Innovation, Entrepreneurship

Innovation, Entrepreneurship

Innovation, Entrepreneurship anda Culture of Independencein the Danish Education SystemPublisher: Ministry of Education in cooperation with theMinistry of Science, Technology and InnovationInstitution: Ministry of EducationCopyright: Ministry of EducationAbstract: In this report the Minister of Education and theMinister of Science, Technology and Innovation introducea general strategy for developing and strengthening a cultur ofentrepreneurship and innovation in the educational system.The strategy takes into account the needs of different educationprogrammes. It spans from the primary and upper secondary schools’focus on developing personal qualities such as creativity, inventivenessand independent problem-solving skills, to the need for highereducation courses in both practical skills (e.g. how to prepare businessplans and accounts) and general subjects such as management,organization and marketing.The strategy should function as a general framework for promotinginnovation and entrepreneurship, and make it easier to coordinate thevarious educational programmes on offer.Language: EnglishURL: of electronic edition: 87-603-1888-0Version:Version date:Publication’s standard number:Format:Inventory:ISBN of printed edition: The text has only been publishedin the electronic version.Publication’s standard no.2

ContentsPreface. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3The government’s action plans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Analyses and recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7The implementation strategy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Concrete initiatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Publishing the implementation strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17The Entrepreneurshiperprise Chain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184 Contents

The government’saction plansAs early as the summer of 2002 (Bedre uddannelser, Handlingsplan– Better Educations, Action Plan), the governmenthighlighted innovation as one of the five central areaswhere greater efforts must be made to improve Danisheducation programmes so that they rank among the bestin the world.With the Iværksætterhandlingsplan (Entrepreneurship Plan)of January 2003 the government made it clear that the fieldof education occupies a central role in the efforts to makeDenmark part of the European elite in entrepreneurship by2010 – because it is in the educational system that the seedsof a strong culture of enterprise must be sown.In the report Et samfund med plads til det frie initiativ (ASociety with Room for Free Initiative) of October 2003, thegovernment therefore presented a range of new measures tobe implemented in the educational sector in order to createmore opportunities for free initiative in Denmark. The firstis the present general strategy, which will form the basisfor carrying out the government’s policy throughout theeducation sector in the areas covered by the Ministries ofEducation and Science.The aim is to create a broad basis for innovationand entrepreneurship and to strengthen the students’motivation to work innovatively and with open attitudestowards starting their own businesses. This demands afarsighted effort, one which over time is to contribute toa new and more positive entrepreneurial culture amongstudents in Denmark.The strategy takes into account the needs of differenteducation programmes. It spans from the primary andThe government’s action plans 5

upper secondary schools’ focus on developing personalqualities such as creativity, inventiveness and independentproblem-solving skills, to the need for higher educationcourses in both practical skills (e.g. how to prepare businessplans and accounts) and general subjects such as management,organization and marketing.The strategy should function as a general framework forpromoting innovation and entrepreneurship, and make iteasier to coordinate the various education programmes onoffer.The planned academy of entrepreneurship will be centralin promoting and providing training in innovation andentrepreneurship in higher education.6 The government’s action plans

Analyses andrecommendationsAn assessment that was presented in the Global EntrepreneurshipMonitor’s annual report on Denmark in 2001 stressesthat although the Danish educational system teachesstudents to think independently, it does not succeed inconverting this independence into commercial drive.In November 2002 an expert group working for theEuropean Commission published a report entitled‘BEST Procedure Project on ‘‘Education and Training forEntrepreneurship’’. In it the group stated that frameworksshould be set out for training in entrepreneurship on thenational (or regional) level, to make it possible to developspecific initiatives, set out long-term perspectives, createsustainability and thus have real effects. The currentmeasures should be integrated into a comprehensivestrategy for promoting a culture of entrepreneurship.Programmes and courses should be made available tostudents on all educational levels and in all subjects.The report Opplæring i entreprenørskab. Omfang, kvalitet ognasjonale forskjeller. En nordisk kartlegging, 2002 (Training inentrepreneurship. Range, quality and national differences.A Nordic survey, 2002), prepared by Nordland ResearchInstitute for the Nordic Council of Ministers, describes threeareas where the educational sector can systematize itsefforts:1) student companies, where children and young peopleestablish true-to-life companies that produce and sellproducts (though only to a limited extent in primaryand lower secondary schools);2) educational activities related to employment andbusiness;3) motivational activities such as project work andexperience-based learning.Analyses and recommendations 7

