Development and Implementation of a Program Advancing Research Education and Exploitation for the Support of National Innovation Systems – PARENIS

Universities are important pillars inside the country’s education and innovation system and must actively contribute to making their research activities accessible to society at large and industry in particular. PARENIS aims to reinforce the universities’ capability of exploiting their research results, while strengthening the innovation systems of partner countries. The exploitation of research is dealt with from two perspectives: how can universities improve the quality and quantity of their research publications to benefit society in general? And how can a better knowledge transfer in the domains of research and innovation take place between university and industry?

The project therefore focuses on higher education and society, in particular on the knowledge triangle: education-innovation-research. It also encourages partnerships with enterprises. Both areas have been identified as national priorities by Tunisia and Morocco.

The Project Partners are:

  • Hamburg University of Technology, Hamburg, Germany
  • Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy
  • Instituto de Empresa, Madrid, Spain
  • Durham University, Durham, England
  • Polytechnique de Nantes, Nantes, France
  • Agence Nationale de Promotion de la Recherche et de l’Innovation, Tunis, Tunisia
  • Université El Manar; Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs de Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia
  • Université de Tunis; Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales, Tunis, Tunisia
  • Université de Sousse; Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs de Sousse, Sousse, Tunisia
  • Université de Sfax; Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs de Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia
  • Ecole Mohammedia d’Ingénieurs, Mohammedia, Morocco
  • Ecole Nationale des Sciences Appliquées, Marrakech, Tunisia

Toward this aim, PARENIS develops a two-phase program over three years. The first phase implements five research methodology courses for Master and PhD programs. These courses are focused on enhancing master and PhD students’ capabilities of doing and writing good research. The subsequent mobility phase enables students from partner universities to integrate European research teams and to put the methodologies into practice.

In the second phase, PARENIS creates mechanisms and procedures that intensify research collaborations between academia and industry. It initiates so-called innovation labs to create a space, in which universities and enterprises can meet on a regular basis to discuss joint research, and to define agendas for collaborative work. Beside the innovation labs, the project launches a research transfer office in every partner university to ensure a permanent university-enterprise linkage. The EU partners provide seminars to qualify the partner university staff that is responsible for the transfer office.

An online virtual platform is finally implemented to guarantee a long-term impact of the project. The research methodology courses are recorded and posted on this platform. This platform also creates a virtual space that boosts collaboration among partner universities, EU universities, and local industry.

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