Ingrid Wakkee in Vienna for the REValorise+ project

3 Nov 2023 10:26 | Entrepreneurship

Last month, Ingrid Wakkee, Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS), contributed as guest panelist to an inspiring event of the REValorise + project in Vienna. Experts and professionals were brought together to discuss the outcomes of the project, which aims to enhance the entrepreneurial potential and social impact of social sciences and humanities research and is one of the projects the Research Group Entrepreneurship of AUAS is involved in as a consortium partner. During the event, significant steps were taken in terms of knowledge sharing about valorisation within the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH).

In this blog post, you will be introduced to the project, find a brief summary of the meeting's content, along with more information about a final event taking place at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences on November 20th!

The REValorise+ project

The REValorise+ project started in 2021 and will finish at the end of this year. The project aims, as said, to enhance the entrepreneurial potential and social impact of social sciences and humanities research. Valorisation plays a big role in this. According to Ingrid Wakkee, valorisation is the mechanism by which results from academic research become more easily accessible to and create value for the field of practice and society. To put it short, valorisation is translating academic knowledge into the real world!

Valorisation within SSH is challenging

Valuing scientific research within the Social Sciences and Humanities is challenging and differs from findings in the hard sciences. This is due to various factors such as a lack of time, funding, and the pressure to publish. Additionally, the fact that results from the soft sciences are generally less easily "marketable," for example through patents or licenses, compared to insights from the hard sciences, plays a significant role. By sharing the research findings with stakeholders, the objective was to provide guidance in encouraging valorisation within the field of SSH. The meeting spanned two days, with the first day dedicated to sharing knowledge with professionals from knowledge transfer offices, academic institutions, and policymakers. The second day featured a working session with the consortium partners, including researchers, project leaders, and communication experts discussing the final actions that need to take place before the project can be concluded by the end of this year.

Insights from the panel discussion and workshop

Wakkee contributed as part of a guest panel during a panel discussion and workshop. One of the key takeaways during the first day included the importance of the language we use for valorisation within SSH. The current jargon of valorisation does not resonate within the SSH; researchers are not familiar and do not feel comfortable with the present valorisation vocabulary. For example, Angelika Zelisko, the deputy head of support for art and research at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, spoke about valorisation in art sciences: "Our people don't identify with terms like boot camp, incubators, and start-ups. The recipe is the same, but our ingredients are more artsy." Therefore, we need to create a new language around valorisation within SSH that matches the norms and values of SSH-scientists. This can involve speaking more about "making an impact" instead of "bringing to market" and discussing "users" rather than "customers."

Additionally, the importance of role models and networks was emphasized. It is crucial for researchers to become familiar with valorisation and to see successful examples of how this can be achieved by researchers just like themselves. Networking is important for academic entrepreneurship, just as it is for regular entrepreneurship. Your connections largely determine the information and support you receive, the resources available and whether you can generate sufficient legitimacy to successfully valorize your research findings. Finally, customization is important as a PhD student needs different guidance than a professor.

Role of student entrepreneurship

There are opportunities for connecting students since many students with entrepreneurial ambitions are looking for ideas that can serve as the basis for their future businesses. The project will explore the role of student entrepreneurship in contributing to valorisation and vice versa within the social sciences and humanities over the next few months

REValorise+ event 20 November

Do you want to know more about the valorisation? An event is being organized by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences on November 20th focusing on valorisation within Social Sciences and Humanities. More information can be found here.