Project GLOBAL-SPIN Transnational Entrepreneurship and Corporate Learning: Fostering Effective Internationalization Strategies in Academic Spin Offs

ERASMUS + - KA2 Knowledge Alliances

Presentation

The project GLOBAL-SPIN Transnational Entrepreneurship and Corporate Learning: Fostering Effective Internationalization Strategies in Academic Spin-Offs, with the support of the European Union and the Erasmus+ Programme, is a team endeavour consisting of a Higher Education Foundation, two Universities, and four companies specialized in consultancy, training and research. GLOBAL-SPIN is led by the Fundación General Universidad de Granada Empresa in Spain and will run from January 2017 to December 2018.

Other European projects have shown that one of the top five skills that University Spin-Off firms are concerned about is internationalization. Researchers behind these Spin-Offs usually lack the competences, in terms of knowledge, skills, and attitude, to internationalise, and, thus, to sustain and develop their business. The goal of the GLOBAL-SPIN project is to remedy this problem.

This project focuses mainly on working with the managers of academic Spin-Offs working in transnational entrepreneurship.

Academic Spin-Offs are business initiatives launched by members of the University community that are based on the development of new processes, products, or services from the acquired knowledge and the results of the University. Applied research is the basis for these companies, and, therefore, they are key actors in the development of new technologies, the creation of quality jobs, the ability to generate high added value in economic activity, and the contribution to regional development in all European countries.

These businesses become international when they begin to establish transactions, partnerships, and operations in foreign countries. This means that they can open access to new markets, and more effective (and less costly) recruitment of international talent and other resources. Internationalization is even more attractive for Spin-Offs needing to reach critical market mass for their survival and, according to many recent studies, it remains the preferred growth strategy for most of them in all sectors.

Project Objectives

The Project Transnational Entrepreneurship and Corporate Learning: Fostering Effective Internationalization Strategies in Academic Spin-Offs - GLOBAL-SPIN - aims to develop an innovative and inclusive training tool for managers of academic Spin-Offs on transnational entrepreneurship, based in a new approach to corporate learning and using web and tablet technologies, to provide the knowledge, skills, and resources needed for these professionals to implement effective strategies of internationalization in their ventures.

As a result, the expectations of the project are to contribute to an increase on the European academic Spin-Offs’ competitiveness by supporting these organizations to deal effectively with the challenges of markets’ globalization. The project plans to support entrepreneurs in the primary decision making affecting two internationalization strategies: a) the commercialization of new products and services abroad and b) the competition, attraction and recruitment of global talent.

Target groups

Primary beneficiaries

Academic Spin Offs Managers will benefit from the knowledge, skills, and individual resources put in place by successful transnational entrepreneurs to adopt effective internationalization strategies. In addition, these researchers will have the access to an innovative and inclusive corporate learning tool that will enable them to foster their transnational entrepreneurial skills as well as to train their working teams.

Secondary beneficiaries

Entrepreneurial Academic Community of teachers, researchers and students in Universities and HEIs will benefit from new knowledge, training materials, and tools that they can use to promote an internationally oriented entrepreneurial career.

Managers of SMEs and entrepreneurs working in different sectors can benefit from the project results and, especially, from the corporate learning tool on transnational entrepreneurship to help them overcome internationalisation problems.

Key actors in HRM and employment areas will have more information, resulting from the research done during this project, about where to base their activities and policy making.

Decision makers at European level in the field of Innovation, Entrepreneurship Education and TIC will have access to innovative training materials and tools that they can use to improve the strategies of empowerment of the entrepreneurial communities as well as the reinforcement of the academic spin-offs.

