Towards a proposal for an ERASMUS+ Knowledge Alliance “Systematic Innovation Methodologies” (SIM)
Evaluating different opportunities the ERASMUS+ Key Action 2 Programme
“Knowledge Alliances” seems best to fit the current state to link existing and
planned curricula in “Systematic Innovation Methodologies” at different HEI
(higher educational institutions) with the requirements and needs of industry.
The focus of the action is on cooperation between Programme Countries but
organisations from Partner Countries can also be involved, if the added value
is appropriately expressed. (Programme Guide, p. 133)
- Leipzig University (applicant, coordination), Germany - Gräbe, Neumuth, Lautenschläger
- INSA Strasbourg, France - Cavallucci
- HS Offenburg, Germany - Livotov
- BUT Brno, Czech Republic - Busov
- UTC Cluj-Napoca, Romania - Brad
- HTL Wolfsberg, Austria - Jantschgi
- LUT Lappeenranta, Finland - Chechurin
- (?) Schaeffler AG, Germany - Lau
- Target Innovation Minsk, Belarus - Shpakovski
- (?) NPK Consult Moscow, Russia - Redkolis
- BM TRIZ Chelyabinsk, Russia - Kozhemyako
Trainings in “Systematic Innovation Methodologies” address “cross cutting”
methodological skills that are useful for engineers, computer scientists and
other professionals, hence fit “developing entrepreneurship mind-set and
skills” (Programme Guide, p. 106) and should be included as “general studies”
in the curricula of different specialities. The content of such programs
should be developed and coordinated in close coordination with the needs of
industry application partners.
- “Knowledge Alliances implement a coherent and comprehensive set of
interconnected activities which are flexible and adaptable to different
current and future contexts and developments across Europe”.
- “Knowledge Alliances are transnational and involve minimum six independent
organisations from at least three Programme Countries, out of which at least
two higher education institutions and at least two enterprises”.
There is an advanced project outline available in the archive of the mailing
list, that has now to be turned into a sound application (eForm, Detailed
Full partners are required
- to have a PIC within the EU Database
- to supply a mandate letter to the applicant and
- HEI full partners must have a valid ERASMUS Charter ECHE (Program Guide, p. 320)
From the call
- Maximum EU contribution awarded for a 2-year Knowledge Alliance: 700 000 EUR
- Maximum EU contribution awarded for a 3-year Knowledge Alliance: 1 000 000 EUR
- Financial contributions from the EU are calculated using fixed scale of unit
costs. Please see Programme Guide, page 130-133 for further information.
- These unit costs have been calculated in a way that co-funding is inherent
to them, i.e. already incorporated.
Aims and Priorities
Knowledge Alliances aim at strengthening Europe’s innovation capacity and at
fostering innovation in higher education, business and the broader
socio-economic environment. They intend to achieve one or more of the
- develop new, innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to teaching and
- stimulate entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills of higher education
teaching staff and company staff;
- facilitate the exchange, flow and co-creation of knowledge.
The main attention is turned to projects that contribute to the modernisation
of Europe’s higher education systems as outlined in the 2017 EU Communication
on the Renewed EU Agenda for Higher Education, namely:
- tackling future skills mismatches and promoting excellence in skills
- building inclusive and connected higher education systems;
- ensuring higher education institutions contribute to innovation;
- supporting effective and efficient higher education systems.
Additional emphasis is placed on making use of existing initiatives, and on
the intelligent use of digital tools as recommended in the 2013 EU
Communication on Opening Up Education.
The Programme Guide contains a list of key features
- Innovation in higher education and innovation through higher education
- Sustainability of university-business cooperation. A strong and
committed partnership with a balanced participation from enterprises and
higher education institutions;
- Impact going beyond the project’s lifetime and beyond the organisations
involved in the Alliance;
which must convincingly present in a successful application.
