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Enhancing Innovation and Entrepreneurial Competences of Engineering Students through a Systematic Cross-Industry Innovation Learning Course

  • CONTEXT The paper addresses the needs of medium and small businesses regarding qualification of R&D specialists in the interdisciplinary cross-industry innovation, which promises a considerable reduction of investments and R&D expenditures. The cross-industry innovation is commonly understood as identification of analogies and transfer of technologies, processes, technical solutions, workingCONTEXT The paper addresses the needs of medium and small businesses regarding qualification of R&D specialists in the interdisciplinary cross-industry innovation, which promises a considerable reduction of investments and R&D expenditures. The cross-industry innovation is commonly understood as identification of analogies and transfer of technologies, processes, technical solutions, working principles or business models between industrial sectors. However, engineering graduates and specialists frequently lack the advanced skills and knowledge required to run interdisciplinary innovation across the industry boundaries. PURPOSE The study compares the efficiency of the cross-industry innovation methods in one semester project-oriented course. It identifies the individual challenges and preferred working techniques of the students with different prior knowledge, sets of experiences, and cultural contexts, which require attention by engineering educators. APPROACH Two parallel one-semester courses were offered to the mechanical and process engineering students enrolled in bachelor’s and master’s degree programs at the faculty of mechanical and process engineering. The students from different years of study were working in 12 teams of 3…6 persons each on different innovation projects, spending two hours a week in the classroom and additionally on average two hours weekly on their project research. Students' feedback and self-assessments concerning gained skills, efficiency of learned tools and intermediate findings were documented, analysed, and discussed regularly along the course. RESULTS Analysis of numerous student projects allows to compare and to select the tools most appropriate for finding cross-industry solutions, such as thinking in analogies, web monitoring, function-oriented search, databases of technological effects and processes, special creativity techniques and others. The utilization of learned skills in practical innovation work strengthens the motivation of students and enhances their entrepreneurial competences. Suggested learning course and given recommendations help facilitate sustainable education of ambitious specialists. CONCLUSIONS The structured cross-industry innovation can be successfully run as a systematic process and learned in one semester course. The choice of the preferred working teqniques made by the students is affected by their prior knowledge in science, practical experience, and cultural contexts. Major outcomes of the students’ innovation projects such as feasibility, novelty and customer value of the concepts are primarily influenced by students’ engineering design skills, prior knowledge of the technologies, and industrial or business experience.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Pavel LivotovGND
Publisher:Waikato University
Place of publication:Hamilton
Year of Publication:2018
Pagenumber:7
Language:English
Tag:cross-industry innovation; project-based learning
Parent Title (English):Proceedings of the 29th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2018), Hamilton, NZ, 09.-12.12.2018
First Page:1
Last Page:7
Document Type:Conference Proceeding
Institutes:Hochschule Offenburg / Bibliografie
Acces Right:Frei zugänglich
Release Date:2019/01/16
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International
URL:https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/18aaee/proceedings/AAEE18_Livotov_6.pdf