Archive of European Projects

Framework for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Support in Open Higher Education
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The contextual distance between formal education and the complex, ill-structured domain of professionals has always been challenging for young people trying to take their first steps into the job market. Entrepreneurship and innovation are today regarded as presenting young people with hitherto unacknowledged opportunities. Therefore, creating entrepreneurial mindsets and helping young people transforming their ideas and talents into viable products and services may be the answer to reduce the high numbers of young unemployment throughout Europe. Understanding this need, the Education system reacted once again. E&I courses blossomed in HEIs, research focused on entrepreneurship pedagogy, and related contests started targeting different groups. Although there is a wealth of knowledge about E&I it is largely disconnected and thus difficult to reap synergies, or to allow building on best practice. There is a lack of synergies and collaborations that would allow newcomers to understand and to build on what is already known. In the past years we have been seeing however the emergence of a potential enabler that would allow to establish a common framework so to bundle efforts, connect actors, and to build on best practice at scale. This enabler is called “Openness” and was recognized by the European Commission in 2013 as a possible flagship towards renewing and innovating in the education system itself. Against this background, the objectives of this project are to: 1. Identify and analyze the lessons learnt from previous efforts on E&I within the partners' networks (i.e., academic programs, research projects, contests, etc.). 2. Adapt and scale existing efforts into a new systems framework for E&I in Open Higher Education that would take into account technical, organizational, pedagogical, legal, and economic aspects and that could be applied and tested in different contexts. 3. Provide a software platform and along with gathered, modified, or produced learning material (e.g., open educational resources, case studies, webinar, etc.) on E&I that would materialize the different dimensions of the proposed framework. 4. Run two pilot rounds applying and testing the proposed systems framework in three sites inside the partnership. 5. Create the opportunities for collaboration and networking among the different target groups, coming from the education, industry, and policy making fields. 6. Create a reference point for future endeavors and be a gathering point for people who are interested in E&I. The project will bring together leading networks and state-of-the-art domain knowledge from 4 EU countries; namely: the Aarhus University (AU, DK), a research leading public HEI that has Entrepreneurship Education as a priority; the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH, GR), one of the largest universities in Europe with a long experience in EU-funded projects and the technical capacity to lift the technical dimension of the project; the European Learning Industry Group (ELIG, AT) that represents 52 companies (incl. IBM, Intel, HP, Pearson); Instituto Politécnico do Porto (IPP, PT) that coordinates the nationwide PoliEmpreende entrepreneurship contest; and finally Sociedade do Conhecimento, Inovação, e Organização (SCIO, PT), a young SME with more than a decade of research and work experiences in the field of Open Education. The project will build on recent projects such as PACE (Promoting a Culture of Entrepreneurship) (AU), HoTEL (supporting innovation in Technology Enhanced Learning) (ELIG, SCIO), openEd 2.0 and openSE (open and connected educational approaches) (AUTH, ELIG, SCIO), as well as the PoliEmpreende, a nationwide entrepreneurship contest that runs across all 21 Portuguese Polytechnics for the past 11 years (IPP). The project will apply an incremental design methodological approach for the software element of the framework. Two versions of the proposed framework (initial, revised) will be applied and tested in three partners (AU, AUTH, IPP). Two teams for project administration and quality assurance will be formed early in the project to monitor and evaluate project progress. The project is innovative and complementary, and it builds on earlier efforts, bringing together the necessary partners for such an endeavour. The project will thus support quality improvements, innovation excellence and internationalisation, as well as to facilitate collaborations since network actor could understand and focus on their respective core competencies and values. As such the results of the project will also contribute to the modernisation of Europe’s view on E&I education. The outcomes of the project will also be of direct relevance to the project partners themselves, and to their network members, so to adapt and improve their service and product portfolio in accordance.
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