– responsible for implementing the communication and dissemination activities in SMART4FUTURE – conducted a series of interviews with the project partners.
The Griffith College is the largest independent higher education institution in Ireland with its core business being the education and development of graduates for employment. It provides a wide range of undergraduate, postgraduate and masters’ programmes across a variety of disciplines including accountancy, business, computing, design, engineering, law, media, music and pharmaceutical science. The college works closely with industry representative bodies in the design and delivery of its programmes. In relation to entrepreneurship and innovation, the college works with Ireland’s Entrepreneurs’ Academy, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprise Association and local and national chambers of commerce.
Hello Michael, Garrett, Jeanette, Florian and Áine! Thank you for this opportunity to meet you and talk about SMART4FUTURE. To kick-off, could you give us, in your own words, a short introduction to Griffith College, and your role there?
Hi there, my name is Michael-Philippe Bosonnet. I work as the Research and Development Director at The Griffith College Graduate Business School (GBS). I am responsible for leading our Research and Innovation function. This means managing research, working with teams and developing and delivering new initiatives for our school across our campuses in Dublin, Cork and Limerick, three of Ireland’s major cities. Griffith College is Ireland’s largest private higher education institution (HEI), with over 7,000 students and 500 staff. We partner with international HEI’s in the areas of Erasmus+ and other agreements and are now developing the research and innovation capacity. At GBS we have a wide variety of MBA, masters and postgraduate programmes, including an MBA in International Business, Accounting and Finance and Procurement. In 2024, Griffith College will celebrate 50 years in business.
To someone reading this who is still not familiar with SMART4FUTURE, how would you describe it in simple terms, and how do you distinguish it from other projects or initiatives?
SMART4FUTURE is focused on developing the HEI in the areas of entrepreneurship and innovation. Our faculty is made up of mostly independent businesspeople. This project provides us with the motivation and funding to build an incubator and accelerator for our students and staff to commercialise their research, develop business ideas and to work with external partners, including venture capitalists. Our institution has been fast tracking connections between industry and education for many years for our students, in terms of guest speakers, industry visits, company projects and sponsorship.
Griffith College is leading the activities addressing the turning of failures into teaching points for future accomplishments. This means that you will take an active role on demonstrating the value of failure. Could you tell us more about the main challenges in this process and which will be the main outcomes?
The main challenge is that there is a reluctance to start a business based on the current fear of failure. According to our recent regional research, we have discovered that while there are many people living in Ireland who would like to start a business, more progress is needed in terms of government funding and other initiatives to support an entrepreneurial ecosystem, particularly for locally based industry. Another challenge appears to be education and training options that are focused and relevant to starting a business. GBS is focused on enhancing the vocational qualities of our programmes going forward.
What are you personally most enthusiastic about achieving during SMART4FUTURE?
The seamless integration between the startup industry and the HEIs is the part of the project I am most excited about. GBS will actively support student entrepreneurship and other businesses wishing to participate in our accelerator and incubator, through our Research and Innovation centre. This is an EU driven project, which means that we are included in the most current Research and Innovation from the European Commission.
Griffith College will also contribute in SMART4FUTURE on advancing its teaching curricula, streamlining its startup support mechanisms, and enhancing its collaboration with the network of external stakeholders. Could you share with us your key resources, knowledge, and expertise to create impact on the innovation ecosystem?
Our existing GBS programmes are currently working with industry mainly on an informal basis. However, through the motivation coming from this project and being part of this consortium, we aim to utilise these key performance indicators (KPIs) and outcomes as part of our future programme development. Our lecturing team comprises mainly of business owners and industry consultants, giving us best insight into market needs and skills gaps. GBS has an existing academic and applied research capability in the team and have extensive business knowledge working as consultants with industry bodies, such as Enterprise Ireland.
How do you see the project legacy regarding achievements and partners collaboration in SMART4FUTURE, at Institutional, National and European levels?
GBS is focused on innovation and advancing forward to support industry needs. This has always been a goal of GBS. This project will enable us to launch concrete Research and Innovation initiatives in our school and to share this knowledge. Nationally, GBS is competing in a market saturated with public and private HEIs offering business education. Our unique selling proposition is our commitment to delivering dedicated industry focused education to a large multinational cohort of students through applied master’s degree programmes. This project helps to advance our activity to directly support our students and staff and allowing GBS and Griffith College to compete at a national level. At a European level, a prestigious project such as SMART4FUTURE EIT, allows us to be seen as a valuable collaboration Research and Innovation partner and centre of excellence for Research, Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
No doubt there will be some readers that are keen to meet you and talk about this project and your experience. Which events will be possible to meet Griffith College in the upcoming months?
We recently ran our GBS careers fair in December 2022 and we plan to run it again in 2023. This year we will have an entrepreneurial element also. We also plan to run a Research and Innovation showcase seminar in 2023 TBC. Ireland is famous for 100,000 welcomes (Céad míle ƒáilte) and the College’s main campus in Dublin’s South Circular Road is always open to receiving visitors.
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Connect on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelbosonnet/