Internationalization, Entrepreneurship and engineering education, Inclusive design in engineering educational level
Nowadays companies need higher educated engineers to develop their competences to enable them to innovate. This innovation competence is seen as a remedy for the minor profitable business they do during the financial crises. Innovation is an element to be developed on the one hand for big companies as well as for small-and-medium sized companies through Europe to overcome this crisis. The higher education can be seen as an institution where youngsters, coming from secondary schools, who choose to learn at higher education to realize their dream, what they like to become in the professional world. The tasks of the Universities of applied Sciences are to prepare these youngsters to become starting engineers doing their job well in the companies. Companies work for a market, trying to manufacture products which customers are willing to pay for. They ask competent employees helping achieving this goal. It is important these companies inform the Universities of applied Sciences in order to modify their educational program in such a way that the graduated engineers are learning the latest knowledge and techniques, which they need to know doing their job well. The Universities of applied Sciences of Oulu (Finland) and Fontys Eindhoven (The Netherlands) are working together to experience possibilities to qualify their students on innovation development in an international setting. In the so-called: ‘Invention Project’, students are motivated to find their own invention, to design it, to prepare this idea for prototyping and to really manufacture it. Organizing the project, special attention is given to communication protocol between students and also between teachers. Students have meetings on Thursday every week through Internet connection with the communication program OPTIMA, which is provided by the Oulu University. Not only the time difference between Finland and the Netherlands is an issue to be organized also effective protocols how to provide each other relevant information and also how to make in an effective way decisions are issues. In the paper the writers will present opinions of students, teachers and also companies in both regions of Oulu and Eindhoven on the effectiveness of this project reaching the goal students get more experienced to set up innovative projects in an international setting. The writers think this is an important and needed competence for nowadays young engineers to be able to create lucrative inventions for companies where they are going to work for. In the paper the writers also present the experiences of the supervising conditions during the project. The information found will lead to success-factors and do’s and don’ts for future projects with international collaboration.