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Innovation Laboratories: using an open innovation learning platform & action research in enterprise education in order to enhance the engagement & innovative capabilities of Universities in Post-Socialist Societies
Start date: Oct 15, 2012,

A key challenge identified in Europe 2020 Strategy, the Strategic Framework for European Cooperation in Education & Training (ET 2020) revolves around the need to bridge the gap 'between education ... & research & innovation in the commercial sphere ... [&] to improve communication ... between the teaching and research world & the world of business & the wider economy' (2009/C 302/03, p. 2). This is particularly important in the cases of Belarus & Ukraine, where there are profound difficulties in academia's ability to understand the business environment, & the capacity of enterprises to absorb knowledge generated in Universities. Thus, the degree of interaction between academia & enterprises is very low, contributing to the very low incidence of innovation in both countries (Radosevic, 2008).INNOLAB aims to adopt a new approach in addressing this challenge, embedding links between education, research & innovation in core University activities. This will be achieved through the development of a network of five innovation laboratories (by UzNU, NaUKMA, NTU'KhPI", YKSUG, PSU) that will be part of undergraduate curricula, & regional innovation ecosystems. The innovation laboratories will be based (conceptually) on a creative combination of open innovation learning platform practice & action research in enterprise education. They will have virtual connectivity with enterprises & each other through the regional innovation ecosystem development platform & ideas market.When fully established, innovation laboratories will be a visible point of cooperation between universities & enterprises. They will enable student teams (led by academics) to work with enterprises in resolving 'real-world' problems & developing innovations, as part of their curricula (which, in turn, will ensure sustainability). The outcomes of these activities will offer primary data for academic research that is applied and relevant; reinforcing the triangle 'education-research-innovation'.
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