Presenting the UnInova project May 2011 – January 2012
In May 2011 the Danish Technological Institute and Vilnius Gediminas Technological University started a state-of-the-art innovation project in Lithuania called ‘UnInova’.
The main objective of the UnInova project is to develop and train key persons from companies and universities to co-create and generate new knowledge, to develop the new knowledge, and to disseminate it around in their organizations. Moreover, the goal of the project is to create Lithuanian experts in relation to innovative technology transfer, industry and business partnerships, and the creation and maintaining of business networks.
Connecting business and science perspectives
The participants (45 in total) in the UnInova project come from seven different companies, which all have brought a real case to the project that need to be completed, and other participants come from two of the largest universities in Lithuania; Vilnius University and Vilnius Gediminas Technological University. Together, these participants will in groups and teams become drivers of innovation, when connecting the perspectives from research/science from the universities with the expertise and practical insights from the business professionals.
The applied method for the UnInova project is the Creative Idea Solution (CIS) framework which is created by Henning Sejer Jakobsen at the Danish Technological Institute. During the first four months the participants have worked intensively with the project, and in the following we present some of the elements, which the participants have been trough.
In the first seminar, the participants were trained in the CIS method for a three day period, where all the aspects of the theories and methodologies which create the foundation for the CIS framework were presented and applied as training cases in hands-on exercises.
Afterwards, the participants were divided into seven different teams (one per business case), where the manager and his/her colleague(s) followed their own case, and where the rest of the participants were divided randomly to the seven cases. In sum, there were created seven project teams containing 5-7 participants in each one.
In the next seminar, the teams were to create focus for their business case for the following sessions, so everyone in the project team knew in which direction the individual case was going. Here, the facilitators started seven CIS-projects at one time – projects, which all were carried through a new process in a parallel manner. During the process, the project teams were divided into other groups, with other individuals, and then the participants assisted one another in generating inputs for the different cases, which later on in the process could be turned into ideas for the projects. This co-development of the real life cases, where industry and knowledge institution participated equally with tools and methods for facilitating the process, generated multiple inputs for the seven companies; more than 250 in average. This session took two days, and an additional day was added, where individual sparring for the participants and the teams was possible on request with the UnInova management and its facilitators.
In the third seminar, the participants were trained in getting access to relevant knowledge through external networks, contact-making with international research institutions, finding experts etc. The training took two days, where a consultant from the Danish Technology Institute presented how the DTI works with knowledge transfer and knowledge brokering. For this session the project teams should be aware which type of knowledge they needed, and then the consultant assisted them in getting access to this knowledge, by creating contact with relevant players.
In the fourth seminar, the participants were trained in intellectual property rights, patens laws etc., which they could use when developing the generated input to become ideas and concepts, so their companies could benefit from i.e. creating spin-off’s, transfer knowledge under licensing, etc. This was a two day seminar, and an additional day was added to the process, if the participants needed additional consultation.
The next seminar will take place in August, where creative negotiation technique is on the agenda.
You are welcome to contact us, if you are interested in participating in a similar project, where you or your organization will be one of the cases, which are co-developed with national and international experts of creativity, idea development and innovation.
For more information, please do not hesitate to contact the Danish Technological Institutes staff:
Henning Sejer Jakobsen (consultant and facilitator at the UnInova project),
Jacob Brix (Industrial Researcher following the project)