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Applied Innovation for Students and Business

The AISAB Project will address the need within the EU to improve the level of innovation and its impact, particularly in SMEs. Building on the work of other innovation projects and materials, it will develop approaches to develop the skills that support SME innovation from an HEI context and through VET. These complementary streams of work will see implementation of initiatives to drive innovation, both during the project and also on a sustainable basis, by embedding the outcomes in the day-to-day activities of HEIs and organisations delivering VET to SMEs.

The project objectives are to develop learning materials aimed at enhancing student skills in assessing and implementing innovation, and build tools that students can use to facilitate their impact when consulting in SMEs. It will also develop a toolkit for SMEs to self-diagnose their innovation practice, as well as putting in place business intervention approaches that can be used to enhance innovation practices in SMEs.

Objectives:

  1. Develop a series of tools and techniques that leverage the work of previous projects, and established good practice, into a HE context for use with students to enhance their knowledge of innovation;
  2. Create a handbook/process guide enabling HE students to work within SMEs to assess and develop innovation practice to enhance their skills in assessing and implementing innovation;
  3. Design and develop a toolkit for SMEs to self-diagnose innovation practice and identify weaknesses;
  4. Develop business intervention approaches to enhance innovation practices in SMEs;
  5. Create case studies for use in a VET and HE context to support dissemination and exploitation of project results;
  6. Write and present a research paper exploring reasons for weaknesses in the underlying culture and support infrastructure relating to innovation in SMEs.

The AISAB consortium brings together a balanced mix of five higher education and three VET/SME Partners, with expertise in the development of skills for SMEs. All Partners have a focus on creating real impact for business growth through their activities. Together, they are experts in the development of VET learning materials, leading learning interventions for SMEs, and engaging with SMEs to facilitate business growth.

In consultation with students in HEIs and SME organisations, the project will develop materials and consultancy processes aimed at delivering increased skills for innovation and impact, through the active use of those skills in SME organisations.

This joint approach will strengthen the 'innovation ecosystem' by bringing together relevant stakeholders in the innovation system. It will be strengthened through cooperation, communication and the mutual exchange of knowledge at the HE and VET level, to bring about a connected approach and results.

 

The project adopts a practical approach that will result in HEIs adopting and embedding innovation modules in a way that will ensure their impact is sustained. Similarly, the project will embed tools with SME training and service providers, so that they become an integral part of their methodology and are sustained. All of these changes aim to create greater innovation in SMEs on an ongoing basis.

The impact for SMEs will include process improvements and better financial performance through greater levels of innovation. HEI students will build consultancy skills and enhance their employability. HEI and SME/training and service providers will improve their understanding of the barriers to innovation in SMEs, and enhance their provision through embedding innovation into the core of their products.

In the long term, the project results will remain available through a publicly accessible website. The project Partners also expect the materials to be reused and modified by other organisations in their regions, providing the platform for long term development of Innovation Management.

 

Intellectual Outputs

  • Intellectual Output 1 - AISAB Higher Education Teaching Materials/Module
  • Intellectual Output 2 - AISAB Students' Consultancy Process Guide
  • Intellectual Output 3 - AISAB SME Deployment Toolkit
  • Intellectual Output 4 - AISAB Business Intervention Approaches
  • Intellectual Output 5 – AISAB Research Paper

Partners

  • University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, UK  - Coordinator
  • Hafelekar Unternehmensberatung St. Polten, Austria 
  • PROMPT-H Information Technology Educational Trade and Service Ltd.,  Hungary
  • University of Sopron, Alexander Lamfalussy Faculty of Economics, Sopron, Hungary
  • University of Primorska Faculty of Management, Koper, Slovenia (UP)
  • Korona plus d.o.o. Institute za inovativnost in technologijo, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Fondazione Instituto Tecnico Superiore per le nuove tecnologie per il made in Italy, Bergamo, Italy 
  • Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain

Aisab on Erasmus+ website: http://bit.ly/2mqI5nm