Spanning Boundaries is an Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliance project working to break down the barriers between academia and industry. It aims to empower university and business professionals to enhance their contribution in the regional economic and social development through closer engagement with each other and their environment.
The need for individual ‘Boundary Spanners’ is increasingly deemed crucial among the university staff in the entrepreneurial discovery and smart specialisation processes of the HEIs, to support transfer and exchange of knowledge. The nature of the barriers that hinder regional engagement include “lack of ‘boundary spanning skills in the university” and “lack of leadership to drive change”.
While universities and industry working in close cooperation are engines of innovation, it is people who are the most crucial factor in transferring knowledge and innovation across institutions, mobilising resources, triggering organisational change, and making a difference in their regions. More than ever, there is a need to “span boundaries” between these institutions, which is why the “Spanning Boundaries Development Programme” was created.
The main objectives of the project are:
- To increase the ability of university staff/faculty/leadership to effectively engage with businesses in all potential areas (i.e. education, research, valorisation and management) by taking them through an experiential learning process.
- Increase awareness and understanding of the business staff in their engagement practices with universities towards development of strategic partnerships by involving them in the large-scale survey to map the boundary spanning personnel and the status-quo of their university engagement and offering a workshop to the SME representatives in each partner region to develop their capacity.
- Foster dissemination and exploitation of the Spanning Boundaries Workshop Programme Toolkits across Europe, as well as building capacity through Cascading Workshops, and learning sessions and networks to be offered in the national/international launch events.
You can find out more about resources and the work of the Spanning Boundaries project here: