Startup capability academy project is a professional training program aims to design and build the supporting environment for entrepreneurship, startup capabilities and self-employment. It applies the main principles of entrepreneurship and innovation to empower the startup ecosystem in PC universities. In reference to national strategies in Palestine and Tunisia, TRANSFER will bridge the gaps in technology innovation and startups development ecosystem in PC. The overall objective of this project is to create a curriculum in startup and entrepreneurial capabilities at PS and TU universities to be integrated as a professional training program that will be established through the project at the partner country universities within the existing technology educational programs and business incubators, where the lectures will take place. Furthermore, it will produce training manuals to be integrated with the startups incubation programs at the PC universities.
TRANSFER addresses the Curricular Reform National Priority for PS and TU by establishing, a new
curriculum for startup academy and disseminating the results. It includes teachers training and involves a strong relation to industry coming from the nature of the discipline, which enhances employability of graduates.
The startup academy program in each partner country is designed to advance he existing knowledge of undergraduate technology students and provide them with a detailed understanding of innovation and startup development. The program allows students to update expertise and skills that are likely to be required in developing more innovative and promising startups, which is essential and significant for startups in the early development stage.
The project will develop ten courses that covers the core modules of startup capability academy. The courses are divided into two parts: The general modules including Design Thinking for Technology Innovation, Business Development for young Entrepreneurs, Startup Marketing, Project and innovation management, Startup funding; and the specialized modules including Cloud Computing for Young Entrepreneurs, Innovation by IoT, Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation, Innovation in 3D Printing Technology, Innovation in Big Data. Each partner country university will be responsible to successfully integrate the courses in their business incubators program. But the general framework is that all the study program consists of two main categories: general courses, which define the core body of knowledge for business and innovation development, and the specialized courses which aims to build over the core courses and provide more depth in certain areas of technology trend. So, the courses would be integrated to the programs as professional training program or as elective courses that emphasize entrepreneurship and self-employment. The advantage of this framework is that it all the students who are interested in developing their self-employment capabilities with the program to receive professional training and broaden their knowledge in entrepreneurship and innovation. On the other hand, it gives an opportunity for those students who are not interested in entrepreneurship to have professional certificate in technology skills. So, this approach will increase the sustainability of the program and ensure the continuation of offering the courses.
In AQU and BZU an organizational decision has been made to encourage students for self-employment skills, which depend on guiding students to have entrepreneurial training skills in alignment with traditional teaching rather than study only based on traditional teaching methods. Thus, the courses will be offered as an elective course in the existing program. On the other hand, the program will be offered for working engineers as technical certificate in business and technology due to the specific local conditions.
The specific objectives of the Project are:
1-To implement an innovative curriculum in entrepreneurship and self-employment capabilities, as an integrated professional training program in the existing universities business incubators.
2- To develop, validate and implement ten courses and 3 case studies using student-centred adaptive eLearning contemporary education methodology.
3- To develop capacities and promote the adoption of the bologna processes (aligned to QA procedures and informal education approaches).
4- To promote technology entrepreneurship education by developing a course in Technology Innovation Entrepreneurship
5- To improve the level of competencies and skills of staff in partner country universities by (i) training visits for staff to EU partners to develop startup implementation skills in curriculum development and innovative learning (ii) providing innovation collaboration opportunities with EU staff through joint- supervision of students’ projects, or research innovation projects..
6- Additionally, to create opportunities for collaboration between academia and industry in the areas of technology innovation and HCIs.
These objectives will be achieved through the following activities:
1) short visits for staff from partner country universities to EU institutions to develop competence in multidisciplinary program design part of bologna processes and learning methodologies.
2) short and long visits for faculty members from partner country universities to EU universities to develop capacities to create teaching material for the new curriculum.
3) short teaching visits by EU professors to partner country universities to guide the implementation of the program.
4) co-supervision of students and short visits of two-week study period for students to spend at EU universities for joint project supervision; in addition to training visit for students to EU
5) establish teaching environment including lab, training material, training software, eLearning environment.
The direct target groups of TRANSFER are the staff, and students, of the 4 partner country institutions. TRANSFER also aims to enhance the cooperation between universities in the MENA region and EU partners. The EU partners have a rich experience in multidisciplinary educational programme development in technology innovation and entrepreneurship in HCIs, which will help PC in achieving their goals.