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Progressive University Technology Transfer of Innovation Capabilities to SMEs: An Active and Modular Educational Partnership

Part of the FGF Studies in Small Business and Entrepreneurship book series (FGFS)

Abstract

Regarding SMEs’ relationship with R&D and technology, university technology transfer (UTT) programs have evolved in recent years toward approaches that are more focused on a systemic and continuous exchange between firms, university departments, and R&D centers. Financial support such as innovation vouchers and open initiatives has been applied for a few years, and only recently have research works analyzed the impacts of these programs on the innovative capabilities of SMEs. Existing studies are based on short-term analysis, but there are no studies on the medium- or long-term influence of innovation vouchers on firms’ innovation capabilities. This chapter aims to contribute to this topic through a longitudinal exploratory study of two SMEs in eastern France. It puts forward an original modular program proposed by an engineering school at the University of Lorraine, where groups of students participate throughout the academic year in innovation-related projects. Empirical evidence shows that this type of project has positive impacts on firms’ innovative capabilities, but also fosters the analytical skills and self-directed learning capabilities of students.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    http://www.eurada.org/eurada-news-2019-02-europes-innovation-voucher-schemes/.

  2. 2.

    https://www.univ-lorraine.fr/content/atelier-de-transfert-et-dinnovation.

  3. 3.

    http://lf2l.fr.

  4. 4.

    http://teaergo.com/wp/?lang=en.

  5. 5.

    https://www.noremat.fr/en.

  6. 6.

    https://n-hum-inno.eu.

  7. 7.

    https://anr.fr/en/call-for-proposals-details/call/joint-laboratories-between-research-organizations-and-smes-or-intermediate-sized-enterprises-labcom-2/.

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Acknowledgements

We thank the companies Noremat and TEA Ergo for their collaboration and for agreeing to appear in this paper. We would also like to thank the “Métropole du Grand Nancy” which provides us spaces used by the LF2L platform. This work was supported partly by the French PIA project “Lorraine Université d’Excellence” INNO_4_SMES (Reference ANR-15-IDEX-04-LUE).

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Correspondence to Mauricio Camargo .

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Appendix

Appendix

1.1 Overview of 48hours to Bring Ideas to Life® Since 2011

Year

Scope

Industrial subject

Number of firms

Students

Academic partners

Ideas

Development

2011

Regional (Lorraine)

3

Sport (2), Urban furniture

5

100

10

Engineering Schools Lorraine INP

400

8 ideas developed

3 patents registered

1 inter-school collaborative projects continued

2012

Regional (Lorraine)

&

International

3

Boilermaking, Chemistry, Sport

3

130

13

Engineering Schools Lorraine INP + 3 international universities

400

5 ideas developed

2 patents registered

2 inter-school collaborative projects continued

2013

National

Special SME edition

5 regional centers in France

3

Multimedia, Housing, Metallurgy

10

(business consortia involved)

350

24

Engineering Schools

Management Schools

800

10 ideas developed,

Many patents (>5) registered

Many inter-school collaborative projects continued (>5)

2014

Regional

National

International

15 centers with 9 France + 6 international

5

Cosmetics, Agricultural machinery, Connected objects, Childcare, Cooking food

12

(business consortia involved)

1100

79

1800

Many (>15) ideas developed

Many patents (>5)

Many inter-school collaborative projects continued (>10)

2015

Regional

National

International

14 centers with 8 France + 6 international

7

Comfort & well-being at home, Meal and 3D printing, Rear of vehicle, Factory of the future, Cosmetics Connected cars, Scaffolding

7

1000

60

1200

No information concerning potential patents

Many inter-school collaborative projects continued (>10)

2016

Regional

National

International 17 centers with 10 France + 7 international

12

Sustainable building/construction, Engineering consulting in innovation, Adhesives and solvents, Organic specialized distribution, Energy networks, Aeronautics, Professional equipment, Sports, Professional training, Health, Sanitary equipment, Cosmetics

