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e2000 - Abstracts

Abstracts of Papers Published in the Conference Proceedings - Section 3: Training, Innovation and Regional Development

Section 3:Training, Innovation and Regional Development
Regional Systems of Innovation and the Exchange of Knowledge: Evidence and Issues for Policies
P.P. Patrucco, K. Michoel
E-Learning for European Industry
M. Kelleher, A.Haldane, G.van Heijst
Making innovation exploitation a success business story: The IST DILEMMA Project
V. Tsakalos, N. Melanitis, A. Constantinou, A. Koumpis, Z. Damianova, A. Michaelides, L. Volle, T. Haug, A. Smeets
THINK BIG: Think Business, Innovation, and Growth
I. Hussla, A. Thiemann
Design of a Web-Based Training System: Focus on the Internet, E-Commerce & EDI
Y. Duan, R. Mullins, D. Hamblin
FifeDirect - using the Internet for regional economic development and social inclusion
A. Lake
Multimedia Course in a Professional Target: Electronic Commerce
M. Castro, A. Colmenar, C. De Mora, F. Yeves, J. Peire
Accelerating eCommerce in Europe through networked regional and national Activities
A. Flottmann-Nilsson
Linking the Scandinavian countries and Scotland through Information Technology: Best practice experiences from the IT-Scand project
K. Davis, C. Richards
Innovation-Online: A Vortal for Supporting Innovative SMEs within a Regional Economy
P. Anderson
PREMISE: Increasing European SMEs' Take-Up of Electronic Commerce
L. Wittenberg
Support to Project Proposers under the IST Programme
P. Drath, R. Pleger, R. Gagliardi, S. Muscella, A. Ceccarelli

Regional Systems of Innovation and the Exchange of Knowledge: Evidence and Issues for Policies
Pier Paolo PATRUCCO and Kristien MICHOEL
Nomisma - Società di Studi Economici S.p.A., Industrial Policy Unit,
Strada Maggiore 44, 40125 Bologna, Italy

The Italian evidence of regional systems of innovation illustrates very specific and highly differentiated innovation patterns. In that agglomeration and proximity create favourable conditions for low communication costs and knowledge externalities, the presence of local clusters opens a wide range of economic opportunities to enhance innovation and in turn economic growth. In fact, within local economic systems the variety of interacting economic institutions gives place to an exchange of different but very complementary kinds of knowledge. This multilayer communication system fosters multilateral trade of knowledge and shapes innovation processes. New information and communication technologies find here a receptive organisational structure, and claim for focalised policies.

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E-Learning for European Industry
Michael KELLEHER(1), Andrew HALDANE(2) & Gertjan van HEIJST(3)
(1)European Consortium for the Learning Organisation, Venelle des Lauriers 8, B-1300 Wavre, Belgium
(2)European Consortium for the Learning Organisation, Venelle des Lauriers 8, B-1300 Wavre, Belgium
(3) Kenniscentrum Cibit, Arthur van Schendelstraat 570, Utrecht, Netherlands

The Esprit Programme of the 4th Framework established a thematic programme on IT for Learning and Training in Industry (LTI). The programme was launched in late 1998 and part-sponsors sixteen innovative RTD projects designed to develop new solutions to industrial problems. The specific challenges it addresses are the adoption of knowledge management strategies and the need to develop a learning organisation culture within an increasingly knowledge-based European industrial infrastructure. This paper will establish the key lessons learned from the LTI community of projects in the areas of e-learning for European industry and illustrate those lessons with examples of how specific projects are addressing this important policy arena.

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Making innovation exploitation a success business story: The IST DILEMMA Project
(1) Vassilios TSAKALOS, Nikolaos MELANITIS, Anastasia CONSTANTINOU
(2) Adamantios KOUMPIS
(3) Zoya DAMIANOVA, Alexandros MICHAELIDES, Laurent VOLLE, Tilmann HAUG, Alex SMEETS
(1) HELP-FORWARD Network, Xenofontos 5, GR - 105 57 Athens, Greece
(2) Unisoft S.A., Michael Kalou 6, GR - 546 29 Thessaloniki, Greece
(3) Innovation Relay Centre Network (Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Germany, UK)

Mediation services in the domains of innovation exploitation and technology transfer (partially based on information supply) are very often provided for free since they are subsidised by a public body. This situation often influences the quality of the services provided and in the longer term undermines the very existence of these activities (taking also into account that public funding is not for ever). The main characteristic of the service presented in the paper is its flexibility to combine information entities and provision procedures in order to build compound service (i.e. meta-service) and service packages (bundles), oriented to serve customers with highly differentiated needs related to content, functionality and costs. The facilitation of service management, based upon user behavioural patterns, forms the basis for assessing the added value of the service. A billing architecture provided by the technology providers of the consortium enables the usage-driven terrifying of the service.

