Open innovation pathways solving challenges for manufacturing Start-ups and SMEs in business transformation

About the project

Participation in open innovation processes requires both high-level vertical, domain-specific skills and horizontal skills in technology transfer and innovation management. oiAcademy brings together entrepreneurs, professionals, seed and angel investors and academia to work on problem-based product/service development. Using “learning by doing”, oiAcademy enables learners to acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for strong development teams.

Purpose of the project

The oiACADEMY programme will help current and future professionals in the manufacturing sector to create innovative ideas, transform them into products and services and place them successfully in the market.

The aim of the project is to promote vertical competencies related to high-level technology, as well as building the necessary horizontal soft skills – in management, teamwork, entrepreneurial mindset, technology transfer and innovation management – for participation in open innovation processes.

Societal impact

Cooperation and synergy between educational institutions, incubators/accelerators, and the business sector and involved investors have been strengthened in the partner countries.

The internationally piloted working model includes a mechanism for scaling the local HUB “node” to other regions to create an oiAcademy network with potential scale-out.

Educational institutions participating in the project gain the opportunity to offer additional micro-degrees.

Main results & insights

The innovation capacity of partners’ local RIS ecosystems in Estonia and Spain has improved. Operational capacity has improved between local KT innovators in Germany, Spain and Estonia, as well as internationally. A tool has been created to attract potential new partners to the EIT knowledge and innovation communities. A bridging tool has been created and tested to help engage startup venture investors in the early stages of prototyping product and service development.

A programme with the EIT Label has been created. It has a highly integrated, innovative “learning-by-doing” curricula.

Quote from the Activity Leader

oiACADEMY is a programme based on a learning process that has a ‘double helix’ shape. The solution is acquiring knowledge with the support of the EIT Manufacturing Skills.Move learning platform and acquiring skills through experiential learning activities. Based on the programme results, oiAcademy’s partners can launch micro-degree programmes. The main partners are looking for new partner candidates and funding opportunities for the development of new HUBs.

Aivar Père, Entrepreneurship Lecturer, University of Tartu




University of Tartu

Core partner, Hubs (RIS)

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Core partner

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Spain, ELGOIBAR, Associate Partner

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Tartu Science Park TSP

Estonia, TARTU, LTP

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TU Braunschweig

Core partner

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