Description of the project and expected results:
- Create 20 university spin-off companies in the target regions - Northern Portugal and Galicia (Spain) by transferring the model of the University of Twente (NL);
- Contribute to industrial diversification in the target regions and make this example known throughout Portugal, Spain and Europe, capable of motivating other entities to go forward with similar initiatives;
- Validate methodologies (awareness, training, consultancy, networking, financing) for promoting academic entrepreneurship at an European level.
Description of the mechanisms for supporting the setting-up and development of innovative firms which the project intends to validate.
The adopted methodology to facilitate the launching of innovative companies is based on the following 5 main procedures:
- Permanent contact between the Twente region and Northern Portugal and Galicia regions, that include an intensive training period in Twente undertaken by Portuguese and Spanish technicians, participation of Dutch experts in some project disseminating activities in Portugal and Spain, inclusion of the Dutch partner in the Steering Committees of the Iberian regions and weekly contacts linking all project partners (Internet, video/audio conferencing);
- Select high potential entrepreneurial projects and involve influent strategic partners like universities, RTD institutions, company incubators, public entities supporting SME and financial institutions. After a vast diffusion of the programme (including mass media, workshops and Internet), the best entrepreneurial projects will be chosen through a contest of ideas;
- Support the leaders of the selected projects in the following essential aspects: evaluation of individual skills, personal development training, business training and consultancy, networking, research/development of prototypes (including scientific mentoring) and financing;
- Launching university spin-off companies with the passage of the new entrepreneurs to company incubators (preferably) and beginning of the activities of the companies;
- Dissemination of the programme's achievements during and after its carrying out period through newspapers, newsletters, partners' Internet sites and final seminar.