FITT Toolbox: Training & Team Construction


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Training is the process by which researchers are triggered to learn additional skills, whereas team construction is the process by which researchers are triggered to complement their team to find additional, missing skills. The goal of training initiatives is to teach new skills to its participants in the hope that they will master them after finishing the program. The goal of team construction is to try to find a balance between technological capabilities and business expertise of the team members. The most difficult challenge within team formation is often to find the complementary business skills.

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FITT Toolbox: Training & Team Construction

  1. 1. Training & Team Construction FITT– Fostering Interregional Exchange in ICT Technology Transfer – www.FITT-for-Innovation.euExcept where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
  2. 2. Training & Team Construction Training is the process by which researchers are triggered to learn additional skills Team Construction is the process by which researchers are triggered to complement their team to find additional, missing skills2 | 03.2011 Training & Team Construction
  3. 3. Training & Team Construction The term training refers to the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies. Source: Wikipedia A training has the aim to teach new skills to its participants in the hope that they will master these new skills after finishing the training. Participants first acquire the new knowledge, often by listening to lectures Next, the participants are invited to assimilate the new knowledge by taking part of an exercise.3 | 03.2011 Training & Team Construction
  4. 4. Training & Team Construction The extent of the exercise can differ tremendously Rhetorical question The participants may be invited to think about a certain topic by means of a rhetorical question Small exercise The participants may be invited to categorize certain elements e.g. using a matrix, followed by a group discussion of this categorization in order to create a better understanding of a particular topic Play role Participants are invited to act in a certain role to create a real time experience to enhance the learning experience4 | 03.2011 Training & Team Construction
  5. 5. Training & Team Construction The extent of the exercise can differ tremendously Report The participants need to write a report in which they demonstrate that they understand the material that has been taught. In writing the report, it is important that the participants display their interpretation of the content and the research material. Participants may also be invited to write a business plan for their ideas. Presentation Participants are invited to present the report or business plan they made. This exercise helps them to be concise and clear about the message they want to bring across. YouTube movie As an alternative to writing a word document, participants may be invited to make an electronic presentation by making a movie that can be posted on YouTube5 | 03.2011 Training & Team Construction
  6. 6. Training & Team Construction During a training, participants obtain new knowledge and are invited to use this knowledge To enhance the learning experience, participants are often invited to make a presentation as this helps them to assimilate the acquired knowledge Feedback is provided to further stimulate the absorption of the new knowledge6 | 03.2011 Training & Team Construction
  7. 7. Training & Team Construction There is also a need to train TTOs as they need to create awareness among researchers and guide them in the commercialization process. Several studies underline that TT professionalization faces crucial obstacles 1) Lack of TT skilled people 2) No registered TT profession 3) No TT education / training programme recognised all over Europe Based on these findings, initiatives have been developed to overcome these barriers 1) The European project CERT-TTT-M has built up a framework to qualify TT- Managers on a trans-national level and targets to create European Organization for mutual recognition in Europe. 2) In UK, the AURIL (Association for University Research and Industrial Links), in partnership with Institute of Knowledge Transfer and Proton, has developed a framework for the Continuing Professional Development needs for Knowledge Transfer practitioners. Despite a clear view of needed skills, training offers are not matching all the expectations from TTO. Need for FITT Toolbox7 | 03.2011 Training & Team Construction
  8. 8. Training & Team Construction Entpreneurial Bootcamp The entrepreneurial bootcamp is an intensive personal development program for entrepreneurial researchers. The program is a set of focused workshops in which an entrepreneurial multidisciplinary team is created and coached. The primary purpose is to guide researchers who want to found their own company starting from a concrete business idea. The final goal is to deliver a presentation at the end of the boot camp that can survive a professional investment board.8 | 03.2011 Training & Team Construction
  9. 9. Training & Team Construction Entrepreneurship know-how – online academy The Academy is an online training and education platform developed to give access to entrepreneurs to courses and media content (specifically created following pedagogical patterns) on business topics that could have a fast and direct application to the day-by-day of the entrepreneur. The main goal is always to assist entrepreneurs in acquiring business competences and in a lesser degree to provide coaches with a powerful and helpful tool to support their coaching activity.9 | 03.2011 Training & Team Construction
  10. 10. Training & Team Construction Team Construction Having a promising technology is one thing, but building a business around it something else: Starting up a venture is no sinecure The most difficult challenge is probably assembling the founding team A strong management team is believed to be the key element of a successful start-up. A team is defined as a group of people linked in a common purpose. Teams are especially appropriate for conducting tasks that are interdependent and high in complexity (source: Wikipedia). Entrepreneurial tasks – generally referred to as gestation activities – match this description of being complex10 | 03.2011 Training & Team Construction
  11. 11. Training & Team Construction An entrepreneurial team is typically composed of people with different functional expertise working toward the common goal of founding a successful company The main benefit of a cross-functional team: Generates synergy Allows each member to maximize strengths & minimize weaknesses Within a technology transfer context, generally no lack of technologically capable people People with market insight and business skills hard to find in labs!11 | 03.2011 Training & Team Construction
  12. 12. Training & Team Construction 1st stage: motivate researchers to join the start-up The most obvious members of the team are the idea owners, but they often not interested in joining a start-up team However, the involvement of the idea owners in the start-up is crucial as the technological know-how is stored inside their head TTOs should try to motivate researchers to be more entrepreneurial: cfr. Motivation & Incentives12 | 03.2011 Training & Team Construction
  13. 13. Process Issue Training & Team Construction 2nd stage: Assemble a multifunctional team TTOs have got to assess strengths & weaknesses by looking @ education, experience, possible previous start-up involvement … Usually, the inventors have an engineering background with limited or no business experience However, the founding team should reflect a balance between technological capabilities and business expertise The most difficult challenge within team formation is to find the complementary business skills ‘Entrepreneurs-in-Residence’ Program initiative13 | 03.2011 Training & Team Construction
  14. 14. Entrepreneurs-in-Residence Program Entrepreneurs-in-Residence Position or title typically held by an experienced entrepreneur or business professional Three primary functions: • Launch a new entrepreneurial venture • Assist in the evaluation of potential investments • Provide functional expertise to assist with an existing investment Ultimate goal: ensure a newly formed technology company that it has access to the right person to manage it and take it forward14 | 03.2011 Training & Team Construction
  15. 15. Suggested Readings Link to bibliography Link to code book Knowledge diffusion Team & Network Link to relevant websites | 03.2011 Training & Team Construction