INVENTORY OF GOOD PRACTICES ON OPEN INNOVATION Waterloo University Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

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1 INVENTORY OF GOOD PRACTICES ON OPEN INNOVATION Waterloo University Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

2 Table of contents 1. Good Practice Profile Good Practice Description Good Practice Analysis Lessons Learnt Page 2

3 1. Good Practice Profile 1.1. Name of good practice. Waterloo University Localisation of the good practice. Waterloo region, Ontario, Canada Promoter of good practice. Brainport Development NV Sources of information (website): Bramwell, A., Wolfe, A. (2008). Universities and regional economic development: The entrepreneurial University of Waterloo, Research Policy, 37, pp Haddara, M., Skanes, H. (2007). A reflection on cooperative education: from experience to experiential learning, Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 8(1), pp Culminatum Ltd Oy Helsinki Region Centre of Expertise (2008). Benchmark of R&D performance and policy: Waterloo Region, Crossworks: Transnational cooperation of cross border innovation networks 1.5. Contact details. Jasmijn Rompa. Brainport Development NV, 1.6. Policy area addressed. Networking and Collaboration. Human Capital and Entrepreneurship Culture. IP management and Technology Markets. Access to Finance. Knowledge and Science and Technology base Page 3

4 1.7. Role/s played by regional public authorities. Enabler. Facilitator. Director. Financier Open Innovation Framework Conditions addressed. Capability: ability to exploit full potential. Network: interaction among actors in innovation systems. Institutional: Innovation system actors (universities, patent offices, ). Framework: regulatory frameworks, IPR regime, consumer demand. Policy: governance capacity Specific aspects dealt with in relation to the regional conditions conducive to better Open Innovation practices. Innovative coaching - Critical mass of high quality research. - Integrated approach on research valorisation: multidisciplinary team & high value services. - Clear incentives and policies to encourage research groups and departments to actively seek knowledge transfer opportunities. - Creation of appropriate entrepreneurial climate in a university context. - Legal context with respect to exploitation of academic research. - Innovation systems available in the region. Research and technical development - Performing technological due diligence (assessing how unique the methodology/action is in the world / on the market). - Creating an appropriate IP strategy. - Developing a balanced innovation strategy (including R&D roadmap, balanced portfolio of short, medium and long term R&D objectives). - Identifying and providing access to specialised R&D equipment and facilities. - Identifying and relating to (global) networks of world-class scientists, experts, technical and/or industrial partners. Operalisation - Creating infrastructure for the valorisation or transfer process. - Manage tacit knowledge in relation to hard knowledge, in order to implement the Page 4

5 full picture. - Developing adequate contractual arrangements angements related to IP/liabilities, partners and stakeholders. Management and organisation - Developing management capabilities (decision making skills, deal making skills, presentation skills, etc.). - Formation of a Board of Directors with management experience. - Formation and development of a senior management team with business experience. - Developing adequate HR administrative procedures and arrangements (incl tax/legal aspects). Page 5

6 2. Good Practice Description 2.1. Brief description (one page max.) The University of Waterloo has a good reputation; it is the 'most Innovative' in Canada and consistently leading Canadian university reputational rankings (Maclean's). The university has more than 26,000 students including 3,500 graduate students. The university is founded in 1957 and has six faculties: applied health science, arts, engineering, environment, mathematics and science. The university s main campus (of 400 hectares) is located in the city of Waterloo and there is also a campus in the city of Stratford. The university is also the world's largest in cooperative education having Canada's largest engineering school and world's largest mathematics faculty. The strategic and innovative decisions made in its formative years, laid the groundwork for developing the expertise, research capacity, and talent that now characterizes the University of Waterloo s role as a catalyst for the region s high-tech economy. From its beginning, the university has had a strong international reputation for academic excellence in science, math and engineering. An innovative cooperative education system, where students complete work terms in industry as part of their curriculum, was adopted in the early days of the institution and is the largest and most successful of its kind in the world. The cooperative education system is the largest post secondary school co-op program of its kind in the world. The program has almost 16,000 students enrolled over three semesters. Co-operative operative education is an educational model that formally integrates academic studies with relevant work experience. Co-op op students alternate terms of school and work in appropriate fields of business, industry, government, social services, or the professions. Work terms are usually four months long. Co-op students are available in programs including Accounting, Applied Health Sciences, Architecture, Arts, Engineering, Environment, Mathematics, and Science. Organizations that hire co-op students have the advantages of a cost-effective solution for their short term hiring needs, the relieve of seasonal fluctuations, the completion of special projects allowing regular employees to concentrate on their priority job requirements, the evaluation of potential future employees, and a fresh perspective on then organization with new and Page 6

7 innovative ideas. Moreover, the enthusiasm of students is contagious to other employees. The only obligation is that organizations pay the co-op op students a salary. The Waterloo region is one of the most dynamic and resilient sources s of high-tech activity in Canada, with a critical mass of 468 companies involved in either the production or facilitation of high technology. A diverse economy distributed across manufacturing, services, and high- tech activities has enabled the Waterloo region to weather economic shocks, such as the post-2000 dot.com meltdown that devastated employment in other leading ICT clusters in Canada and abroad. While the University of Waterloo is only one of several vibrant centres of knowledge creation in the region, more than any other university or college, it is considered to be the institutional centre of this cluster of high technology firms. The depth and breadth of university industry industry linkages in Waterloo are indicated through the large numbers of university spin-off firms, the amount of public and private research funding it attracts, and its licensing and patenting activity. Beyond these technology transfer functions, however, the results of our study indicate that the University of Waterloo demonstrates a multifaceted capacity for knowledge transfer to the local economy that supports local networks and flows of knowledge, and links them with global ones. (Bramwell & Wolfe, 2008) 2.2. Key features of the good practice. Key features of the Waterloo University: 26,0000 students including 3,500 graduate students. Six faculties: applied health science, arts, engineering, environment, mathematics and science. Good reputation; the 'most Innovative' in Canada and leading Canadian university reputational rankings. the world's largest in cooperative education. Key features of cooperative education: Integrating academic studies with relevant work experience. 16,000 students enrolled. Work terms of 4 months, students are paid a salary Base financing for the good practice. The University of Waterloo is publicly funded. And, the Co-operative operative Education & Career Services (CECS), the organization that administers the co-operative operative education system and career-related related services for the University of Waterloo, is also publicly funded. The Page 7

