Project update Learning Framework

The learning framework is based on our investigation to understand the needs and challenges experienced by HEI and SME representatives that we conducted in 2021. This investigation consisted of:

– Desk research on HEI-SME collaboration in European-level and national-level contexts in Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland and Spain

– Benchmarking analysis

– European funding survey with 217 respondents from EU countries (out of which 200 from Cyprus, Finland, France, Ireland, Germany, and Spain)

– Expert interviews with 49 academics and engagement officers, SME representatives, European funding programme experts, and non-university engagement professionals

– 35 case studies on HEI-SME and EU level funded projects

The full research report on our findings can be found on our website:

Based on this research we have identified the key competencies and fields of knowledge for HEI-SME collaboration. This has led to the design of 9 different modules within 6 overarching competency and knowledge areas that together address all these key competencies and fields of knowledge. See an overview of all 6 areas with the corresponding modules below:


Refreshener: Open Science & Open Innovation, R&D and EU innovation policy, Horizon Europe framework, University-SME collaboration

Concept and proposal design

How to align needs and opportunities: scouting project ideas

How to develop a winning proposal for Horizon Europe

Partnerships and relationships

How to initiate and effectively manage your Horizon Europe partnerships

How to turn transactional relationships into strategic partnerships

Project management

How to manage the financial and administrative aspects in Horizon Europe projects

How to negotiate risks and benefits in open science – IP in Horizon Europe

Valorisation and marketing

How to maximize the impact of your Horizon Europe project results

Interpersonal skills

Networking, Emotional Intelligence, Communication

Below you see an overview of all the key competencies and fields of knowledge that have been identified in the research report.

Key competencies for HEI-SME collaboration

• Consortium Assemblage and Proposal Writing

• Project/Research Design for Industry and Social Impact

• From Idea to the Market: Negotiating Risks and Profits

• Informal and Formal Networking

• Collaborative Working Environments and Team Management

• Time and Project Management

• Interpersonal and Communication Skills

• Cultural and Foreign/English Language Skills

• Applying for Funding

• Marketing and Pitching Research and Technologies

• Strategic Planning and Foresight

Key fields of knowledge for HEI-SME collaboration

• R&D and innovation

• Multidisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity

• Intellectual property rights (IP)

• Emerging technologies

• Technology foresight: discoveries at an early stage

• EU green policies

• Citizen science

• Open science

• Training and education

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