The University of Agder is one of the partners in a European project called Virtual Open Innovation Lab. VOIL offers a platform-based learning and simulation environment.
“The project has two main objectives. One is to raise awareness about the potential of emerging technologies, tools and methods in the course of the digital transformation of SMEs. The other is to design a pedagogical model for simulation-based learning of advanced digital competencies,” explains Niels F. Garmann-Johnsen, Associate Professor at the University of Agder, Department for Information Systems.
Rapid developments in digitalization pose pressure for firms to innovate and transform their businesses by implementing digital technologies and business models. Many firms struggle with understanding the opportunities and consequences of digitalization. These difficulties are particularly demanding for small firms due to their general lack of resources, knowledge and skills.
“The project will establish four virtual labs: An assessment lab, a transformation lab, a co-creation lab and a simulation lab. SMEs are free to select the lab that fits them best. We encourage SMEs to cooperate in small groups, assisting each other in order to speed up the process of digitalization,“ says Garmann-Johnsen.
On 3 May, Garmann-Johnsen and Professor Dag H. Olsen will present the project exclusively for participants of GCE NODE. The target groups of the VOIL project are young workers and entrepreneurs/managers of small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as educators and students in universities.
“We are keen to find out how an average SME in Agder may benefit from participating in a European industrial and academic network. GCE NODE’s role will be to ensure that the project is relevant and attractive for the companies in our cluster,“ says Jan Helge Viste, Project Manager at GCE NODE.
- University of Agder (Norway)
- Universidad de Deusto (Spain)
- University of Minho (Portugal)
- University of Graz (Austria)
- WWU Münster (Germany)
- COTEC (Portugal)
- Wiesbaden Business School (Germany)
- Kaunas University of Technology (Lithuania)
- Institute of Entrepreneurship Development (Greece)
The consortium unites expertise from research and practice and benefits from the access to a wide network of small and medium enterprises as the main target group of the project.