8 organizations engaged in the cooperative education system pay a salary themselves for the students Owner of the good practice. The university owns the cooperative education system Background and prior references: is the good practice a spin-out? No Maturity of the good practice. The University of Waterloo celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2007; the first applied science classes offered starting on July 1, At that time, Gerald Hagey, president of the Lutheran-affiliated affiliated Waterloo College, had enlisted support from business leaders in Kitchener-Waterloo, o, a modest industrial city in Midwestern Ontario: they would create a program to train engineers and technicians who were desperately needed for Canada s growing post-war economy. The cold war, the space race, and medical and scientific progress presented new needs for trained manpower and technical knowledge. For Hagey and his colleagues, the solution was not just classroom instruction but the co- operative program, which offered ed students alternating terms of paid work in industry to get practical experience. Thus, both the university as the cooperative education system are rather mature Sustainability of the good practice. The good practice of cooperative education system can only exist and function with public funding. However, public support can be expected since the co-operative education system is the largest in the world. It sets an example for other universities as the system has spread to more than 100 colleges and universities across Canada. Page 8

9 3. Good Practice Analysis 3.1. Criteria used to evaluate the Good Practice and main success factors. The evaluation of the university and the cooperative education system is difficult to discover. At the website of the university, arguments for what sets the university apart from other universities are provided: We're enterprising and practical: creator owns it intellectual property policy helps move ideas into the economy R&T Park transfers technology and ideas to the marketplace Accelerator Centre helps business start-ups grow We're world leaders: world-renowned renowned computer science and engineering programs world s most advanced quantum computing device Bill Gates names Waterloo a top source of Microsoft s student and grad hires leader in water quality research, home to the Canadian Water Network We're creative and risk-taking: world s first and largest faculty of mathematics world s first department of kinesiology Canada s first co-op op school of pharmacy Canada s first stand-alone undergraduate nanotechnology engineering program Canada s first environment faculty unique Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology program The cooperative education system is the largest post-secondary co-operative operative education program in the world. It has set an example for other universities, since the system has spread to more than 100 colleges and universities across Canada. Next to the quantitative evaluation, the qualitative evaluation shows that organizations in the Waterloo region are supported by the knowledge transfer from the university. Local economy is supported by local networks and flows of knowledge, which links them with the global ones. Page 9

10 3.2. Good Practice Results and impact indicators. The co-operative operative education system from the University of Waterloo links students directly with firms. Thereby, the university performs a critical intermediary function in terms of human capital creation and knowledge transfer. Much of the University of Waterloo s success at linking with both local and non-local industry is largely attributable to four characteristics: the ability to attract, retain, and train top calibre graduates and researchers, and to link them with local and nonlocal employers; the provision of R&D support to local firms; the interactive exchange of tacit knowledge at both local and global levels; and the active facilitation of entrepreneurial activities Level of importance for Good Practice s success of (1-5 scale, 1 = low...5 = Very high) Please rate the level of importance of the following elements in their contribution to the success of the good practice. Element Building a partnership Ensuring contribution from the private sector Placing the project into wider policy context Ensuring political support Planning and formulating a proposal Administrative management Externalising management of activities Private financial resources Public financial resources Page 10

11 Addressing a clear need/demand Filling a gap in the innovation infrastructure 3.4. Stakeholders involvement - Stakeholders who participated in the design of the good practice and level of involvement during planning stage (1-5 scale, 1 = low...5 = Very high) Stakeholder Regional public authority Regional agency Knowledge Institutes Companies Business networks National public authority National agency Other: Actors who participated in the implementation of the good practice and level of involvement during implementation stage (1-5 scale, 1 = low...5 = Very high): Regional public authority Regional agency Knowledge Institutes Companies Business networks National public authority National agency Other: Page 11

12 4. Lessons Learnt 4.1. Lessons Learnt: Things you would do differently if you were to start again. Scientific literature on the co-op op system and the way it functions at Waterloo University clearly shows that it works well. Especially employers are provided with great opportunities to hire a less expensive, enthusiastic, young, and vibrant work force. Looking at the future of cooperative education, there is a need to reinvent cooperative education as an academic discipline. Until now the integration between the academic program and the cooperative education experience is not as strong as it should be. Haddara and Skanes give several suggestions for improvement: Bring cooperative education into the realm of experiential learning. Students need to be given reflective assignments during their work terms to enable them to develop their shop experience into learning experience. Integrate work term experience into classroom instructions. This can be accomplished through encouraging faculty to allow students to use their work term experience as part of their projects or written assignments. Credit may be given to parts of the work term experience which can be legitimately classified as academic laboratory exercise. Encourage cooperative education coordinators to administer reflective work term assignments to help students transform their work experience into learning experience. Page 12

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