The DIC is the skills sensibilization and training programme for the youth of the city, that aims to give them a first contact with the innovation ecosystem.
DIC promotes collaborative making among academia and business. Schools participating in the programme work closely with companies to look for solutions or prototypes to the practical challenges proposed by the business sector. The programme intends to:
- Disseminate information and raise the awareness of local youth on innovation activities.
- Offer a supplementary out-of-classroom educational training process to enhance entrepreneurship and innovation skills and attitudes.
- Promote innovation and make it known at local level.
DIC is implemented through three main action lines, each one targeting each of the programme objectives:
- Dissemination and familiarisation activities: school visits to technology centres and innovative companies, info-days, workshops…
- The Donostia Innovation Challenge, a 15-week long educational programme involving 14 local schools, vocational training centres and universities and 11 tech centres and innovative companies that propose micro-challenges (city, business or organisational challenges) to be addressed by school/university teams. While addressing the challenge, the school teams train both technical (Design, Business Management and Technologies) and personal skills (empathy, working team, etc.).
-- Co-financing of innovation, knowledge, science or technology dissemination events.
The programme is coordinated by FSS, the city local economic development agency. Around 60.000 € are required to cover the external services : coaching and training, mentorship sessions, temporary facilities, the online platform, etc., plus the cost of the staff involved (between 8 and 10 people).
Evidence of success
- 14 city based schools, vocational training centers and Universities
- 2000 students
- 350 teams
- 50+ dynamic sessions
- Online Platform and youtube channel
- Specific evaluation system: Teachers’ satisfaction: 100% of teachers involved in the Donostia Innovation League agree that the programme has helped students to train and develop some of the personal abilities T (Talent) and A (attitudinal).
- Requires high Human Resources efforts
- The selected project must be implemented. This requires a good guidance all along the process to avoid un-doable.
- Flexibility is needed to adapt the model to the circumstances and profile of the different agents (education agents and companies).
Potential for learning or transfer
The potential transfer to other cities is really high, as it is an impact model with every detail specified. Nevertheless, the following conditions are very important in order to achieve the transfer and implementation in another city:
- Build credibility and raise awareness. Successful implementation depends on the engagement of stakeholders from the beginning, and the challenge proposed must be relevant and appealing. A previous sound relation with them is an advantage. At the same time participants need to commit themselves.
- Open innovation: In the DIC, the process (educational goals, interaction between agents…) are more important than results, which can happen as unexpected spin off benefits. It is important to create the appropriate environment to facilitate the flow of ideas.
- Flexibility. Involving different kind of actors require great flexibility.
- The success of the process requires one or two editions, as it is a constant learning process project.