On the 2-3 December, a large group of dedicated Spanning Boundaries Agents gathered together to  share and learn about tools, frameworks and unique personal boundary spanning stories from across the globe. This online gathering of practitioners, organised by UIIN, covered a wide range of topics around university-industry engagement with the main focus being on PEOPLE – those who are at the forefront of interaction, who break down the barriers between academia and business and drive meaningful change and collaborative innovation for their organisations.

During the forum, we heard and discussed 25+ stories from distinguished Spanning Boundaries Agents, with some of them deserving special attention.  We are proud to present the winners & runners-ups of the first edition of the Boundary Spanning Champions Online Forum!

University-Business Cooperation Story

Winner: Kari Mikkelä withUrban Mill: Agile Globally Networked Place-Based University-Industry Innovation Facilitator and Orchestrator at Espoo Innovation Garden”. Kari, the Executive Producer of Urban Mill, told the story about how Urban Mill promotes and facilitates collaboration between quadruple helix actors to create, prototype, validate and test new products and services in real-life conditions. Learn more about Kari’s work, visit Kari’s LinkedIn page.

Runner-up: David Cameron with “Bridging the Gaps in Industrial Digitalisation: Academics, Vendors and Users”. David, Centre Executive Manager SIRIUS at the University of Oslo, showcased how the SIRUS collaborative research centre apply cutting-edge computer science to problems in the energy industry and its supply chain. Learn more about David’s work, visit David’s LinkedIn page.

Innovative Education Story

Winner: Neil Fox with “Developing a Commercial Film Production Ecosystem in Academia with Pedagogy at Its Heart”. Neil developed the filmmaker in residence pilot at The Sound/Image Cinema Lab Falmouth University, which creates practical possibilities for the students to be a part of the real movie production. Learn more about Neil’s work, visit Neil’s LinkedIn page.

Runner-up: Tanja Hulst with “360 Learning – Collaborative Innovation in Multihelix”. An Innovation Designer at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Tanja established a unique multifaceted network, that connects entrepreneurs to the knowledge, capacity (talent) and capital needed to innovate in accordance with the future-oriented missions of the government. Learn more about Tanja work, visit Tanja’s LinkedIn page.

Boundary Spanning Tool

Winner: Stefan Brolin with “SPARK-ECG, Measuring and Ensuring Consensus and Coproduction with Industrial Partners. Identifying Success Factors”. Stefan and the team at Jonkoping University developed an innovative tool for identifying success factors at the end of each research project by asking companies why they think the project has been valuable and how it has affected them. Learn more about Stefan’s work, visit Stefan’s LinkedIn page.

Runner-Up: Inge Oskam with “The Degree-of-Engagement Diagram, a Tool for Supporting Collaborative Business Modelling for Sustainability by University-Industry Cooperation”. Inge and the team at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences developed and piloted the tool, that that can help program and project managers of university-industry collaborations to manage the degree of engagements and roles of stakeholders in the innovation ecosystems in which they are involved. Learn more about Inge’s work, visit Inges’s LinkedIn page.

The Spanning Boundaries Project partners from IMTBS (Todd Davey), Meath County Council (Joe English), FH Muenster (Thomas Baaken), ITU Ginnova (Zeynep Erden Bayazıt), UIIN (Balzhan Orazbayeva) contributed to the discussion and showcased their experiences and expertise over the keynote addresses and the plenary session.