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Fostering an industrial cultural collaboration through inter-disciplinary teams in academic and entrepreneurial communication networks.

1. Introduction

The cross cultural innovation network promotes cross cultural cooperation between the EU and Indian universities and entrepreneurs. It is concerned with the fostering of proactive academic and entrepreneurial cultures. Its focus is on the value added applications of university research in the areas of social and economic change, and regional models of innovation and entrepreneurship, and their transferability between and across regions and cultures. Culture in this context emphasises the social and economic contexts in which technology is designed and applied to solve problems. The notion of cross culture emphasises the diversity of entrepreneurial cultures both within India and the EU. Innovation here refers to the human centred shaping of systems and processes which lead to the sustainable development of cultural, social and economic worlds.

The Network is in the initial stage of its evolution and aims to build a Virtual Innovation Network, an "Cross Cultural Innovation Institute Without Walls". The initial core network consists of the following two complementary inter-university networks:

EU Inter-University Network

* University of Brighton (UK)

* University College, Newport (Wales, UK)

* Urbino of Urbino (I)

* Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby (DK)

* Technical University, Aachen (D)


India Inter-university Network

* National Institute of Science and Technology Development Studies (NISTADS), (Delhi)

* Delhi University (Delhi)

* Punjab Agricultural University , Ludhiana (Punjab)

* Gujerat University, Ahmedabad, (Gujerat)

2. Summary

The general objective of the project is to enhance economic cross cultural understanding of innovation through the networking of European and Indian universities; the exchange of senior researchers, academic staff and research students; Joint R & D projects; and Information Sessions and Seminars. The focus will be on human and information resource development. The approach is to study the processes, mechanisms and methods of cross cultural transfer of innovation, by means of the development of collaborative applied research teams in academic and entrepreneurial communication networks. The project involves the enhancing of EU-India capabilities of applied research, knowledge and know-how in selected area of technological, economic and industrial innovations. Central to this upgrading is the role of information, communication, and media technologies in stimulation cultural, social, economic change. The participants in the innovation network will share, build upon and learn from both the European and Indian traditions of higher education, applied research and innovation on the basis of mutuality and equality of partnership. At the heart of this proposal for EU-India cross cultural innovation is the creation of proactive and interdisciplinary research and innovation community.

3. Joint R & D Cross Cultural Project Areas

The following project areas will form the basis of collaborating projects for the EU-India Innovation Network:

3.1. New media and value added innovation

This project will identify and examine the role of multimedia and communication networks in stimulating innovation, and social and economic change. The project will study the media and communication programmes of the European Union such as the European Information Society and the Telematics Programme and complementary research in India. It will identify and evaluate the value added contributions of information and technology transfer networks to learning, innovation, and societal development. It will study the role of academic, professional and industrial networks in the transfer of knowledge and the facilitation of socio-economic and technological innovations, and examine the development of cross cultural models of learning, training and innovation both within the EU and Indian contexts. In particular, the project will examine the valued addedness of media and communication research within the following contexts:

- new collaboration and cooperation; new processes of academic networking, linking academics and entrepreneurs

- demonstration of the relevance of research to wider academic community, social groups (women, disadvantaged), and social and industrial entrepreneurs

- relevance of research to new directions in ICTs and media industries

- relevance to value added activities of information and knowledge dissemination to social and economic development


3.2: Entrepreneurial Innovation

This project area will evaluate the models, process and mechanism of entrepreneurial innovation in selected regions in India and the EU, and their impact on regional development both within the EU and Indian contexts. It will identify regional and cultural models of innovation and entrepreneurship, and examine their transferability between and across regions and cultures. It will evaluate entrepreneurial networking and training models and their role in creating small and medium size enterprises. Within a broader framework of cross cultural innovation, it will examine the emerging shift from the agriculture culture to the industrial culture within the Indian context, and the interactions between the industrial culture and the information society within the EU context. This examination will include the interactions and gaps between academic entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, institutional entrepreneurship and cultural entrepreneurship. The project work will be undertaken within the established settings of cities and regions and within the defined themes of the EU-India cooperation.

3.3. Socio-economic Innovation

This project will:

i) examine the integration of new technology into new form of socio-economic innovations;

ii) identify new forms of collaboration between the university and social partners and examine their role in socio-economic innovation

This project area will draw upon the work of the Media and Communication project as well as the Regional Innovation project. It will identify new types of innovations in media and communication and entrepreneurial domains, and examine their role in stimulating new forms of socio-economic innovations in the urban and rural contexts.

3.4: Knowledge and Innovation

The project area will study the models and processes of the production, reproduction and dissemination of knowledge, and their impact on knowledge transfer between university and industry and between university and wider society. It will draw upon the work of the other three projects, and will examine the role of public sector research in fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth. The study will include the comparative evaluation of research transfer between the academia, industry and wider society in the EU and India, such as the transfer of telematics research and CAD/CAM from university to industry. In particular it examine:

- the enabling of access to research work and results to wider society

- relating knowledge, research processes and results to society in order to improve the quality of life of individuals

- the relevance of research to the harmonious development of employment, economy and social cohesion

- acceptability of research to the citizens - need for more comprehensible, more reliable and more accessible research

- positive impact of research on industrial innovation and economic development.