Developing and measuring innovation competences in university-company co-operation
Taru Penttilä, Sami Lyytinen
All sectors of the economy underline the importance of innovations. For creating new innovations we need individuals that are capable to participate in diverse everyday innovation processes. One main problem is that universities don’t have proper tools to measure the development of the students’ innovation competencies during their studies. There is no sufficient data on which teaching and learning methods are effective, i.e. able to develop innovation competences. Also companies are lacking tools and knowledge to assess these competencies in various settings: in recruitment processes and internal development activities.
In this paper we present the EU financed FINCODA project with a significant number of universities and innovation-intensive companies from 5 countries, aiming at providing solutions for a solid path for forthcoming innovators from university to companies. We shall test new forms of enhancing innovation competencies in university-company cooperation. Real-life learning environments bring added value for all stakeholders and lower the students’ threshold to enter the working life.
As a main tangible output of the project we are creating and validating a software application tool for innovation competencies assessment, which will be available as an OER. We shall also illustrate that - especially when speaking about innovation competencies – well-organized and structured behavior assessment can be at the same time cost-effective, reliable, and valid and value adding, compared to traditional written tests and exams.
European-wide challenges demand multinational solutions. Investments to innovation competencies development gain positive impacts to the competitiveness of European companies. Joint European processes in assessment of learning outcomes are also one key aspect in the creation of a well-functioning European Higher Education Area.