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First Intermediate Workshop of the European Horizon 2020 K.I.T.F.E.M. P

Hosted by the University of Salento at the Department of Engineering for Innovation, the KITFEM Intermediate Workshop took place in Lecce, Italy, on January 22nd and 23rd, 2018. KITFEM is an ambitious project on “Knowledege and Innovation in, to and from Emerging Markets”, that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 734447. The workshop provided room not only to showcase the progress of research, but also to communicate its aims, scope and first results to the public and academic audiences. An additional objective was  to stimulate future research collaborations within and beyond the KITFEM member organizations. 40 participants coming from the partnership’s network, University of Salento, Bari, Udine, Naples as well as University of Salento’s international visiting researchers attended the event.

After the welcome address by the Workshop’s host Prof. Claudio Petti, Scientific Responsible of the KITFEM Project for the Department of Engineering for Innovation (DeFI) and the auspices of its Director Prof. Giuseppe Grassi, the Vice-Rector for Technical Scientific Area, Prof. Mariaenrica Frigione, gave an overview of the international activities and cooperation at University of Salento, which comprise collaborations around the world, student exchange programs and research international projects. The discussion about KITFEM’s research was opened by Prof. Sylvia Rohlfer from CUNEF University and Coordinator of the project, who stressed its geographical, methodological and multi-disciplinary scope and the project’s commitment towards communication and dissemination. This was followed by a round table presentation and discussion by working package (WP) lead researchers, which offered an overview on the actual and future research lines with the perspective of enhancing cooperation within and across the project partnership network.

To explore new trends in project-related research, the workshop counted with the intervention of Prof. Giovanni Schiuma, from University of Basilicata and IFKAD Chair. In his discourse “Some reflections on research on knowledge and innovation”, Schiuma provided an in-depth overview of how knowledge management has been incorporated in academic management literature, and the current need to look for creative-based approaches to build resilient organizations. It is in this context that the instrumental and functional value of arts to knowledge management within organizations has been enhanced. As it was highlighted in the subsequent discussion, the translation of academic results into concrete practical orientations for companies is still a pending task for scholarship.

Two closing sessions were devoted to research networking. In the first parallel session, which focused on the theme of technology and knowledge transfer as well as university-industry cooperation, Prof. Yongli Tang and Prof. Veronica Rosendo explained the main research lines developed within this theme and possible research gaps to be addressed. In the discussion that followed, several methodological and conceptual issues arose, including the uniqueness of the institutional Chinese setting and both the potentialities and limitations that, in terms of data collection and treatment, this might imply for research purposes. It was also discussed the collaboration of several members of KITFEM to carry out a multi-country study on university-industry collaboration, including information from China, Mexico, Italy and Spain. The second parallel session focused on human resource management and innovation as well as the expatriate’s role in knowledge transfer. The interventions by Prof Rohlfer and Fedor Portniangin lead to a discussion by participants on the need for further contextualization of research and the opportunities of comparative research to be realized due to the geographical scope of the project. In addition, related research carried out by colleagues at the Universities of Salento and Naples was considered to pool research expertise and to explore future collaboration. 

1 Febrero 2018