The second Joint Technical Meeting foreseen by WP3 took place in London, UK, on 6th and 7th December 2018. The meeting was hosted by Anglia Ruskin University, Essex (UK).
Even in this occasion, project partners had the opportunity to share the results emerged from the analysis of HEIs-SME interaction, made at country level, this time by SMEs perspective. Joint working groups (with SMEs and HEIs representatives) were created aiming to analyse the integrated results at cross country level, working on parallel sessions, highlighting similarities and differences of interaction models among countries.
An overall cross analysis at Consortium level was, then, implemented. Project partners, divided in three different groups, worked on previously prepared sheets that compared the interaction data emerging in the six countries from both the HEIs and the SMEs perspectives, deeply analysing the results emerged from each session of the two questionnaires (HEI and SME perspective).
Participants were requested to create a list of factors that can favour or obstacle the interaction evidencing the key ones, by using coloured sticks, where each colour assumed a significance.
During the plenary final discussion, the key results emerged in the working groups were compared and commented. Among the most significant insights, the following were considered:
- From both sides the main interests or needs are to increase the scientific skills, deepen knowledge and apply the existing knowledge in industry;
- From both sides they see a lack of resources as an obstacle to support the interaction;
- A higher capability from HEIs to understand SMEs business model is highlighted;
- Regular personal contacts and networking are found to be essential to build confidence and trust;
- Regarding PhD programs, as possible tool for improving the interaction HEI/SME, the HEIs find that the requirements have to be the same for all PhD students but there could be customized PhD courses for the SMEs, while the SMEs would like to see customized PhD studies dedicated to SMEs.
The complete and exhaustive discussion of all the results emerged both from the surveys carried out at country level and from the Joint Technical Assessment Meetings conclusions have been elaborated in the final report of WP3.
In the same context, the 4th Steering Committee Meeting was held during which the state of the art of the Management, Communication and Quality & Evaluation activities were presented and discussed.