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ARCA is a consortium for the application of research and the creation of innovative enterprises, established in , which has exploited a partnership between the University of Palermo and a private entrepreneurial group committed to industrial research and technological transfer.
In the Consortium started up the ARCA Incubator to promote and assist the generation of innovative business initiatives. ARCA promotes, too, industrial research and technological transfer programs customized to the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises, networks and industrial districts.
It is a region affected from a demographic tsunami, destined to lose 4. The low birth rate, the absence of work resulting into low attraction of foreign people and investments and massive emigration to the Centre-North of Italy and abroad which affected more than 1. The context is characterized from an average yearly reduction of gross domestic product, as compared to the Italian average, thus confirming an ongoing development gap between the North and South regions in the country, from a loss of jobs due to the economic recession and to the collapse of industrial employment and a low employment rate of qualified young people.
As a matter of fact, graduates are at the centre of this unstoppable brain drain process, as a proof of the incapacity of the region to absorb qualified personnel. To help Sicily grow up, it was, and still is, necessary to reinforce and support the initiatives of industrial development and exploit the endogenous potential of this region at the centre of Mediterranean basin.
Sicily, for a number of historical reasons, is chronically suffering of a lack of entrepreneurial culture, which has had serious effects on the capability of the society to counter fight the consequences of global competition; furthermore, those who embarked on a business venture did it so far in a traditional manner. Even the investments in social and economic innovation seem to be thwarted by such a mindset that moves people towards the search of unsustainable public employment rather than to exploit their creative potential.
In this scenario, ARCA business ecosystem succeeded to nucleate and diffuse a new approach to local development, based upon creativity and self-employment, through the emulation of the positive example represented by new young entrepreneurs coming up from university labs and courses.
The creation and further consolidation of innovative supply chains and ventures, even attracting external investors, like venture capital funds and large enterprises, around the incubator experience proved that the brain drain of qualified young people and creative intelligence can, and must, be stopped. The communication objectives, achieved through the web site and blog, the newsletter, the social media accounts, the organization of events and exhibitions, the entrepreneurship education courses and training workshops, convey from one side the story-telling of ARCA experience, identity and approach to entrepreneurship and innovation, from another side information about the activities, initiatives and projects it is committed to, about the events and, in particular, about the services delivered to the SMEs assisted and incubated.
Finally, the communication team gets information from outside about relevant activities to be spread out and promotes their dissemination within the incubator network of contacts.
The business support and incubation model experienced by ARCA, oriented to the open innovation paradigm and inspired by the Living Lab concept, has been already replicated in other urban premises and in other sites in the region. The Consortium has afforded a self-sustainability model, based on private investments, incubation fees, technology transfer services, training activities, on-demand services and European funds granted.
It is not linked to a short or medium-term project, but it has built up a durable partnership around entrepreneurship, business development, innovation and technology transfer. ARCA contributed to start up not just companies, but an innovative educational process consisting of four steps:. The academia got benefits in terms of quality of higher education and review of training curricula following the example of the start-ups.
The competitive advantage from a successful incubator is to connect more effectively the knowledge developed and distributed within the academia with the market, consisting of companies, products and consumers.
In addition to this, cross-cutting skills have been developed especially in young people as it concerns their capacity to transform their knowledge into innovative products and services, satisfying real market needs.
ARCA has encouraged new research demands to solve specific, real-life problems and fostered collaborative and interdisciplinary research, together with the generation of hundreds of qualified jobs. ARCA provides start-ups with a set of complementary services within a structured methodology of incubation. The approach adopted is a multi-level network which offers mentoring and access to financial and industrial relations as well as premises and logistics.
Consultancy support to potential entrepreneurs showed until a few years ago a cultural and professional gap between start-uppers, dealing with the challenge of doing business, and the intermediate bodies called upon to provide them with clear and timely information or managerial training somewhat distant from their educational paths. Within ARCA, senior entrepreneurs and experts through an innovative approach to mentoring and coaching management support young entrepreneurs for the organizational, legal and financial, contractual and commercial issues as well as for benchmarking with best practices at regional, national and international level, feasibility check and technological due diligence, market positioning and analysis of competitors.
The traditional isolation of start-uppers is overcome through a collaborative approach that facilitates prompt access to relevant information, mutual growth and learning and sectoral clustering, which empower them to grow up. Starting from the support to business creation, ARCA is performing the role of catalyst of a business ecosystem in Western Sicily, promoting the interaction between knowledge-intensive start-ups and research organizations, manufacturing companies and service agencies in a district concept and according to an open innovation approach.
