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iDEA Lab: Fostering students’ entrepreneurship and open innovation in university-industry collaboration


idealabDr Nick Williams, Associate Professor in Enterprise at the Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies, recently returned from a trip to Serbia where the final meeting for the iDEA Lab project took place.

The iDEA Lab project is a €800k EU Tempus funded project aimed at 'fostering students' entrepreneurship and open innovation in university-industry collaboration'. Nick took part in the 1.5 day meeting at the University of Novi Sad which looked at the progress that had been made with iDEALabs in 6 Western Balkan countries and how their future could be secured when the EU funding is no longer in place, for example by looking at University, private sector funding and paid memberships.

The general objective of the project is to advance employment and self-employment potential of graduates from the Western Balkan economies and enhance innovation of companies by fostering students’ entrepreneurship, creation of business start-ups and open innovation approach in collaboration between universities and enterprises. The project will achieve this by developing a co-creative and supportive environment - iDEA Lab network which will encourage and foster students’ entrepreneurial intent and at the same time support open innovation approach.

The projects specific aims are:
• To set up, equip and network co-creative centres (iDEA labs) to support students to generate, develop and commercialize their own innovative ideas through entrepreneurship and/or open innovation;
• To foster student entrepreneurship and start-up creation at university settings by improving infrastructure, entrepreneurial culture and skills;
• To introduce and implement open innovation as a new form of partnership among key stakeholders in knowledge triangle in the Western Balkans;
• To revise and adapt curricula to include entrepreneurial skills and problem-based learning.

Find out more about iDEA Lab at