Erasmus Mundus - Universidade do Porto


INternational Science Promoting Innovation and entREpreneurship (INSPIRE) is an Erasmus Mundus Action 2 project that has identified a very concrete and structurally important node for development of the South African knowledge triangle. In the intricate system of interaction between research, education and innovation INSPIRE will focus on the creation of and development of support structures that can transfer results from research into the private sector for refinement before product development to be used in industry.

The process of transferring science to be explored and commercialized is still underdeveloped and there is a need to develop good governance at universities in order to initiate and uphold partnerships between the public and private sectors. The INSPIRE-project will tackle this is issue by training South African students and staff within the EU-universities’ innovation/entrepreneur centers. INSPIRE will also, thanks to participating associate organizations, build a network for INSPIRE-alumni in which they can continue to grow personally and professionally.

The outcome of INSPIRE will leave South African Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) with highly trained administrative staff that can run an innovation/tech-transfer office; with academic researchers and students that have studied in highly advanced universities in Europe and been educated in the process of transferring science into viable businesses; and with an EU-South African network of universities that will continue to develop new modes of collaboration within the field of innovation and entrepreneurship.

The theme of INSPIRE is selected in order to promote Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In doing so INSPIRE has chosen to give priority to a number of academic themes that align themselves with the priorities set for innovation in the development strategy of the South African Department of Science and Technology for the period 2011-2016.