This project was the first of its kind where all Cypriot Universities public and private participated in a Consortium under a common cause, from to The project was coordinated by the University of Cyprus, the main public university in Cyprus. The project had two main priorities; the first being the development of specific services for employment, training and support in connection with restructuring of sectors and enterprises, and develop systems to anticipate economic changes and future requirements in terms of jobs and skills, whereas the second was the design and further dissemination of innovative and more productive ways of organizing work.
The collaboration was based on common interest of forming closer links with industry for collaborative projects while promoting the upgrading of industrial research and infrastructure and supporting young placements and internships in industry for students and young researchers.
As the connection with industry both in the research and training areas is limited in Cyprus, the project also aimed to improve the adaptability of businesses and employees to the fast changing market environment by fostering closer connections with academia.
The initiative focused on supporting the restructuring of industry and academia for enabling them facing future labour market challenges as well as the development of innovative methods of structuring business and employment practices at a national level.
At the European level, the project contributed positively to the creation of more and better jobs for graduates, improvement of skills of students and a new approach on innovation towards a goal to development, adaptation of education and the introduction and development of training systems matching the new needs for skills that have arisen.
The target groups were Cypriot businesses coming from , all sectors of the economy at national level, Cypriot researchers and students and Cypriot Higher Education Institutions. UCY had a leading role in this innovative nationwide network consortium comprised of University Business Liaison Offices linking the academic to the business world.
Besides knowledge exchange, promotion of entrepreneurship and technology transfer, the network focused on introducing actions that would enhance and enrich the employability of students, either during their undergraduate and postgraduate studies or even after graduation. The system automatically matched needs to offers, needs to expertise and vice versa opening up new possibilities to the parties involved.
The active network of the 8 Universities have also cooperated to investigate the needs for technology transfer as presented by the Industry and made an assessment how these needs can be met by the academic world. Its role also extended in promoting and developing methods of cooperation aiming to bring about mutual economic and social benefits to both sectors and to the stakeholders as well as the society at large.
The Network of Unis has produced and accomplished significant results and valuable statistics. However, most of all, it has brought about a notable change of culture among all stakeholders. For the student population, it is now apparently clear and expected that students need to gain professional experience, expand their horizons, search for adequate professional training, acquire real life skills and get their Institutions assist them in the improvement of their employment and career prospects.
The educational material prepared was shared and had a direct impact on the promotion of a new entrepreneurial culture in Cyprus. The aim of the project can very well be applied in other countries that wish to promote an entrepreneurship and innovation culture. This is a multi faceted initiative that has been tested and succeeded and there is no doubt that similar results could be achieved in other Med countries.
This was an ESF funded Project and although it has ended the University Business Liaison Office will remain and operate with all its infrastructure, learning resources, connections and valuable databases all of which are shared with other UCY units. It is the first time a Consortium of Universities was formed in Cyprus.
In addition researchers have cooperated and consulted Companies on specific issues, signed bi lateral agreements and opened up new channels of collaborations. Cyprus as a small country with a national project could become a model for regional practices in larger European countries. There is a pressing need to improve the quality of higher education in Egypt and a stronger role of higher education institutions to better prepare graduates for the labor market.
One subject is the introduction of entrepreneurship education in HEI. Several initiatives in that regards. A group of professors from the participating universities and representatives from the green industry is carrying out a market needs analysis. The curriculum of the GIEP itself is being developed with multidisciplinary modules of engineering, social science, economics, policy and management courses.
Contact information of the main actors involved in the initiative. Relevance of the development of initiative in its specific context. Although those who got trained were faculty members, the ILO initiative was aiming at training university students and university graduates on the entrepreneurship.
Aiming at changing mind set of them concerning the entrepreneurship. The Involved universities were financial supporting the activities held in their institutes. The ILO office in Cairo was supporting some of the activities. The means were training the university professors to be TOT in the field of entrepreneurship. The goal is to make entrepreneurial success attainable for youth, by giving them the skills, resources and role models.
Yes, the model can be implemented by other universities. The modules are in English and Arabic languages. It can be shortened to be taught in few days. The full modules can be taught in two weeks. The collaboration between the universities and the ILO office in Cairo. Entrepreneurship education in universities further developed the entrepreneurial skills and knowledge and better prepared them to develop their own ideas for businesses including social enterprises.
