Innovation Training created outward facing, customer-oriented employees
The Innovation Agent Program was presented in a WAITRO training, which was held in Putrajaya, Malaysia from September 11-14, 2017. This training was co-organized by WAITRO and the Danish Technological Institute (DTI), Denmark. The Innovation Agent Program trains employees of Research and Technology Organizations (RTOs) to successfully interact with Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs). In this workshop, RTO employees’ – in their role as agents -learned to introduce innovative services and partnership models to smaller companies. SMEs benefit from shorter decision-making paths and less bureaucracy, meaning less obstacles to innovation. Because of this, the Innovation Agent Program is important to bring newly developed solutions into the industry. The program has been introduced in New Zealand (2012), Trinidad Tobago (2016), and Austria (2016). The Innovation Agent workshop was facilitated by Mr. Knud Erik Hilding-Hamann, Director of Centre for Ideas and Innovation from DTI and Dr. Kirstie Yvette Wild, Director of International Centre of DTI.
The agenda and main topics of the three-day workshop were
- Presentation of the innovation agent programs’ key elements: support process, networking, promotional conditions and training requirements
- Creation of a pilot program by the participants, designed for their particular market and country
- Implementation phase, in which participants worked with SME cases from their markets prepared by them prior to the workshop
The 18 participants came from Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute, China; Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Indonesia; Scientific Research Council, Jamaica; Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute, Kenya; Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kenya; Institute Agronomique at Veterinaire Hassan II, Morocco; National Food Institute, Thailand; Caribbean Industrial Research Institute, Trinidad; Tobago and SIRIM Berhad, Malaysia.
Spread innovative solutions
All participants were able to increase their knowledge on creating customer relations to communicate innovative solutions. Moreover, they used the workshop’s opportunity to network and exchange about their business models. The positive results of the workshop have been enabling the spread of the Innovation Agent Program to other WAITRO member countries.