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THINK BIG: Think Business, Innovation, and Growth
Ingo HUSSLA and Andrea THIEMANN
IZET Innovationszentrum Itzehoe, Gesellschaft für Technologieförderung Itzehoe mbH, Fraunhoferstrasse 3, 25524 Itzehoe, Germany

Two years experience from European test beds in IT entrepreneurship training in the course of the pilot ESPRIT accompanying measure TRAIN-IT is reported. TRAIN-IT™ supported 265 potential entrepreneurs from ESPRIT projects. A one week hands-on training course, individual follow-up, and customised coaching and mentoring in all issues of writing an investor winning business plan has been offered. Up to now, 30 new IT companies from the `New Economy` resulted from TRAIN-IT™ activities, and more than 60 business plans were written. Clearly, access to venture capital and mentoring by business angels is no longer the stumble stone towards success of European start-ups. The obvious problem realised is likely a cultural one, namely a lack of thinking big: thinking towards business, innovation, and growth to develop a sustainable culture of entrepreneurship in e-Europe must be further encouraged by new innovation measures and policies.

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Design of a Web-Based Training System: Focus on the Internet, E-Commerce & EDI
Yanqing DUAN, Roisin MULLINS, David HAMBLIN
Luton Business School
University of Luton
Luton LU1 3JU, UK

Surveys and focus groups were conducted to assess the awareness and expertise of employees from SME's in the use of information and communication technologies (ICT's). The surveys and focus groups detected generally low levels of awareness and skills. As a result of these findings a Leonardo da Vinci funded pilot project, named TRICTSME (Training in the use of Information and Communication Technologies for SME's) is currently underway. The aim of the TRICTSME team is to design and develop an intelligent web-based training tool to aid managers in implementing and understanding these ICT's for all their core business functions.

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FifeDirect - using the Internet for regional economic development and social inclusion
Andy LAKE
HOP Associates, 55 West Street, Comberton, Cambridge, CB3 7DS, United Kingdom

Much is expected of the new information and communications technologies (ICT) in terms of promoting economic opportunity, and for the more effective delivery of services by public bodies. Fife Direct (www.fifedirect.org.uk) is a pioneering project delivering both these aims. This paper will outline the issues in the development of Fife Direct, the lessons learned, the benefits delivered, anticipated future developments and the applicability of the website and the associated community network to other areas in Europe.

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Multimedia Course in a Professional Target: Electronic Commerce
Manuel CASTRO(1), Antonio COLMENAR(1), Carlos de MORA(1), Fernando YEVES(1) and Juan PEIRE (2)
(1) Electrical and Computer Department / UNED
Ciudad Universitaria, s/n - 28040 Madrid - SPAIN
(2) International Computer Science Institute-ICSI
1947 Center St. Suite 600. Berkeley, CA 94704
Tel: +510 666 2921; Email: peire@icsi.berkeley.edu

This paper deals with the highly demanded courses on e-commerce. Educational and distance learning courses in this new field have to consider the new possibilities that the Internet close related technologies are taking place. Web design courses, CD-ROM capabilities, interactive tutorial through Internet as well as a comprehensive e-commerce course's content are presented.

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Accelerating eCommerce in Europe through networked regional and national Activities
Annette FLOTTMANN-NILSSON
FTK European Affairs
Martin-Schmeisser-Weg 4
D-44227 Dortmund
Germany

To 'e' or not to 'e' - this is the essential question European companies face - and have to answer now. Where European Initiatives act on a political level, and thus their implementation is taking time, European regions have acknowledged the need for immediate action. The need to accelerate eCommerce in Europe is evident, getting innovative start-ups into business, and supporting SMEs in the uptake of eCommerce by regional initiatives is a major factor to achieve this objective. But: to withstand the rising competitive pressure from the other side of the Atlantic, Europe's most innovative regional initiatives have to be bundled, synergies created, and concepts need to be transferred. Since 1995, the German regional initiative media NRW has successfully shaped the Information Society. Now, a major challenge for this initiative is the acceleration of eCommerce as the main driving force of the eEconomy which urgently needs to gather speed in Europe.