The Guide emphasizes that “Knowledge Alliances are a highly competitive part of
Erasmus+”. Common attributes of successful proposals are:
- reliable relations between higher education institutions and enterprises:
Knowledge Alliances have to demonstrate the commitment and added value of
all partners, whereby strong and balanced involvement from both the business
and higher education sectors is essential. A well designed proposal is the
result of close cooperation between the prospective partners and based on a
solid needs analysis;
- their innovative and transnational character, visible across all criteria.
A proper needs-analysis clarifies the rationale, influences the selection of
partners, makes the proposal specific, helps to raise the potential for impact
and ensures that end-user and target groups are well involved in the project
- Relevance of the proposal (Purpose, Consistency, Innovation, European added
value) - 25 points
- Quality of the project design and implementation (Coherence, Structure,
Management, Quality) - 25 points
- Quality of the project team and the cooperation arrangements (Configuration,
Commitment, Partnership, Collaboration/team spirit, Reward, Involvement of
Partner Countries) - 30 points
- Impact and dissemination (Exploitation, Dissemination, Impact, Open Access,
Sustainability) - 20 points
Important cross-sectional tasks
- Quality assurance must be an embedded project component to ensure that
Knowledge Alliances successfully deliver the expected results and achieve an
impact going far beyond the partner organisations themselves.
- Knowledge Alliances are required to accomplish
targeted dissemination activities which reach out to stakeholders, policy
makers, professionals and enterprises.
- Along the way Knowledge Alliances should deliver publications such as
reports, handbooks, guidelines, etc. As a general rule, results should be
made available as open educational resources (OER) as well as on relevant
professional, sectorial or competent authorities’ platforms.
- Knowledge Alliances should generate new ways and instruments to facilitate
their collaboration and to ensure that the partnership between higher
education and business persists.
- Knowledge Alliances are a recent and ambitious Action; they are subject to a
particular monitoring which requires active participation from all
participants and stakeholders.
- Knowledge Alliances should foresee their
participation in thematic clusters
to support cross-fertilisation, exchange of good practices and mutual
- Additionally, Knowledge Alliances should budget for the presentation of
their project and the results at the University-Business Forum and/or
other relevant events (up to five during the project duration).
Ideas on Substantive Sharpening of the Application Content
In the Programme Guide a special example “Developing entrepreneurial mind-set
and skills” is described with the following content:
- creating schemes of transversal skills learning and application throughout
higher education programmes developed in cooperation with enterprises aiming
at strengthening employability, creativity and new professional paths;
- introducing entrepreneurship education in any discipline to provide
students, researchers, staff and educators with the knowledge, skills and
motivation to engage in entrepreneurial activities in a variety of settings;
- opening up new learning opportunities through the practical application of
entrepreneurial skills, which can involve and/or lead to the
commercialisation of new services, products and prototypes, to the creation
of start-ups and spin-offs.
This could serve as guideline to compile our application as a curricular
development and coordination activity in a wide sense taking the aims and
priorities as guardrails and the cross-sectional tasks as beacons.
The call is open since 14 Nov 2019, the deadline is 26 Febr 2020, so it is
very sportive to compile an application in the remaining time.
- The Applicant/coordinator: a participating organisation that submits the
project proposal on behalf of all the partners. The coordinator has the full
responsibility to ensure that the project is implemented in accordance with
- The Leipzig University serves as coordinator (main coordination by
Prof. Thomas Neumuth, support by Prof. Hans-Gert Gräbe).
- Full partners are those participating organisations which contribute
actively to the achievement of the Knowledge Alliance’s objectives. Each
full partner must sign a mandate to confer to the coordinating organisation
the responsibility of acting as main beneficiary and act in his name during
the implementation of the project. The same applies for partners from
- See the above listing.
- Open problems: PICs for the partners from Partner Countries, at least one
more industrial partner from the Programme Countries.
- Associated partners (optional): Knowledge Alliances can involve
associated partners who contribute to the implementation of specific project
tasks/activities or support the dissemination and sustainability of the
Alliance. For contractual management issues, “associated partners” are not
considered as part of the project partners, and they do not receive funding.
However their involvement and role in the project and different activities
have to be clearly described.