15

1500

60

1650

No information concerning potential patents

Many inter-school collaborative projects continued (>10)

2017

Regional

National

International

12 centers 7 France + 5 international

10

New services using car data, Flying taxis, New personal services, Banker of tomorrow, Multimodal transport, Preservation of fauna and flora in desert area, Forests and cities, Cosmetics, New fertilizers & circular and durable economy, New devices for interaction between men in medical environment, Robotics & personal services

10

1200

60

1350

No information concerning potential patents

Many inter-school collaborative projects continued (>10)

2018

Regional

National

International

12 centers 8 France + 4 international

14

Satellite and agriculture, Foosball, Domestic hot water services, Library of the future, Security and palpation, Interactive objects for visually impaired, Artificial intelligence, Connected parks and gardens, New products around wool, Territories and energy transport, Solar power stations, Medical compression, CV of tomorrow, City’s water network in 2050, Living after climate disasters

14

1500

60

1800

No information concerning potential patents

Many inter-school collaborative projects continued (>10)

Specifically, 4 projects continued by groups of ENSGSI students during the academic year and aiming to develop concepts with high innovation potential selected by companies

2019

Regional

National

International

13 centers 8 France + 5 international

14

Personal real estate space, Email of tomorrow, Design experience in a museum, Sanitary networks in the home, Boosting the QSE culture in companies, Smart home, Men and trees, Street of the future, Cleaning of road shoulders, Feminization of technical and IT skills, Well-being of employees in quality control posts, New drones and new uses, Prefabricated concrete elements, Flows and territories in the city.

14

1700

70

2000

Operating results in progress

Total

71

90

8580

436

11,400

 

1.2 Themes of ATI Since 2004

2004–2005::

Nature in the city, Intermediate housing

2005–2006::

Ecological and economic habitat

2006–2007::

Intelligent waste sorting, Well-being in the bathroom, Mobile living base for construction workers, Day care structure for the elderly

2007–2008::

Healthy house with modular design, School for all, Street furniture, Energy shelters, Rehabilitation of housing in a sustainable development approach, Smart POS advertising, Smart windows, Design of a product from recycled glass

2008–2009::

Eco-habitat, Furniture and energy, Open spaces, Urban lighting system and sustainable development, Innovative racing transport systems, Diversification of activities from the mechanical sector to the medical sector, SME innovation audits

2009–2010::

Positive energy gymnasium, Transformation of a hemp field into an eco-district, Eco-district in former military barracks, Communication and sustainable development, Actions to aid the development of Vosges SMEs, Collaborative time-sharing work platform for SMEs

2010–2011::

Rehabilitation of the site of the former slaughterhouses of Nancy, Promotion of the Meusian culture, Restaurant Quick in 2050

2011–2012::

Restructuring/modernization of a military base, Creation of an Ecocentre, Restaurant Quick in 2050

2012–2013::

Auto repair garage of the future

2013–2014::

Transformation of an old steel site into a creation workshop for artists, User services for multimodal platform, Classroom of the future

2014–2015::

School of the future in rural areas, Restructuring of accommodation for the disabled, University residence of the future

2015–2016::

Center for learning the languages of the future

2016–2017::

Solidarity and integration restaurant on an industrial site undergoing rehabilitation, Innovative wooden structure for events

2017 2019: :

No ATI due to a new geopolitical division of regions

2019–2020::

Nomadic medical device for the analysis of musculoskeletal disorders, Autonomous barges, Extension of the uses of anti-intrusion concrete blocks.

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Camargo, M., Morel, L., Lhoste, P. (2021). Progressive University Technology Transfer of Innovation Capabilities to SMEs: An Active and Modular Educational Partnership. In: Mietzner, D., Schultz, C. (eds) New Perspectives in Technology Transfer. FGF Studies in Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-61477-5_11

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