Heriot-Watt Enterprise Team announced as key partners for new project boosting innovation and entrepreneurship




The Enterprise team are delighted to be announced as key partners for a new project called InnoChange: Driving Change and Capacity Building Towards Innovative, Entrepreneurial Universities.

The project has been awarded the highest possible score by the evaluators and is supported by Professor Fairouz Kamareddine, Dr Ron Petrick and Professor Nick Gilbert from the School of Mathematical & Computer Sciences. It aims to increase the entrepreneurial and innovation capacity and attitude of higher education institutes (HEIs) and to strengthen and better integrate into, innovation ecosystems in Central and Eastern Europe.

Led by Eötvös Loránd University (Hungary), the project will receive funding from the EIT's HEI Initiative: Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education. This new initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) aims to boost the entrepreneurial and innovation capacity of higher education institutions (HEIs).

The partners' complementary expertise creates a solid foundation for the implementation of the Knowledge Triangle based innovation education. InnoChange Consortium is strongly linked with EIT Digital and aims to expand this network further to enhance digital transformation. The strengths of the project stem from the defined academic scope (informatics, digital transformation) and the large diversity of university environments, industrial ecosystems and private organizations.

David Richardson, Chief Entrepreneurial Executive said: “Alongside becoming a partner of choice for other cutting-edge research and innovation nations, developing partnerships with European partners is key to driving commercialisation from Heriot-Watt's leading research.”

The InnoChange project will allow universities to expand their entrepreneurial ability and enable increased engagement with European ecosystems. The EIT's HEI Initiative empowers Heriot-Watt to develop innovation action plans which can complement the specific needs of our individual institution.

Sasha McConnachie, Enterprise Executive said: “The InnoChange project will help to strengthen our integration into the European innovation ecosystems and our entrepreneurial and innovation capacity. And in addition, will support our students, academic and non-academic staff who are interested and engaged in innovation and enterprise activities.”

“I look forward to collaborating and exchanging knowledge with the partner universities Eötvös Loránd University (Hungary), Babeș-Bolyai University (Romania), Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice (Slovakia) and Plovdiv University Paisii Hilendarski (Bulgaria) as well as the organisations such as Startup Wise Guys Foundation (Estonia), GE Healthcare (Hungary) and Campden BRI (Hungary).”

InnoChange will develop and improve the entrepreneurial education curriculum and associated teacher training at partner HEIs, soak up and nurture innovation from all corners of student, faculty, and research activities at university by introducing new innovation model. Furthermore, will provide effective support to deserving early-stage innovation projects and build a pragmatic, yet comprehensive network of multi-faceted industry partnerships and enable support structures for entrepreneurship communities at HEIs through mutual learning.