Development of an entrepreneurship and innovation training centre as part of a University environment.

C4E has a threefold mission:

a) to foster a culture of innovative entrepreneurship within the University and to develop relevant in-house expertise;

b) to provide the entire University community with high-quality services and the connections required to bring scientific innovations and novel ideas produced inside the University to global marketplaces, and

c) to contribute to the creation of a sustainable innovation ecosystem in Cyprus. C4E aspires to provide the training, expertise, mentorship, support and connections that UCY’s students and young scientists need to become effective entrepreneurs.


More Information

Impact

What was the challenge intended to be addressed? Why? What did work well? What did not work well? What have been the main achievements? How did you evaluate its success? What has been the change brought by this good practice?

It has been observed that the university's graduates did not have the ability to turn their knowledge into innovative ideas nor were they able to pitch them. The Centre is trying to address this problem by means of providing relevant training to students. O tnhe positive side the courses offered are attracting interest as well as the invited talks and other seminars. On the negative side, the Centre is still in its infancy with lack of necessary space and equipment (e.g. drones). Success is evaluated by means of assessing the knowledge acquired in seminars and following the graduates' progress in their professional life after graduation.

Success Factors

What are the enabling conditions (e.g. institutional, economic, social/cultural, regulatory) that needed to be in place or played a facilitating role for the good practice to be successful?

The Centre had to be established as an official entity of the University. It had to be manned with personnel that were experts in aspects of innovation and entrepreneurship. The regulatory framework of the University needed to be updated to include the offered courses and seminars as part of the official curriculum. The enabling conditions overall are mostly institutional and focus on the internal functioning of the University.

Constraints

What are the challenges, barriers or limiting factors encountered? How have they been addressed?

The most challenging constraint is resources, both in terms of space as well as budget. Obviously, the rather small size of the Cypriot market is an additional constraint.

Feasibility & Sustainability

What are the elements that need to be put into place for the good practice to be sustainable (institutionally, socially, economically, etc.)? If applicable, indicate the total costs incurred for the implementation of the practice. What are the benefits compared to total costs?

The expansion of the new University campus will alleviate the problem of space. Seeking sufficient sponsorship will also address the issue of budget. Once these issues are addressed, it is expected that the Centre will function more effectively and the knowledge and experience it passes to the students will outweigh any costs for its running.

Replicability & Upscaling

What are the possibilities of extending the good practice more widely? What are the conditions that need to be in place for the good practice to be successfully replicated in a similar context? What are the steps that should be taken/respected to ensure that the good practice is replicated / up-scaled, but adapted to the new context?

Any academic and training institution can consider the establishment of a centre for entrepreneurship and innovation. The ideas and good practices behind such initiative are generically applicable to many environments. Of course, there is need for commitment by the top management and investment of resources.

Lessons learned

What would have facilitated an earlier and/or bigger impact? What are the key features that should be kept in mind if this would have to be implemented again? What would you do differently if you could go back in time? What could have been done better?

Graduates have a better chance to promote their professional ideas and careers after having undergone a training program offered by C4E. The existence of the required resources right from the beginning would make this initiative more effective much earlier.

Context

Please provide some information about the context and initial situation that can help in fully understanding the action (e.g. information about the national system, applying regulations, etc.)

The establishment of a number of young Universities in the country has led to the generation of many graduates wth technical skills but not enough experience to apply them in innovative ways. The Centre is trying to cover this vacuum and hence boost entrepreneurship in the country.