Project Phases

The phases of the project are:

  1. Diagnostic analysis: active research about international entrepreneurship complementing traditional studies with an assessment that will identify the specific knowledge, skills, and individual resources mobilized by already consolidated transnational entrepreneurs leading international business and operating in participating countries.
  2. Design and development of a Corporate Learning Programme on transnational entrepreneurship and effective internationalization for spin-offs, the “performers”: an innovative and inclusive web/tablet Corporate Learning Programme for academic Spin-Offs’ managers focusing on transnational entrepreneurship and effective internationalization practices.
  3. Implementation and set-up of the transnational entrepreneurship Web/Tablet Learning Environment, the “communicator”: a supporting technological framework which will be used by trainers/instructors for delivering training scenarios to learners who will need to align themselves to the learning objectives of each scenario.
  4. Experimentation and validation of the Learning Tool: to test and validate the web/tablet tool next to end users (Spin-Offs’ managers), enabling for improvement that will ensure a greater potential for future exploitation and sustainability of this Corporate Learning Tool.
  5. Communication, dissemination and valorisation: to be able to maximise the ability to share the main results generated, the lessons learned, and the experience gained with the widest audience possible. In addition, this phase aims to maximise the impact of project results by optimising their value, strengthening their impact, transferring them to different contexts, integrating them in a sustainable way, and using them actively in systems and practices at local, regional, national and European levels.
  6. Quality and Evaluation Management: to ensure the proper implementation of the project processes, activities, and results based on high quality standards, respecting the work plan established, and monitoring the results accomplished. The evaluation approach has a double role: summative and formative, directed to measure the project results, and to generate learning and continuous improvement within the project.

Main results

The GLOBAL-SPIN project greatly contributes to the goals established by the EU2020 Strategy, focused on delivering smart sustainable and inclusive growth. In particular, the Project’s strategy is in line with three out of the seven flagships initiatives of EU2020 Strategy, namely: the Innovation Union, the Agenda for New Skills and Jobs, and the Digital Agenda.

At the same time the project will contribute to the presentation of the following results:

  • The identification of knowledge, skills, and individual resources that define success for transnational entrepreneurs operating across sectors and European countries.
  • The assessment of effective internationalization strategies for Spin-Offs impacting the commercialization of new products, services, or prototypes abroad and the attraction and recruitment of global talent.
  • The design of a new approach to corporate learning through the development and implementation of an innovative and inclusive training tool for Web/Tablets on transnational entrepreneurship (the “Communicator/ Performer Tool”) to better prepare University researchers managing academic Spin-Offs to take effective decisions on internationalization.
  • The testing and validation of the results in a sample of European academic Spin-Offs working in different sectors of activity.
  • The dissemination of the results Europe-wide to target groups to maximize the impact and sustainability.
  • The design of Open Education Resources based on the corporate learning programme to be shared in the Open Education Europe Area.
  • The creation of a Transnational Entrepreneurs Forum (TEF) at European level aiming to share views and to support the transnational entrepreneurship.

Benefits

It seems necessary to go above and beyond traditional approaches and methodologies in corporate learning to be able to properly respond to the new challenges coming from the new training demands of globalized (or trying to internationalize) Spin-Offs, and the need to assess the effectiveness of this learning at three levels: for employees, for managers and for organizations.

The Global-Spin Project commits to a methodology based on a corporate and collaborate learning approach, in which informal methods are evaluated and each worker and each organization is able to adapt the methodology depending on the results that they want or need to attain. This project looks to boost innovation in business and higher education through the joint development of an innovative ICT based learning solution for a challenging issue: the demand of transnational entrepreneurship skills by the academic spin offs teams to facilitate their survival and growth in the context of global markets.

For that purpose, the project will create an innovative and inclusive tool called "Communicator/Performer" for web/tablets with two modes:

  • A version for the instructor called “communicator”.
  • A version for the learners called “performers”.

This tool will focus in the specific needs, knowledge, skills, and resources necessary for Spin-Offs and their managers, and how to lead to successful internationalization strategies.

In this way, the project promotes the practical application of the international business management skills in entrepreneurship. These skills will foster the implementation of effective internationalization practices in spin-offs related to the commercialisation of new services, products and prototypes, and to the recruitment of international talent.

Funding

The project is funded by the ERASMUS +. Higher Education- Knowledge Alliances. Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency.

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.