One of the CHIC work packages was successfully presented and promoted during the annual ASTP conference in Lisbon from 18th till 20th of May 2022. A workshop on the topic 'Engage, Enable and Evolve: improving your innovation ecosystem' was successfully held by us, Ivana Vuka from the University of Split and Andras Havasi and Marie Mifsud from the University of Malta. As tech transfer professionals, we often face the challenge of communicating with different audiences that all require different approaches, including companies, government bodies, external partners, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders. At the same time knowledge and technology transfer offices are at the centre of communication between different stakeholders within the ecosystem and are in the best position to encourage integration and cooperation. Challenges we face every day encourage us to think about tools and ways of overcoming those communication barriers and improving the integration within the knowledge triangle, and this is the focus of our E3: 'Engage, Enable and Evolve' work package.
The E3 initiative is a communication strategy and set of activities and best practices intended to drive change for a more creative, constructive, collaborative and competitive innovation ecosystem. As part of the workshop, the challenges and problems that knowledge and technology transfer offices face in communicating with different stakeholders were identified to prepare a universal communication strategy to be used in offices across Europe to improve and successfully strengthen ties with different stakeholders and facilitate interactions within the innovation ecosystem.
During the discussions, it was concluded that the TTOs can serve as valuable intermediaries in the knowledge valorization era and can be a first contact in establishing networks and creating ecosystems. Showcasing success stories and storytelling are suggested as the best tools to attract new beneficiaries in the knowledge triangle. However, cultural change and a top-down approach are crucial for a healthy ecosystem and success that will be to the benefit of the entire society.
ASTP is a pan-European association of experts involved in knowledge transfer between universities and industry to promote the practice of knowledge transfer and increase the impact of public research on society and the economy. Having this in mind, the conference was not only a great opportunity to get valuable feedback and promote the CHIC project but also to learn a lot during the very interesting sessions and keynote speeches. It also gave us the opportunity to network with our peers and discuss possibilities for new collaborations.