As part of the project EIT HEI E.I.N.S., a co-creation session was hosted during the St. Pölten UAS International Week to discuss entrepreneurship and innovation-related questions in higher education institutions (HEIs). The workshop aimed to identify structures and conditions for supporting innovation and business creation at HEIs. The questions that were brought to this session were created in a previous workshop held online in October, the E.I.N.S. Question Factory workshop.
The team presented eight categories containing 94 questions to the participants, and they selected the categories and questions they considered to be priorities for discussion.
In order to make students aware that entrepreneurship is one of their possible career paths, HEIs need to teach them an entrepreneurial mindset and inform them about the existing possibilities in the real world. Including entrepreneurship in the curriculum and actively involving students in entrepreneurial projects and activities is essential. It is beneficial for the students to know about the best practice examples and to work with people who have already succeeded. At the same time, HEIs should encourage failure, and teach students to learn from their mistakes.
To encourage researchers to engage in creating start-ups, it is important to understand the new role of universities and the new possibilities that arise. There is a need for a new approach to research: Researchers can act as explorers, investigators, or challengers to facilitate innovation in Higher Education. In addition, applied universities could provide incentives for these types of activities. Higher education institutions are unique places with a knowledge base and access to students and researchers. As trusted institutions for cooperation, HEIs can act as a bridge and connect research with stakeholders and citizens. HEIs could co-create a "higher education entrepreneurship" service design with students and become a place for prototyping new ideas. In this way, they could offer a unique support system for innovation, which does not exist anywhere else.
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