The education helped trainers to secure positions in private sectors. IAU has contributed in a great deal towards achieving the goal of training qualified labour force sought after on the national and international level via the Education and Cultural Foundation of Anatolia AKEV. IAU is targeting to be innovative and model in higher education by applying programs constantly improving and raising innovative, contemporary, adaptable to change and productive generations, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability who have the requisite knowledge and the ability to use technology in their fields and that can apply knowledge to production processes.
Currently the university offers 46 graduate programs and 1 Competency in Art program organized under its 3 institutes, 52 undergraduate programs organized under 11 faculties, associate degree programs under its 3 vocational schools and has almost 39, students, 28, alumni and 3, international students.
IAU was established to produce an inquisitive, educated and innovative population that is focused and driven to succeed. With the biggest Technology Center in Turkey established in one complex comprising of 29 different laboratories, notable Social Sciences Research Centers and the curriculum-as experience approach, IAU is open for research in different study areas, exchanges of innovative practices and students and staff mobilities.
During the Academic Year, spring semester alone out of The society of the 21st century needs qualified workforce, skilled in the use of information technologies; competent in the use of at least one foreign language in business life; who are inquisitive, productive, innovative, participatory and proactive on a global scale.
Since its foundation days, IAU has supported proactively the curriculum-as experience approach and the embedded to curriculum work placement activities- proposing and obtaining the approval for it from the Council of Higher Education YOK ; the central body responsible for the administration of higher education in Turkey. In particular, these skills should include, according to IAU, information technology and foreign language skills as well as a sense of social responsibility. Hence, IAU has invested considerable means in building up technologically modern student learning facilities.
Offering up-to-date infrastructure is one of the assets with which IAU positions itself in the rapidly expanding and increasingly competitive Turkish HE market. IAU seeks to be responsive to the innovation needs of the business sector with which it cooperates closely, both in its teaching program development and offer of internships as well as in many cooperative research projects which help businesses find innovation solutions. Currently our university has The practical on-site training is related to their study programs, fully integrated into the curricula and weekly student course schedule and is compulsory for short-cycle programs and vocational schools as well as for Bachelor students.
On an annual basis the aim of the Career Development Applied Research Center is to place all students that have asked for assistance next to a company for their traineeship. Up till now the communication and monitoring made internally as well as the close cooperation relations with our solution partners made possible for all our students to find a company for their work placement. As per the communication means between the student and the Center, at the beginning of each semester, the Center runs an online survey compulsory to all students on the general electronic portal of the University UBIS through which all students are asked about their work placement- if they do need or do not need assistance in terms of finding the most appropriate company for their work placement.
Additionally, the Career Development Applied Research Center is open to the IAU students on a full time basis from Monday to Saturday; all around the year- except for national holidays facilitating the access of our students to companies. In the Academic Year, IAU was the host of the 9 th Career Fair which hosted an impressive number of companies from different sectors of the Turkish economy.
Such Career Development Applied Research Center may function successfully abroad having into consideration a number of institutional and legal factors that govern the higher education and the implementation of the work placement into the curricula. Thirdly, as integrated part of the curricula, the work placement project works successfully at IAU due to the involvement of the academicians in the project. Finally the companies accepting our students need to keep close contact with our Center in terms of notifying us of their needs for interns, the selection criteria for them as well as the evaluation of the trainees, respectively, keeping us updated on eventual changes in the structure or in the working system they use.
With 7 campuses located on both sides of Istanbul, Istanbul Aydin University offers a wide range of programs to provide modern and diverse education opportunities within its 11 faculties, 3 vocational schools, 3 institutes and 26 research centers, IAU has a total of The project of the work placement managed by IAU Career Development Applied Research Center is an ongoing project, expanding each academic year, in accordance to the growing number of enrolled full time students and alumni.
In the same time, the summit constituted the perfect opportunity for business networking, for advertisement of the companies involved and for further recruitment of international students.
In Turkey, there is a number of higher education institutions that have embedded in the curriculum the work placement course and have taken our center as example. Moreover, its impact is not resumed just to the local population of students but further extends to covering the labor market demands; knowing for a fact that companies do prefer students who have undergone at least one work placement during their university studies.
Overall, the impact of such project can be extended to the level of Turkish economy, such project reducing the general rate of unemployment of the country, by forming graduates equipped with the current needs of the market.
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