The Innovation area—Day for Thinkers and Doers—was organised by Kuopio Entrepreneurship Society (KuopioES) in collaboration with the University of Eastern Finland (UEF). The participants included professors, researchers as well as students and entrepreneurs. The aim was to encourage multidisciplinary interaction and collaboration to spur innovation and entrepreneurship. Participants were encouraged to share both their views and propose new ideas – how to boost the entrepreneurial path inside academia.
Key messages, outcomes, recommendations
- More focus on the student potential is needed –The University of Eastern Finland & Schools in the region have over 20,000 students, but at the moment, many of the innovation services are not seen to the larger pool of students. Developing a student innovation ecosystem and involving as many university students in the process as possible is critical to provide assistance for the utilization of the intellectual products created by students.
- We need a systematic way to market the innovation “platforms” and societies to professors, faculties and partners. This can give the cultural and a practical backbone for entrepreneurship and innovation related events & meetups.
- Organisations at the Savilahti (like Schools) could have a natural partnership to market entreprenuership events, which needs a common communication strategy & stories to be told.
- It is important to study how to plant entrepreneurship and innovation in our common culture and within the studies by catalyzing the potential within students; this requires creating platforms that allow students to learn from each other, and making entrepreneurship an integral part of the process of students’ guidance. For example, creating a student innovation center could help students create and develop new ideas and products.
- Making researchers to realize the potential of multidisciplinary collaboration in innovation (for example, researchers could pitch for teams; allow people to show up what they are developing through exhibitions and to integrate the “impact indicators” for faculties” to highlight the importance of the innovation ecosystem (indicators of academic entrepreneurship).
- The processes for commercialization of university research should be faster and less challenging for researchers. Intellectual property rights (IPR) issues should not impede academic entrepreneurship. Ownership from University to spin-offs should be easier or more “lean”. Additionally, university teams should be guided and facilitated to access financing from private investors, banks and organizations like Fiban and Tekes.
Shaping a culture and an attitude of entrepreneurship and innovation in academia requires long and hard work involving all university commoners—lecturers, researchers and, most importantly, students. Next event will be a blast! 😀
Kenneth Muhumuza, Secretary
Kuopio Entrepreneurship Society
Tel. 041 7583738 , Email: firstname.lastname@example.org