- The evaluation WP is planned to hand over to a certain consortium of
Chambers of Industry and Commerce.
All relevant problems are best to be discussed on our
Eligible Costs (see p. 138-141 in the Programme Guide)
- Project implementation - project management, project meetings,
intellectual outputs (e.g. curricula, IT tools, studies), dissemination,
conference attendance etc.
- Determination of the EU grant based on number of days times profile of the
personnel from the individual countries (unit costs)
- Does usually not cover all costs
- (optional): Additionally for learning mobility activities (e.g. exchange
of students, scientists, university and company staff) to support the
- Travel costs (unit costs) and subsistence costs (unit costs)
- It is recommended to use also Key Action 1 programs to support individual
mobility (Programme Guide, p. 134).
Hints for a sound application
- Solid needs analysis: detailed and convincing explanations,
participation of all partners.
- Clearly emphasize benefits for all partners - starting already from the
- Focus on innovation.
- Quality of the project team and cooperation agreements: Show the
complementarity of partners, clear division of tasks, effective mechanisms
for coordination and communication.
- Consortium - companies: companies are actively involved and show solid
results, commitment and intention of a long-lasting partnership with the
- Impact and Sustainability: explain the short and long-term impact of the
project plan, plan a sustainability strategy from the very beginning.
- Coherent (problems, solutions, target groups, activities, budget,
- Simple (objectives, approach)
- Evidence based (ex-ante needs analysis, state of art)
- Clear (identifying the need for such a proposal, solutions, and outputs)
- Rigorous in its planning (which activities, when, for how long, and with
- Explicit (do not take for granted any information, if it is not in the
application it cannot be taken into account)
- Circumscribed (a proposal is not about solving the world’s problems, but
about solving a specific issue)
The Application Package
The Application Package will be written in English and consists of several
compulsory documents, the content of which is summarised below:
The eForm provides mainly the administrative and general information on
The Detailed Project Description is structured as follows:
- Part 0. Project summary and involvement in previous relevant projects
- Part I. Project relevance
- Part II. Quality of the project design and implementation
- Part III.Quality of the partnership , the team and the cooperation
- Part IV. Impact, dissemination, exploitation and sustainability
- Part V. Specific arrangements regarding learning mobility (if applicable)
- Part VI. Additional project information (if applicable)
- Part VII. Work plan and work packages
The Detailed Budget Tables and Work Packages Overview (Excel template)
provides the details of all planned expenditures and the overview and planning
of all Work packages. It contains the following tabs:
- Sheet 1: I and II. Overview
- Sheet 2: III. Project implementation support
- Sheet 3: IV. Learning mobility activities
- Sheet 4. V. Work packages overview
The Declaration on Honour must be signed by the legal representative of
the applicant organisation on behalf of all participating organisations,
scanned (PDF, TIFF, JPEG) and attached to the eForm.
Documents to be supplied by the full partners
- register in the Funding & tender opportunities portal and receive a
Participant Identification Code (PIC). Organisations that have already
obtained a PIC through their participation in other EU programmes do not
need to register again. The PIC obtained from this previous registration is
valid also for applying under Erasmus+.
- Supply a Mandate Letter.
Documents to be uploaded
in the Participant Register of the Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal:
To be clarified: Who has to supply the completed, dated and signed Legal
entity form (the form corresponding to your public or private status).
