur innovation (HEIs), and those who can translate that knowledge into marketable strategies and use it to produce economic growth (SMEs). Since the SME sector accounts for 99% of all businesses, provides two thirds of private sector jobs and contributes more than half of the total value-added created by businesses in the EU, the implementation of greater innovation in SMEs in an effective and cost-efficient way is vital to fulfilling not only Europe’s economic objectives, but also those of a more equal and productive society with higher social and economic integration.

To achieve these goals, the project entails:

  • Development of 4 Innovation Alliances in 5 countries (Ireland + UK, Germany, Spain, Romania)
  • The development, piloting, publishing and promotion of open access, digital learning resource for European SMEs, training them in the specific skills needed for engaging in innovation transfer with HEIs and Horizon 2020 projects
  • The development, piloting, publishing and promotion of a multimedia Comparative Study and Case Study Guide for Innovation Transfer presenting effective and cost effective solutions for transmitting HEI research to SME context

The project will consolidate cooperation as a key feature of the knowledge economy, reshaping traditional roles by multiplying outlets for HEIs to generate direct economic impact from their work, and breaking down barriers so that SMEs of all shapes and sizes can actively implement academic-based innovation to boost their own competitiveness, and that of the wider economy.

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