A consultancy analysis prepared for the Ministry ofEducation in August 2003 entitled Bedre uddannelser: Øgetinnovation og økonomisk vækst. Status og perspektiver (BetterEducations: Promoting innovation and economic growth –Status and perspectives) presented a new view of theentrepreneur’s situation. While in previous models theentrepreneur was associated with traditional businessmethods, this analysis presents a concept of innovation as acollective process taking place in new creative ways ofdoing business. This raises new expectations for theeducation system’s ability to develop the professional,social and personal competences which will motivate andprepare students for a future as entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs.Apart from offering professional qualifications,the education programmes must strengthen the individual’scompetences, motivation and drive.Thus it is the government’s ambition to:• ensure that students develop the professionalcompetences they need to take part in a society that iscontinuously changing. A high degree of professionalismis often the first prerequisite for realizing the dream ofbecoming an entrepreneur,• support students in developing initiative, independence,drive and willingness to take risks,• communicate knowledge about business, innovation andentrepreneurship through the education programmes.8 Analyses and recommendations

lower secondary schools is that students develop competencessuch as creativity, initiative and inventiveness,while the overall aim for the higher education programmesis that students acquire knowledge of and competencesin innovative processes, curricular synergy, innovationmanagement, commercialization, etc.The entrepreneurship policy must therefore be anchored inthe specific skills and pedagogic methods of the differentacademic disciplines. Teachers are to build up their skillsthrough developmental work, practical experience, research,etc. They must also be provided with ongoing training ininnovative teaching and learning methods.One of the five principles the government is promoting asa foundation for the road to a society with room for freeinitiative is that the educational system must become moreopen to the outside world (‘The Open School’). Dependingon the programmes’ different goals and levels, the aim isto increase the institutions’ links with the business community,for example through partnerships with private companies.This continuing series of partnerships between educationalinstitutions and businesses is an essential link in the’Enterprise Chain’ (see Appendix).As an alternative to direct contact with businesses and asmeans of learning about the business community, studentsshould also be given opportunities to take part in businesscompetitions, business games or other ways of simulatingbusiness operation in education programmes.Education programmes are planned, developed andrenewed in schools and institutions. There must be roomfor new ideas, initiatives and collaborations. The centralcoordination’s main focus should therefore be to createthe right framework and incentives for the educationalinstitutions to collaborate with private organizations andcompanies in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.This strategy sets out a framework for a strong, wide-rangingand coordinated effort to promote a culture of innovationand entrepreneurship in the educational system.10 The implementation strategy

Concrete initiativesPrimary and lower secondary schoolsPrimary and lower secondary schools will focus ondeveloping fundamental personal competences instudents, such as the desire and ability to investigate,experiment and invent, and producing things in groups.They will also focus on bringing schools into contactwith the business community, including innovativeenvironments in large and small businesses.- “Science and entrepreneurship” (formerly ‘Technologypilots in schools’). Educating science teachers to focuson inventiveness and product development.- Open Schools. Wide-ranging initiatives to motivateschools to include role models in the teaching, e.g.parents and graduates. Also introduction of award for‘Entrepreneurial School of the Year’.- Development of educational material, including aninternet-based entrepreneurship simulator. Thesimulator is to teach students about business plans,product development, negotiating with investors, andso on, in a simulated reality.- Education and continuing education of teachers. See belowunder Short- and medium-cycle higher education.- Primary and lower secondary school tests must not belimiting, but in so far as possible promote experimental,innovative and practical ways of working thatengage the basic personal competences mentionedabove. This initiative is part of the development programme‘Dynamic Schools’.Concrete initiatives 11

