IF4TM – “Institutional framework for development of the third mission of universities in Serbia” (project number: 561655-EPP-1-2015-1-RS-EPPKA2-CBHE-SP)
In line with the technological development and growing need to develop knowledge-based economy, the universities, as key knowledge providers, should pursue to develop third mission.
The third mission encompasses a wide range of activities involving the generation, use, application and exploitation of knowledge and other university capabilities outside academic environments. Those activities are divided into three dimensions: 1) Technology transfer and innovation; 2) Continual education; 3) Social engagement.
As the economic crises deepens, the investment return into research in public organizations such as universities, through commercialization of research results, has become more significant for Serbia as well. Although HEIs in Serbia have significant research potential and resources, they mainly result in the large number of SCI publications and not so often in patents and realized innovations. This is due to the lack of institutional framework for development and implementation of third mission activities at Serbian HEIs.
During the mapping of university potential at two Serbian universities (WBCInno project), it was noticed that there is a defragmentation of trainings supply by the faculties. Although five public Serbian universities have defined and adopted strategies for Continuing Education and LLL Centres were established, there is a room for improvement of continuing education activities at universities through definition of integrative approach at university level and development of trainings directed to the needs of target groups (enterprises, young people, researchers, etc.).
Since the creativity lies in the core of innovation, IF4TM will facilitate the development of creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of researchers, students and pupils as well, through establishment of Creativity Centres. They will be equipped to support idea development, concept validation and communication among interdisciplinary teams. If the ideas of young people are linked with the enterprises’ needs, within open innovation concept and campaigns on INNO platforms, this would improve the strengthening of innovation potential in enterprises in Serbia and engage young people on innovative projects.