iDEAlab at Zenica
iDEAlab at the University of Zenica
The University of Zenica (UNZE) includes these faculties: Faculty of Metallurgy and Material Sciences, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Philosophy, Islamic Pedagogical Faculty, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Health, and Faculty of Polytechnics. The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centre (EIC/CIP) is an integral unit of UNZE and among its main activities are: Promotion of innovations and entrepreneurship; Cooperation between UNZE and the job market, related to the creation and development of the new teaching plans and programmes; Assistance in developing research for master and doctoral thesis needed by the economy in the region and in BiH; Writing business plans of interest for the economic development; Promotion and development of ICT; Development support programmes to the spin-off and spin-out companies within the academic community; Assistance in organising of SMEs clusters and technology transfers from the developed countries.
The role of the iDEAlab within the institution
Four “satellite” laboratories, iDEAlabs, established at the University of Zenica. They are located at:
- Faculty of metallurgy – FAMM and Faculty of mechanical engineering – MF - As the oldest technical faculties of the University, these two faculties have been at the forefront in entrepreneurial activities of teaching staff and students.
- Faculty of health – ZF - In the today’s world, the greatest number of new organisations (SME) operates in the area of health care. The Faculty of Health was one of the first faculties of UNZE to recognize the importance of entrepreneurial teaching and introduced it into all study cycles. Therefore, a huge benefit is expected from locating iDEAlab within it.
- Student Center – It is a place where the majority of students live and spend a great deal of time, and that is why this location is the best for instigating student entrepreneurship.
All four organisational units of the University, which now have iDEAlabs, in the previous period made legal documents on the establishment of these new labs. These legal documents were approved by the respective scientific-teaching committees.
For every iDEAlab, two persons, the head and the coordinator, appointed.
In total, eight persons are put in charge by the deans of the faculties and the Student Center’s director. Regarding mentors, all members of teaching staff can take the role of the potential mentors.
Target groups of the iDEAlab’s activities
All interested students of UNZE. iDEAlabs provided them with space and IT infrastructure and enabled them to work with their mentors on the development of ideas (which would be possible to present as a seminar or diploma papers, master thesis or separate extracurricular projects, led independently or in cooperation with the business entities). ECTAS credits have already been assigned for student’s activities within the teaching process/practice. Whenever needed, teachers of UNZE were welcomed to hold lectures (exercises/demonstrations) in these iDEAlabs.
(Potential) iDEAlab partners
Regarding networking on a micro level of UNZE, iDEAlabs cooperated among themselves. Also, they established connections with:
- Other iDEAlabs, set up within this Tempus project,
- Associations of employers,
- Bureau for employment,
- Partner universities and other HEIs,
- Networks and NGOs in the region,
- Development agencies (in cantons, Federation of B&H, and the state of B&H),
- Other subjects oriented towards development of entrepreneurship
iDEAlab specific services/activities
iDEAlabs offere a classic set of services, what was presented by similar centres at other modern Western universities. The idea is to enable students to work, in cooperation with companies, on practical solutions for problems which are troubling the companies (e.g. regarding design, product development, production, etc.). There are no other providers of such activities in Zenica-Doboj Canton, which deal with the student population since the University of Zenica is the only HEI in the Canton. Therefore, iDEAlabs of the University of Zenica are the only offices aimed at the students giving them the opportunity to develop their ideas at the early stages. There are other institutions (as Business Service Center of the Government of ZDC, Science and Technology Park of the Local Municipality Development Agency – ZEDA) offering similar services regarding business development but their target groups are not students.
The recipients of the ads about iDEAlabs are:
- university staff,
- the Government, etc.
- Cooperation with enterprises
- Cooperation with Scientific-Technology Parks
- Participation in Students’ Business Idea Competitions