Intersectoral Staff Mobility
Inter-sectorial (industry-RTO-academia) mobility of staff is known to be an enabler for Open Innovation/Science and is implemented already in various European, national and regional (co-funded) programmes. However, the design and implementation can still be improved, lowering barriers and removing overhead bottlenecks, to allow beneficiaries to fully leverage on the inherent potential of bringing cooperating people together in a different context.
To boost inter sectorial mobility (ISM) of researchers as key enabler for open innovation by fully exploiting on its potential.
- Analysing existing staff mobility programmes (EU/national/regional)
- Collecting past experiences from all parties involved (including the staff)
- Deriving and testing good practices
Surveys: What needs are being addressed? What is the job to be done?
- Cross sectors: Pharmaceutical, Mechanical Engineering, Material science, Bio-tech,
- Multiple actors: Academic supervisors, industrial supervisors, inter-sectoral researchers, Funding agency representatives, Support functions
- Multiple programmes: Regional, National, European
Best practices compiled:
- Bottlenecks and proposed solutions: Identification of bottlenecks in different phases of current mobility programmes along with proposed solutions for these bottlenecks.
- Mobility facilitators: Collection of enabling factors for setting up and running intersectoral mobility programmes.
- KPI investigation: Investigation of KPIs to measure the amount and success of collaboration within programmes with intersectoral mobility
Guidelines for stakeholders (individuals, organisations and governments):
- How to initiate, facilitate and reward staff mobility
- How to deal with barriers and overhead bottlenecks
- How to profit from staff mobility as individual and organisation
- How to further improve on existing staff mobility programmes
The different stakeholders participate to ISM with different agendas. Academic partners try to advance the state-of-the-art ensuring industrial relevance at the forefront of academic excellence. The industry partner is searching to boost the state-of-the-use with innovative technologies, continuously innovating products and services and training researchers or students focused on their activities. Governments invest in innovative researchers of the future with a complete skill set to ensure the supply of highly-skilled professionals needed in the competitive labour markets of the “knowledge economy”. Lastly, the mobile researcher themselves are looking for combination of the critical mind-set of universities combined with a commercial mind-set of industry and gain company experience to speed up their learning curves.
Mobility is a key enabler for open innovation and
- can conflict with traditional (IP focused) innovation approaches and administrative procedures;
- can be boosted by out of the box thinking and novel approaches with clear IP and administrative agreements;
- is at the end driven by the people and their attitude (individual level connections);
- but is heavily facilitated by the existence of agreements between organisation (institutional connections)
- governmental funding schemes act as a catalyst.
This strong dependency on existence of both personal and organisation links, explains the importance of adapting to local habits and explains the wide variation and scatteredness of ISM schemes
- Go for gradual approaches to build a joint innovation DNA and ecosystem. Start small and build trust with low risk, short term research, such as student internships or master theses and gradually built towards a higher risk long term collaborations. Combine connections on individual level and build bridges on institutional level (alliances, base funding, …).
- Reduce risk for single projects with low level entry fees for the start of research, but gradually increasing fees when the research becomes more tangible.
- Ease administrative loads by setting up focused framework agreements for groups of companies and make templates available as starting point for discussions on administration issues.
- Educate researchers with respect to IP and collaboration such they know what they can share.
- Learn on the go and compile best practices (welcome procedures, collaboration scripts, IP templates) in a recipe book that can be used as guide towards further collaborations.