Upper secondary school programmesThe focus of the upper secondary school programmeswill be to provide students with methodologicalcompetences in innovative and interdisciplinaryprocesses. Here the implementation will be planned inconnection with the reform of the upper secondaryschool programmes, and will focus on the following:interaction between academic disciplines, strengtheningof academic skills, developing new models forprocess evaluations and tests and creating optionalsubjects common to all four education programmes.- Carrying out the upper secondary school reform. Thenew rules state that innovation and entrepreneurshipmust be included in each of the four upper secondaryschool programmes, in order to develop the students’creative and innovative skills and critical faculties.- Optional subject: ‘Innovation’. The planned optional‘Innovation’ subject is designed to promote initiative,independence and creativity and teach students themethods and theories of business, innovation andentrepreneurship.- Young Enterprise and European Business Game. In additionto the standard education the students can takepart in company competitions and other activities. Forexample, Economics and the optional ‘Innovation’subject may involve planning and creating studentcompanies and projects carried out in partnership withbusinesses.- Ready to Start. A project that offers schools a themeday with a multimedia show. The purpose is to adviseand prepare young people for the labour market of thefuture and thus strengthen their understanding of andmotivation for starting independent businesses.Schools, students and teachers must take an active rolein planning the event.12 Concrete initiatives

Business and vocational programmesThe vocational programmes for young people are oftentargeted at professions and crafts with entrepreneurialtraditions. There is a genuine interaction between theprogrammes and the business community, and thestudents are in close contact with the business communitythroughout their courses. The vocationaltraining courses typically combine teaching (c. 1/3)with practical work experience (c. 2/3).- Revision of the core subject ‘Business and Innovation’.Entrepreneurship and innovation will become thecore competences for this subject. The students’competence development will be tailored to theindividual educational programmes.- Inspiration seminar in 2004 for teachers and managers,aimed at establishing networks and focusing attentionon innovation and entrepreneurship in the educationprogrammes.- Entrepreneurship and innovation will be one of thefocus areas of the 2004 Experiment and DevelopmentProgramme. Among other things the schools canapply for funding to achieve relevant pedagogic andacademic aims and to develop optional local subjectsthat will teach students about innovation and abouthow to establish an independent company.Concrete initiatives 13

Short- and medium-cycle higher education,(KVU and MVU), higher adult education (VVU) anddiploma coursesShort- and medium-cycle higher education programmesare business- and vocation-oriented, and the implementationin this area will focus on strengthening the interactionwith the business community and developingthe students’ innovative and entrepreneurial skills.The students are to work on practical problems in realcompanies and thereby gain greater insight into innovationand business management. Business academies andcentres for higher education are to function as regionalgenerators of growth and development, and generatea culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in theeducation programmes. The institutions must functionas innovative learning environments where studentsand teachers take part in development projects inclose collaboration with trades, businesses and otherpromoters of trade and industry.- The education programmes are to set out competencetargets for innovation and entrepreneurship.- Solution Camps (formerly Real Problem-Solving Camp). Apilot project where students in the fields of Economics,Design and Engineering will collaborate on developingsolutions to real problems set by Danish companies.- Pedagogic development project on methods of innovation.Development project based in centres for highereducation and aimed at improving teachers’ abilitiesto integrate the subjects of innovation andentrepreneurship into their daily teaching.- Knowledge centres. Centres aimed at strengthening therole of education institutions in promoting innovation.Establishment of knowledge centres in the businessacademies, centres for higher education and other medium-cyclehigher education institutions in order toenable a quick and effective conversion of knowledgeand research into innovative business initiatives.- Catalogue of ideas on education programmes anddevelopment initiatives related to innovation andentrepreneurship.14 Concrete initiatives

Long-cycle higher education programmes (LVU),PhD and Masters programmesEfforts to strengthen the spirit of innovation andentrepreneurship in university education should focuson making commercial use of academic knowledge.Apart from basic entrepreneurial skills, this requiresconcrete knowledge of patenting and licensing laws,innovation management, organizational transformation,and more. Understanding entrepreneurship,intrapreneurship and innovation should also be part ofthese programmes. The implementation should beaimed at improving the universities’ framework fordeveloping a culture of entrepreneurship and opportunitiesfor commercialization.- Making it possible for universities to establish theirown enterprises to handle activities related to commercializationand technology transfer.- Consideration of whether the EmploymentConsolidation Act puts sufficient emphasis on takingentrepreneurial skills into account when recruiting teachers.- An annual Entrepreneurship Barometer that measures theentrepreneurial culture among university students andawards the ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’. Anexperimental programme related to intrapreneurship atthe University of Southern Denmark in collaborationwith local businesses, offered to students at severaleducation institutions. Investigation of possibilitiesfor developing an education programme about theculture and entertainment economy with a focus onentrepreneurship and innovation.Concrete initiatives 15

