SMART kicks off!
Published on: June 30, 2020

Together with Nine National and European Universities, ITS Develops a University-Business Cooperation Project

It has become the main agenda of policy makers around the world to increase the relevance of university activities regarding the socio-economic environment in order to increase job opportunities for graduates. For this reason, the Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS) is part of SMART, a project funded by the European Union under the Erasmus + Programme. The SMART Project is an university-business engagement project supporting employability and transition into the graduate labor market in Indonesia. The project, which started with the SMART Kick Off Project event, was inaugurated on June 24, 2020, by ITS vice rector IV, Bambang Pramujati MSc Eng PhD.

The project initiated by Prof. Dr. rer nat Irmina Kris Murwani MSi, an ITS lecturer, is a project that focuses on strengthening Capacity Building at High Education Institution (HEI). In this project, the program undertaken is Entrepreneurship. “This program means a great opportunity for Indonesia”, explained Irmina. According to Irmina, the SMART Project is motivated by the impact of solid business-university relations in the current “European Strategy 2020.” University-business cooperation has increased in the last few decades across Europe. However, there is a critical need for good models and practices for the creation of strategies and instruments in this domain in Indonesia.

According to the Professor of the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Data Analytics, this collaboration could integrate lessons learned in Europe into the context of the partner countries, which is the main target of the SMART Project. This project is carried out with the aim of increasing the capacity and skills of Indonesian HEI personnel for the implementation of productive business-university cooperation. In addition, the project also aims to build and operate sustainable structures for Business Engagement Centers (BECs) with a “one stop” approach to support students, researchers and companies. “We want to create a national network in the form of a dialogue platform to share experiences and good practices in business-university cooperation,” Irmina said.

The project team consists of 10 universities from Indonesia and Europe. More specifically, seven local universities (ITS, Diponegoro University, Udayana University, Mataram University, Sam Ratulangi University, Kalimantan Institute of Technology, and Raja Ali Haji Maritime University), and three European universities (Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, Agora Institute for Knowledge Management, and the University of Turku). ITS plays an active role as project leader and project coordinator. This project will run for three years with activities, financed by Erasmus +, worth 753,401 EUR or the equivalent of IDR 11 billion. Irmina, as project coordinator, will be assisted by a team of experts from ITS, namely Dr Ir Achmad Affandi DEA, Ir Baroto Tavip Indrojarwo MSi, Imam Baihaqi ST MSc PhD, and Dr. Machsus ST MT.

The project will implement different work packages and activities during these three years. Starting from the Good Practice Bridge, which will be led by AGORA, Skills Improvement, led by UNIBO and UTU, the Business Engagement Center Arrangement, led by ITS and UNDIP, Quality Control (QC) and the Arrangement, chaired by AGORA and ITS, Deployment, led by ITS and AGORA , Sustainability, led by UNUD, UNSRAT, and UNDIP, and Management, held by ITS. The hope is that all project activities can run smoothly for the next three years. In addition, by taking the topic of Entrepreneurship for this project, it is hoped that it can stimulate higher education in Indonesia by opening up thoughts about entrepreneurship.

Irmina hopes that “the project generates a large number of small businesses coming from students, lecturers, researchers, and all the academic community.” Later, with the completion of this project, it can create business links between universities, developing the economy and avoiding business overlap in Indonesia. “Thus, we will find independent businesses arising from universities,” concluded the first representative from Indonesia who became the coordinator in the Erasmus + project program. (Bob / ITS Public Relations)