Innovation and Entrepreneurship, especially in the domain of Digital Transformation has become a “burning issue” for European HEI’s. Despite the presence of some champions, capable of collaborating and being visible in key international networks, many European HEI’s still score relatively low in engagement activities, knowledge exchange and international collaboration. Even if the importance of knowledge exchange and collaboration with external stakeholders is well understood by some faculty members, especially in those disciplines where collaborations are essential to develop research and teaching, it is rarely set as a formal priority in universities’ strategies. This lack of institutional support certainly does not help the sustainability of even promising initiatives.
These limits in the strategic nature of entrepreneurial engagement activities are also mirrored by a lack of strategic relationships between HEI’s and external stakeholders – public entities or private firms. Such stakeholders may be represented in the Administrative Board of Universities and play a compulsory role in design and revision of educational programmes, but such structured relations often do not focus enough on engagement activities or are not sufficiently close-knit to do so.
Furthermore, in a situation where there are strong budget constraints, choosing knowledge exchange as a strategic priority is not enough. HEI’s need to have the capacity to provide support to faculty members, staff and students to engage in knowledge exchange and collaboration and in particular to develop long-lasting relationships with external stakeholders.
In parallel, there is a growing demand for new interventions and startup endeavors in non-classical entrepreneurship domains with high societal impacts, such as the areas of Circular Economy, Climate Change, Environmental Protection or Sustainable Development.
The PROMETHEUS project is an initiative of Universities, Research Centres and Enterprises from Greece, the Netherlands, Italy, Romania and North Macedonia, with a vision to develop and share their innovation and entrepreneurship support capabilities in the area of digital transformation related to circular economy, climate change and sustainable development. The main scope of the PROMETHEUS project relates to fostering institutional engagement and change to develop innovative and sustainable services and programs to impact ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship in a Circular Economy’.
University of the Aegean – Research Unit (LP)
University of Twente
Sapienza University of Rome
University of Patras
European Regional Framework for Cooperation – ERFC
National Research and Development Institute for Food, Bio-resources, INCDBA-IBA Bucharest