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Virtual Mobility Lab pratice Knote

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Virtual Mobility Lab pratice Knote

  1. 1. Virtual Mobility through Innovation Labs Hilde Evers Lieve Mulier Robrecht Van Goolen Leuven University College VISIR, 25-26 March 2014
  2. 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. 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. 4. Steps in EU-VIP Before
  5. 5. Steps in EU-VIP During
  6. 6. Steps in EU-VIP After
  7. 7. Limited student mobility for internships and no support policy SMEs are important players in today’s 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 15. For further information: www.euvip.eu Hilde.Evers@khleuven.be Lieve.Mulier@khleuven.be Robrecht.VanGoolen@khleuven.be Any questions?