Some Arguments Useful for the Application
- Natalie Peace on Brainstorming in Forbes, April 2012
- World Economic Forum: The Future of Jobs Employment, Skills and Workforce
Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. January 2016
- Survey compiled by Bohuslav Busov on
more than 2000 TRIZ training participants which were interviewed about the
benefits of TRIZ
- LOI of the IHK Heilbronn
About the Content
Stelian Brad (15.12.20191)
- Please consider that we can find a possibility to create a MOOC on TRIZ - we
have to valorize e-learning platforms (in our case, we can arrange the
network to have access to a very new platform for synchronous and
- Please consider the focus on open innovation by seeing the network as
platform where innovation can be run under poly-centric forms of
collaboration (this is a clear focus of the EC in the next exercise
- Because new standards in innovation management systems are becoming more
important, the network should also consider the smart integration of TRIZ in
- It would be maybe an opportunity to expand student mobility not only for
learning, but also for completing their final degree project as part of
Erasmus+ exchange. This will offer students to apply TRIZ in a wider and
Bohuslav Busov (18.12.2019)
- Associated Partners - We plan to integrate also Chambers of Commerce and
Industry from different countries:
- I can activate at minimum following possible Associate partners: Economic
Chamber (IHK) Brno, JIC Brno (South Moravia Innovative Centrum), HUB
interconnected with BUT Brno, HUB interconnected with TU Ostrava, also
TRIZing Czech Association under „roof“ of my BUT Brno, where in TRIZing I
am „president“, IKI Liberec - partially interconnected with TU Liberec
- I completely recommend Target Innovation and especially my friend (since
1993) Nikolay Shpakovski as expert. He is very experienced and as consultant
he is able to solve real different innovative tasks (for example in CR:
Atomic Machinery Pilsen, in Czech: Jaderné strojírenství Plzeň). By the way
I translated his book OTSM-TRIZ this year. Except of some new TRIZ
approaches there is lot of cases from Samsung. Some parts from this „higher
TRIZ pilotage“ are instructional also for my TRIZ students.
- Second I translated during this year the book „150 creative tasks from our
environment“ (Anatolij Gin, Irina Andrzheevskaja). It is a unique book about
„clever“ solutions inside fauna and flora. Book for children in nursery
schools and first year of primary schools.
- Only shortly and briefly about activites and outcomes of the ERASMUS+
Knowledge Alliance Project for this moment:
- Team work on selection of the best topics and subtopics from TRIZ for
teaching and learning study materials, instructional cases, methodical
recommendations for teachers and users,…
- Acessible materials for teachers, students, individual engineers and
innovative (ambitous) companies.
- Coordination of activities and cooperation with people, institutions and
companies interested in improving motivation and solving potential of man
through not only systematic approach on the start of innovation process
but also in the frame of synthetic creative phases where methodical
support by TRIZ instrumetarium is unusual, inspirative and usual
surprising even for experienced people.
- Popularization workshops prepared and organized by TU, or IHK, or
consultancy firms - for any interested audience.
Most Technical Universities from Czech Republic can be engaged as applicants
of project results (Prague, Pilsen, Liberec, Ostrava, Slovakia: Bratislava,
Žilina, Kosice) where I have good long time contacts with our dean (ČVUT
Prague), or vice-deans (TU Ostrava) or with enthusiasts attempting teach
something from TRIZ. I had many popular lectures in these universities
during the last years for students and teachers. Many texts, translated
books, .ppt sequencies - used in TU and in companies - in CR went out from
my „translation pen“. That is why I do not see problems with implementation
of planned project outcomes. As an attachment see a Graph showing answers
mostly of companies engineers what they are thinking after short popular
(informative) introducionary seminars (2-3 hours) as well as after 2+1 days
educational activities inside companies. From my point of view these answers
are also relevant documents about Targed groups and Needs of Analysis.
- My lectures aroud TRIZ started 1996. Feedback of students (Mgr) is very
positive. I am going to offer TRIZ courses not only for students of two
departments (til this time), but also for all students and PhD students on
FEEC (fakulty of electrical engineering and communication) and also as
optional course for all students of BUT (other faculties: machinery, civil,
architecture, informatics, business). Of course it is not easy for students
to choose such a course if they do not know about the potential of TRIZ for
their future practice… Serious popularization and well elaborated study
material is not a trivial task in the proposed project.
- Survey on more than 2000 TRIZ
training participants which were interviewed about the benefits of TRIZ.
- Addendum 20.12.2019: Some additional remarks about my standpoints you find
in a paper and a
presentation prepared for Australia (end
2017, J. Belski invited Livotov, Chechurin, Cascini, Dobruskin, Berdonosov,
Hans-Gert Gräbe - Last update 19 Jan 2020