Three pilot “Virtual Incubator” programmes will be developed, one in each HEI partner area involved (Greece, Romania, Poland). From the practice and the study, the strategy of launching a “Virtual Incubator” Pilot Session is mandatory to link the PR3 outcome with practical skills, especially to reach the following objectives:
(1) to support students and graduates develop their digital business ideas and evolve them into solutions under a common challenge (in INFUSSE case: answering a real challenge, finding innovative digital solutions on how to use tech for crisis response and deal with the post COVID-19-crisis era data) and creating links between them, industry and public stakeholders,
(2) to learn beyond the formal disciplines,
(3) to review the feedback of the pilot session for trainees (based on PR5 framework) and fine-tune activities, tools and methods undertaken, validate the training programme, adding to the discussion on the deployment activities in HEIs across Europe as well as start drawing the necessary policy recommendations,
(4) to bring the -aspiring to be digital entrepreneurs- students and graduates together with a wider range of actors around their topic of interest.
Based on this approach, HEI partners (UoM, UMFST, AFMKU) with the support of their innovation support counterparts (KiNNO, ICEBERG and CBWC respectively) will organise a virtual challenge-based incubator in the framework of the project, based on the O3 format, living an extraordinary learning experience and creating synergies between the different participants working on developing creative and innovative digital concepts, products and services on how to use tech for crisis response and deal with the post COVID-19-crisis era More specifically, indicative thematics of the challenge can be:
– Ideas on new products / digital solutions that use technology to support business continuity and innovation in companies affected by Covid-19 (such as consumer protection products, digital labels, etc.)
– Ideas on new services / digital services that use technology to help Business continuity and innovation in companies affected by Covid-19 (such as digital product collection and distribution services,digital brokerage platforms, digital certifications, etc.)
– Ideas on solutions that have a social dimension (Non-profit) and aim to improve consumer habits after the advent of Covid-19 (such as training elders on the use of digital tools, training on the “new normal” consumer behavior, measuring the impact of the pandemic,etc.).The different teams will be supported to develop and prove their concept through a series of digital training, business coaching and pitch training workshops utilizing the pedagogical path and tools developed in PR3.
PR7 beyond INFUSSE: The pilot test of the INFUSSE virtual incubator pillar is expected to be reused and replicated after the end of the project as it will provide “hands-on” evidence, lessons to be learned and pitfalls to be avoided, with regards to the digital learning process of learners (students, graduates), the INFUSSE approach, programme and educational resources. These results and outputs will be summarized in a specific public report, ensuring transparency with regards to the results of INFUSSE pilots, as well as transferability, replicability and potential reuse for other digital learning programmes or similar thematic areas. The report will be published on the website and the social network pages of the Result Description (including: needs analysis, target
groups, elements of innovation, expected impact and transferability potential) project.