In recent years, the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union (EU), has increasingly put attention on ways to improve connectivity amongst society, businesses, governments and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), in an effort to increase employment, productivity and social cohesion. Through its Europe 2020 Strategy and the EU growth agenda, the Commission has proven that cooperation amongst all these stakeholders can be translated into sustainable solutions with economic value and societal benefits. Nonetheless, it is often argued that, despite the existence of supporting policy, HEIs’ valorisation of research activities remains limited.
Researchers often fail to generate societal impact – beyond generating publications – whilst HEIs are not able to support their researchers in their entrepreneurial and valorisation activities. Moreover, for several years, universities have set the valorisation of their research activities as one of their top priorities. Yet, several barriers still exist, such as lack of entrepreneurial skills among researchers; low levels of commercial awareness; weak cooperation between universities and external stakeholders; lack of awareness about the valorisation engagement activities beyond research commercialisation; and lack of industry contacts and supporting networks.
On this premise, our STEM_Valorise partners, whom you will learn more about in the following blog articles, came together with a clear goal in mind: develop valorisation capabilities for researchers in the final stage of their Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. Within the project, the STEM_Valorise partners have set four main objectives:
- to provide a comprehensive understanding of the needs for valorisation and research-driven entrepreneurship training for first stage STEM researchers
- to examine and disseminate the best practices of valorisation training offerings for researchers
- to profile and showcase successful as well as unsuccessful stories and experiences of the STEM academic entrepreneurs
- to design a modularised valorisation training programme and toolkit for first stage STEM researchers
STEM_Valorise will mostly target universities and their first stage STEM researchers located in partner countries. It will offer critical insights into valorisation in STEM as well as provide educational means for HEIs to train their STEM researchers in valorisation and entrepreneurship. By raising entrepreneurial competences of researchers, the project will ultimately develop a new generation of STEM researchers empowered to make a stronger impact on society through the valorisation of their research.
Finally, throughout the STEM_Valorise journey, the partners will produce a total of four outputs:
- IO1 Valorisation Training Investigation Report: a comprehensive tool that aims to provide a deep understanding of the needs for valorisation and research-driven entrepreneurship training for first Stage STEM researchers.
- IO2 Digital Gallery of Success and Fail Stories of Academic STEM Entrepreneurs: a valuable resource that gathers successful and unsuccessful stories of research valorisation by STEM researchers.
- IO3 Valorisation Training Programme and Toolkit: a modularised training programme for valorisation and academic entrepreneurship skills development for STEM researchers.
- IO4 Valorisation Training Pilot Test and Validation: pilot tests of the programme that will be carried out at each partner university.
To conclude, the STEM_Valorise consortium strongly believes that the project will have a lifelong impact on the European society and economy and it will ensure the full exploitation of our STEM research.