Virtual Mobility Lab pratice Knote

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  • 1. Virtual Mobility through Innovation Labs Hilde Evers Lieve Mulier Robrecht Van Goolen Leuven University College VISIR, 25-26 March 2014

2. EU-VIP Enterprise-University Virtual Placements Project financed as a LLP project Time frame: 01 October 2009 30 September 2011 Partnerships between 16 organizations from 8 countries 3. Objectives EU-VIP Investigate and test innovative ways to organize work placements, providing students and companies more opportunities to work together; Familiarize employers, teachers and students with the use of virtual technologies; Focus on international, European cross-border work placements instead of local or national placements; Boost innovation through the implementation of ICT into high quality work placements in companies. 4. Steps in EU-VIP Before 5. Steps in EU-VIP During 6. Steps in EU-VIP After 7. Limited student mobility for internships and no support policy SMEs are important players in todays economy but underused in internships But actual situation: EU lags behind compared to other major world economies; Research and policy agendas are centered on technological innovation and focused on large companies; SMEs are lacking capacity to innovate; Non-technological innovations are highly relevant for SMEs; Mobility for students is mainly through physical exchange, but internet opens a wide spectrum of virtual possibilities. Background motivation 8. Method Innovation Labs: Collaborative platform between HEIs and SMEs with a case-based approach as an alternative for an international internship Approach: Teams with business students tackled several innovation problems of SMEs: B2B & B2C markets in various industries by virtual means. Three objectives: 1. Collaborate between HEIs and SMEs in a virtual way; 2. Offer students a real-life international work situation in a virtual context; 3. Stimulate business model innovation in SMEs. 9. Participants from Leuven University College & Laurea University of Applied Sciences: Students: 4 Belgian + 7 Finnish Lecturers: 2 Belgian + 1 Finnish Cases: De Standaard (Belgian newspaper): market research on youth market segment Rips (Finnish food exporter): Belgian market analysis to export a Finnish food product to Belgium Method 10. Different stages of the virtual project Introductory stage Finalizing topic, contents and use of ICT platform Each student group had 2 virtual meetings to meet and be introduced to the cases Middle stage Organizing brainstorm sessions, executing market research, developing business plans End stage Presentation of business plan to companies All stakeholders were surveyed in every stage Method 11. Innovative methodology for all stakeholders by using virtual communication via video conferencing, Sharepoint, e-mail, Skype and HEIs internal internship follow-up tool Students Develop innovative business plan for foreign employer Develop intercultural skills Work with virtual learning tools Companies Discover business opportunities in other countries HEIs Work with virtual learning tools Have contact with foreign lecturers Learn about other didactic approaches Benefits for stakeholders 12. Findings Findings on communication: Added value: Communication with foreign partner without travelling Communication is more personal than e-mail Good practice for foreign language learning Pitfalls: Technical failures Limited knowledge of software Misunderstandings because of use of non-native language Time difference Recommendation: Need for clear guidelines 13. Findings Findings on learning outcomes: Added value: Getting experience in long distance working and ICT skills Experience of working in foreign company culture Entrepreneurial and innovation skills Plus on CV Pitfalls: Finding the most suitable students for the project Big difference in culture and doing business Recommendation: Innovative ICT tools, international internships and real-life business cases should be more present in business studies 14. Conclusion Interesting collaboration between HEIs and SMEs: HEIs offer genuine business problems to their students: learning by working on authentic cases and improving ICT-knowledge, entrepreneurial and cross-cultural communication skills; SMEs receive innovative solutions to improve business performance; Embedded in the curriculum of the business university colleges; Transferrable methodology to other HEIs. Further developments: Standardization of the communication through an online platform Pathway covered by the European LLP project PROVIP Expanding the international dimension in Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships (submission April 2014) 15. For further information: www.euvip.eu Hilde.Evers@khleuven.be Lieve.Mulier@khleuven.be Robrecht.VanGoolen@khleuven.be Any questions?