Innovating Together in the CollectiveProject

Item date:

4 August 2022

Category of item:

Interview

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Back to school!

Lars Smits is Business Developer within the Innovation Support team of LIOF. In his role he stimulates and guides Limburg entrepreneurs, from startup to SME, in doing innovations. 

By means of a number of knowledge trajectories, LIOF wants to inspire a large group of entrepreneurs to innovate their products, services, processes and/or business models. The CollectiveProject (part of LimburgToekomstbestendig) was set up for this purpose. The chosen themes are linked to the social transitions: energy, circularity, health and digitalization.

Lars Smits

The goal

'From LIOF we want to stimulate the entrepreneur to work with innovation. The world is changing. There are new developments in all sorts of areas. You have to be up to date and keep renewing yourself. Otherwise at some point you will fall behind the rest. 

You can't keep running your business the way it is now forever. Change is necessary to be successful in the longer term and to make your company future-proof. That is the idea behind this program.'

"Change is necessary to be successful in the longer term and to make your company future-proof."

Cucumber Time

'We are now in the middle of the summer vacations, also known as the cucumber season. An excellent time to start thinking about your plans after the summer. What would you still like to do or learn in the business field? Maybe there is even room for some self-development. That's why we've called the whole thing 'back to school'.

For entrepreneurs, the knowledge paths are primarily a time investment. We take away at least the financial hurdle. It is a consideration that the entrepreneur himself must make. Do I continue with my daily business, or do I park it for a while in order to start something new? Ultimately, these processes again provide ideas for new business models to remain relevant in the long term.'

Financial Compensation

Within each course the latest trends and developments within a specific theme are discussed and you are given concrete tools to get started. The CollectiveProject offers a 75% reimbursement of the costs for these knowledge trajectories with a maximum of € 7.500,- compensation.

"This financial instrument is intended to give entrepreneurs the final push. Really lower the threshold to participate."

New collaborations

'Also interesting is that you get to connect with other people. Entrepreneurs who are struggling with the same challenge(s). The feedback we get from the participants is that this is what they get the most out of, the networking, knowledge sharing and cross pollination. In this way, a number of collaborations have already been created. You don't innovate alone - that's why it's called the Collective Project;

The idea is that a number of entrepreneurs are put in a room with the same problem. That is why we are looking for several motivated participants, so that eventually a nice group of like-minded people will arise.'

Offering

Knowledge paths:

Click on a specific knowledge path for more information, start date and application submission date.

Knowledge Partners

'The CollectiveProject is an ongoing program, within which we continue to offer various knowledge paths. The starting point for the selection of the themes are always the transition themes. Then we looked at which knowledge partner provides the expertise and who is best at what. For the current offering, for example, we ended up partnering with Zuyd University, Brightlands, HAS, CIRCO and UMIO|Maastricht University.'

 

Partner logo's

In Brief

Scheme

The scheme covers 75% of the cost of participation in a knowledge course with a maximum amount of €7,500.

 

For whom?

Startups, scale-ups and SME's (sector wide) located in Limburg and motivated to innovate within the societal challenges (transitions) energy, circularity, health and digitalization.

 

Next submission dates

Wednesday, August 31, Wednesday, September 14, and Wednesday, October 19.

Written by

Lars Smits