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Linking the Scandinavian countries and Scotland through Information Technology: Best practice experiences from the IT-Scand project
Kim Davis(1) and Caspian Richards(2)
(1)SINTEF Electronics & Cybernetics, Post Box 124 Blindern, 0314 OSLO
Norway,
(2)Arkleton Centre for Rural Development Research, King's College, Aberdeen AB24 3UF, Scotland,

IT-Scand, a Scandanavian and Scots cooperation network, is just ending its five year long formal co-operation. The final result of IT-Scand was a best practice study on SMEs involved in IT in the northern most peripheral areas of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Scotland. The study was based on structure interviews with selected well-qualified companies that resulted in good practice principles emerging from the experience of those who had extensive experience in IT-related transnational projects. The results showed a clear set of values play a central role in shaping the expectations of participants in transnational projects. These values were described as: transparency in dealing with one's partners; aiming to gain added value from a project for each partner in both social and technical terms; being open to and learning from differences in the business cultures and techniques of partners in other countries; and the centrality of the human dimension to the success of a project.

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Innovation-Online: A Vortal for Supporting Innovative SMEs within a Regional Economy
Paul ANDERSON
The Regional Unit, The University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, United Kingdom.

Assisting innovative SMEs with the continual process of transformation in the new economy is a key challenge for regional economic development. Traditionally, SMEs have not had the in-house resource to engage in innovation and development and have relied on external sources of such information. The Internet provides new channels for such knowledge distribution, but this paper argues that the Web is a difficult medium for SMEs to acquire knowledge. One answer to this has been the move towards Portals, or jumping off points for the Web and latterly there have moves towards vertical portals - vortals - which focus on specific industrial sectors. This paper outlines the development of such a vortal - Innovation-online - to provide mediated access to information for engineering companies and to assist with links into the knowledge-base provided by the Universities.

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PREMISE: Increasing European SMEs' Take-Up of Electronic Commerce
Lindsay WITTENBERG, Director
TAPAS-e.com limited
41 Portland Avenue, Hove, E. Sussex GB - BN3 5NF

PREMISE is an EC-funded project which, by developing models for new awareness and support actions for use by intermediaries, helped SMEs to understand the practicalities and business impact of e-commerce. The project's results were unusual by virtue of: 1) their focus on practical issues for SMEs; 2) the contribution of SMEs' views to the design of the models; 3) the multilingual project website; 4) the adaptability of the models. Additional benefits included greater understanding of multicultural issues in relation to SMEs, intermediaries and project management. Since the end of the project in May 2000 partners have developed some of the models further, for use in specific (e.g. sector-focused) environments. Five months on from the completion of PREMISE, this paper provides an insight into its Awareness Models and the ancillary lessons of the project, and describes how, in a multicultural environment, take-up of e-commerce by SMEs can be encouraged.

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Support to Project Proposers under the IST Programme
Paul DRATH(1), Roland PLEGER(2), Roberto GAGLIARDI(3), Silvana MUSCELLA(4) and Alfredo CECCARELLI(5)
(1)Singleimage Ltd, 3 Foundry Walk St Ives Cambridgeshire PE17 4FW, UK
(2)DLR, Linder Höhe, D-51147 Cologne, Germany
(3) Consorzio Pisa Ricerche, Piazza A. D'Ancona, 1 5612 7 Pisa, Italy
(4)Consorzio Pisa Ricerche, Piazza A. D'Ancona, 1 56127 Pisa, Italy
(5)CNUCE/CNR, Via Alfieri, 1 56010 Ghezzano, Pisa, Italy

Ideal-ist-5fp, which extends from the EU projects Idealfit & of Ideal-ist set up to accompany the ESPRIT and now IST programme under EC Framework Research Programmes, has proved to successfully reduce the barriers faced by organisations wishing to participate in the IST programme. How this has been and is continuing to be accomplished will be expressed in the following paper. The National Contact Points are appointed in his country to contribute to the participation in the IST programme. By communicating in the National language with potential proposers it is possible to offer better services to potential proposers such as building new consortia through partner search, training workshops for NCPs themselves organised by the Commission and organising National and International workshops for proposers. Furthermore, trying to find the most suitable partner search to carry out a research project is the main obstacle which often discourages those first time proposers to participate in Community funded programmes Idealist-5fp will explain how it achieves this.

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