Global Best Award winner for Innovative and Creative Partnerships in the North America Region
My research interest has surrounded the topic of innovation in business and technology (e.g. Master thesis: The impact of information technology on organizational change), and innovation in public management (e.g. PhD thesis: The participatory budget in municipalities). Lately, I am evolving this focus towards innovation, and its business aspects, in high-tech start-up companies. This renewed interest was not accidental. I teach three courses at MacEwan School of Business related to innovation: Change Management; Innovation and Intrapreneurship; and Contemporary Issues in Management. Nevertheless, the practical knowledge obtain through the project Born Global Innovation (BGI) was a revelation for both my teaching and research interest.
The BGI project is a partnership I have developed among MacEwan University and TEC Edmonton in Canada, and the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) and the incubator CERTI Foundation in Brazil. The partnership recognizes the importance of international collaboration in fostering innovation and, yet, the necessity to link both business model and technology innovations. Its ultimate goal is to create and foster an innovation ecosystem among the partners. In our annual field school, business students take a course at UFSC. Before departure to Brazil, field school students are given the opportunity to act in the role of international junior consultants through the BGI partnership. In this experiential course, small groups of business students (3-5 students per group) are paired with Brazilian start-up companies. Once a student group is matched to a company, students contact the companies and identify specific issues, questions, problems and opportunities they want to explore; assess the North-America’s market for the commercialization of their products; source Albertan partners through TEC Edmonton; receive mentorship from professors leading this junior international consulting course; prepare recommendations and reports for the clients. In loco, they present their recommendations to the clients.
The project was awarded the Global Best Award winner for Category 5 – Innovative and Creative Partnerships in the North America Region by the International Partnership Network. The presentation and reception of the award happened in the 12th International Education Business Partnership Conference, September 10-12, 2014 in Brussels, Belgium (see http://www.macewan.ca/wcm/MacEwanNews/BRAZIL_FIELD_SCHOOL_AWARD). Yet, I was invited to present it at the Conference Board of Canada 2nd Skills and Post-Secondary Education Summit 2014: Developing the Skills and PSE Strategy for Canada, November 5 and 6, 2014, Toronto, Canada.