Linking academia and industry for innovation
The transfer of knowledge across sectors of society and cultures is something all governments need to foster. But the methods used to transfer skills differ in different countries and the levels of success are varied. The BBaS project was devised to address problems of knowledge transfer (KT) between universities and industry to accelerate entrepreneurship and innovation in the participating regions. By bringing together institutions from five EU regions it aims to find best practice and a coherent approach to knowledge transfer across
BBaS is part of the Business Growth arm of the GROW programme. The project is led by the University of Surrey (UK), working with partners from
Universities and industry represent distinct organisational cultures, and academics and business people interact too little. BBaS creates a bridge between these two cultures and gathers more than 140 people from both sides of the bridge to plan collaborative, multinational research and innovation projects in biotechnology and health, environment, IT and new materials.
Activities have been based on ‘study tours’ at universities in four towns – Guildford (UK), Eindhoven (NL), Cordoba (ES) and Krakow (PL). At each event 12 academics and 12 representatives of industry, mainly SMEs and young entrepreneurs, were guided by KT professionals in planning collaborative research leading to innovation in their business.
The results are impressive. Five SMEs (two from South East England (UK), two from Nord-Brabant (NL) and one from Andalcía (ES)) have started collaboration with researchers from
Four proposals involving SMEs and academics from all the partner regions were submitted in spring 2007 to the first calls from the FP7 EC research funding programme. Many new networks have been created across regions between SMEs and academics.
Young entrepreneurs from Krakow have expressed amazement at the innovation and knowledge transfer work being done in Surrey and
“It is exciting to see barriers being broken down between people from different professional environments and to show them how they can benefit from working together,” said Dr Sophie Stos from the
“Young entrepreneurs from Krakow expressed amazement at the innovation and knowledge transfer work being done in Surrey and Eindhoven and are now prepared to press ahead with their own ideas.”
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