Grasping innovation in Europe through a closer interaction between HEIs and SMEs

Gienah Cygni is a star in the constellation Cygnus. Its name comes from the Arabic جناح (janah) which means WING.

GIENAHS project aims at strengthening and synchronizing HEIs and SMEs interaction to support the “takeoff and flight” of young, creative, high potential and skilled researchers equipped with “sturdy wings” for a new Vision:
make them a driving force for brightening up industrial research in competitive European SMEs.

GIENAHS’ Mission: design a common route to launch young industrial researchers in SMEs’ innovation Universe


More researchers to SMEs – the new challenge of Polytechnic of Bari

“We will bring more researcher to the SMES” – this is the challenge of Polytechnic of Bari. The words of the new Rector of the Apulian University, Francesco Cupertino, 46-year-old, lecturer of converters, machines and electric drives. Every year Polytechnic of Bari graduates almost thousand students and quite 700-800 master’s degree, among IT and management […]


GIENAHS project was invited at the 8th University Business Forum, the biggest EU event on University-Business interactions. The forum took place in Brussels on the 24-25 October 2019. It targeted all the “Knowledge Alliance Projects” whose coordinators met on the afternoon of 23rd of October during the Cluster Meeting of Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliances (KA) projects. […]



The private business sector is constituted mainly by Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), ranging from single-owner to 250 employees. Although the SMEs are the real driving force of the European economy, they are still facing considerable difficulties in managing R&D processes. Providing an updated Map of SME’ innovation needs can help to better define how to train industrial researchers able to manage SME’ R&D process in a more effective way. A more dynamic interaction between them and HEIs and the direct participation of SMEs in training and educational processes are the first steps to overcome the encountered obstacles

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HEIs are the training entities. They prepare the R&D skills and competences for the economic sector. Nevertheless, HEIs do not yet detect efficiently the SMEs needs that still suffer low competitiveness. Training of many more researchers with SME’ oriented skills is demanded by the academic world. New working methodology for designing employability and innovation managerial skills for SMEs is foreseen in GIENAHs. The PhD training path jointly designed (HEIS+SMEs) can provide the right competences that surely impact the SME’s growth process.  

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Researchers & Professionals​

Research students and professionals operating within SMEs are also directly impacted by GIENAHS project. They can improve their horizontal skills and competences that make them available to address the mutual change of labour market, through the Industrial PhD path, SMEs oriented, that GIENAHS will provide. A high quality path that will lead high placement capacity is expected thus direct participation of young professionals is advisable.

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Europe &
International level

Even not directly involved in the project, another target group is represented by public institutions and industrial clusters at EU and national level. The new Industrial PhD path for SMEs will be supported by the local public institution (Ministers, Regions, Provinces, etc.) at national/local level that will use it as a new innovative tool able to provide high-performer researchers, more qualified, market oriented and more ready to innovate. But also at European level the impact will be ensured by the new  model of EU industrial Ph.D. curriculum SME oriented that GIENAHS will provide. A new model as a best practices to replicate at EU level will be ensured and a proposal for the harmonization of disciplines in the field of EU industrial Ph.D. will surely impact positively EU institutions.

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