Cross-sector initiatives- An academy of entrepreneurship. The academy willbe based on a collaboration between several highereducation institutions. It will function as a centralinstitution for pedagogical development, research andtraining in innovation and entrepreneurship.- Improved guidance in entrepreneurship and business.After the guidance reform, youth guidance mustamong other things provide information aboutopportunities for self-employment. Guidancecounsellors are trained to focus on helping youngpeople understand the labour market. At theuniversity level the aim is to create betterframeworks for intensifying individual academicsupervision and making students aware of theirentrepreneurial opportunities.- An Entrepreneurship Portal for the educationsector. This website will offer examples of implementinginnovation and entrepreneurship in theeducation sector, educational tools, tools for formingpartnerships and collaborations with companies,information on establishing companies, and more.- Enterprise Foundation. A foundation will be establishedwith the aim of supporting the development of astrong Danish entrepreneurial culture. Using bothpublic and private resources, the foundation willsupport general initiatives that will make selfemploymentmore prestigious, as well as initiativeslinked to the education system that will heightenstudents’ interest in becoming entrepreneurs. Thefoundation’s Board will consist of representativesfrom both the business community and the educationsector.16 Concrete initiatives

Publishing theimplementation strategyThe purpose of publishing this strategy is to make publicthe general goals for the implementation of innovation andentrepreneurship, and thus contribute to building a bridgebetween the various – often local – initiatives.It is therefore important that the strategy is disseminatedamong teachers, managers and schools and educationalinstitutions, including their owners and managers. Otherrelevant target groups are business people, entrepreneursand opinion formers with interests in this area.In the first phase the strategy will be published on theMinistries’ websites ( and, withlinks to the entrepreneurship portal at next phase will be to consider how to ensure that thestrategy and the list of initiatives stay dynamic, and how toimplement them in the education sector.Publishing the implementation strategy 17

The Entrepreneurship Chain:A strategy for implementing entrepreneurship in the education systemPrimary and lowersecondary schoolsUpper secondary schoolprogrammesBusiness andvocational trainingKVU, MVU, VVU,diploma coursesLVU, PhDand Masters degreesCreativity, initiative,inventivenessIndependence,knowledge of innovativeprocesses,curricular synergyInnovation in concretevocational contexts,practical tools such aspreparing business plansand accountsCompetences incross-sectorproblem-solving,innovation andestablishing companiesKnowledge ofinnovativeprocesses, curricularsynergy, innovationmanagement,commercialization,(patenting, etc.)Business,artistic environments andprivate suppliersBusiness, artistic andresearch environmentsand private suppliers (e.g.European Business Gameand Young Enterprise)Business, private suppliers(e.g. SIMU), the businessservice and technologyservice systemsPublic and privatecompanies, privateenterprise activities (e.g.Venture Cup), the businessservice system and anacademy ofentrepreneurshipBusiness, knowledgecentres, patent offices,license offices, innovationenvironments, privatesuppliers (e.g. Connect)and an academy ofentrepreneurshipThe Enterprise Chain represents the government’s commitment to help students acquire competences and skills related to entrepreneurship and innovation,for example through partnerships.The Enterprise Chain can be read both vertically and horizontally. It consists of three chains with five links each. The main chain is the top blue one, whichshows the education system’s five links. The middle green chain shows the competences and skills students are to acquire on the various education levels.The bottom red chain shows some examples of the kinds of partnerships education institutions can form with other organizations, with a view to givingstudents the skills and competences they need.18Education systemStudents’entrepreneurialcompetences’The Open School’partnerships

In this report the Minister of Education andthe Minister of Science, Technology andInnovation introduce a general strategy fordeveloping and strengthening a culture ofentrepreneurship and innovation in theeducational system.The strategy takes into account the needs ofdifferent education programmes. It spansfrom the primary and upper secondary schools’focus on developing personal qualities such ascreativity, inventiveness and independentproblem-solving skills, to the need for highereducation courses in both practical skills ( to prepare business plans and accounts)and general subjects such as management,organization and marketing.The strategy should function as a generalframework for promoting innovation andentrepreneurship, and make it easier tocoordinate the various educationalprogrammes on offer.

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