Khorasan Science and Technology Park (KSTP) has recently taken a huge step toward innovation and creativity through engaging all its personnel in a program called “Innovation Opportunity Bootcamp” in order to foster the atmosphere of innovation at all levels of activity at KSTP.
Although every S&T Park is surrounded by increasing innovation opportunities, many of parks simply miss these opportunities, fail to notice them or get overwhelmed by them. The Innovation Opportunity Bootcamp was focused on the park’s capability to identify and capture innovation opportunities. The bootcamp was designed by Dr. Seyed Kamran Bagheri, a senior innovation advisor, in a way so as to enable participants to systematically identify innovation sources and to proactively monitor and capture innovation opportunities. The bootcamp helped participants to learn how to apply the presented tools to their own business. Several templates were used in order to support teamwork for innovation. Using the templates, participants immediately applied the tools to the park's real problems. The templates enabled the KSTP managers and colleagues to practice scanning each source of innovation and connecting it to their internal processes.
The first day of the bootcamp covered the following topics:
- Introducing the main sources of business innovation;
- Getting to know the distinctive character of each innovation source;
- Presenting a tailormade approach to innovation opportunity monitoring;
- Investigating the relationship between sourcing strategies and the firm’s innovation strategy;
- Looking into the requirements for establishing and operating an opportunity monitoring system;
The aim was to:
- Enable the park's managers and colleagues to apply what they have learned immediately;
- Review a number of best practices in identifying innovation opportunities;
- Provide them with the tools needed for innovation opportunity identification;
- Equip them with the appropriate mindset that is essential for maximizing park's innovative performance;
The bootcamp was a unique networking occasion beyond internal organization boundaries. The KSTP colleagues got acquainted and interacted with each other and learned how to leverage those difference for innovation.
Participants got instructions on how to apply what they learned immediately after the first day of the camp to identify and capture innovation opportunities for KSTP. The attendants were also divided into six multi-disciplinary groups to discuss the materials and cooperate in order to better put innovations into practice. Some of the team-members had no direct connection with each other before the camp.
There were regular follow-up meetings after the first day of the bootcamp. A board of innovation sources was set up at the president’s office of KSTP to enable him to follow the group discussions and the presented ideas.
Out of each group, two members were assigned to spend at least one working day at the venue of two different resident companies inside KSTP. The aim was to promote a sense of empathy with the managers and staff of those companies and to look at the park’s processes and services from their perspective. The groups were to report their findings and ideas at the second day of the bootcamp. This unique experience turned out to be extremely helpful and led to a number of the most attractive innovative activities that emerged during the course of the bootcamp.