HEInnovate is a self-reflection tool for Higher Education Institutions who wish to explore their innovative potential. It guides you through a process of identification, prioritisation and action planning in eight key areas. The self-assessment is available in all EU languages.
HEInnovate is not a benchmarking tool. It diagnoses areas of strengths and weaknesses, opens up discussion and debate on the entrepreneurial / innovative nature of your institution and it allows you to compare and contrast evolution over time. You can have instant access to your results, learning materials and a pool of experts. HEInnovate can be used by all types of higher education institutions.
HEInnovate is an initiative of the European Commission in partnership with the OECD. It is free, confidential and open to anyone to use. Read more.
Being an entrepreneurial higher education institution depends upon individuals, and innovative ways of doing things.
Strong leadership and good governance are crucial to developing an entrepreneurial and innovative culture within an HEI. Many HEIs include the words ‘enterprise’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ in their mission statements, but in entrepreneurial institutions this is more than a reference. This section highlights some of the important factors HEIs may consider in order to strengthen their entrepreneurial agenda.
The organisational capacity of an HEI drives its ability to deliver on its strategy. If an HEI is committed to carrying out entrepreneurial activities to support its strategic objectives, then key resources such as funding and investments, people, expertise and knowledge, and incentive systems need to be in place to sustain and grow its capacity for entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurial teaching and learning involves exploring innovative teaching methods and finding ways to stimulate entrepreneurial mindsets. It is not just learning about entrepreneurship, it is also about being exposed to entrepreneurial experiences and acquiring the skills and competences for developing entrepreneurial mindsets.
HEIs can help students, graduates and staff consider starting a business as a career option. At the outset it is important to help individuals reflect on the commercial, social, environmental or lifestyle objectives related to their entrepreneurial aspirations and intentions. For those who decide to proceed to start a business, or other type of venture, targeted assistance can then be offered in generating, evaluating and acting upon the idea, building the skills necessary for successful entrepreneurship, and importantly finding relevant team members and getting access to appropriate finance and effective networks. In offering such support, an HEI should ideally act as part of a wider business support ecosystem rather than operating in isolation.
HEIs are already deploying digital technologies, however the uptake and integration varies among and within institutions. HEIs should make the most out of the opportunities presented by digital transformation and consider digital technologies as a key enabler. This section of the self-assessment provides a number of statements to reflect on HEI’s digital capability, defined as the ability to integrate, optimise and transform digital technologies to support innovation and entrepreneurship.
Knowledge exchange is an important catalyst for organisational innovation, the advancement of teaching and research, and local development. It is a continuous process which includes the ‘third mission’ of an HEI, defined as the stimulation and direct application and exploitation of knowledge for the benefit of the social, cultural and economic development of society. The motivation for increased collaboration and knowledge exchange is to create value for the HEI and society.
Internationalisation is the process of integrating an international or global dimension into the design and delivery of education, research, and knowledge exchange. Internationalisation is not an end in itself, but a vehicle for change and improvement. It introduces alternative ways of thinking, questions traditional teaching methods, and opens up governance and management to external stakeholders. Therefore, it is linked very strongly to being entrepreneurial. It is not possible for an HEI to be entrepreneurial without being international, but the HEI can be international without being entrepreneurial or innovative.
Entrepreneurial / innovative HEIs need to understand the impact of the changes they bring about in their institution. The concept of an entrepreneurial / innovative HEI combines institutional self-perception, external reflection and an evidence-based approach. However, impact measurement in HEIs remains underdeveloped. The current measurements typically focus on the quantity of spin-offs, the volume and quality of intellectual property generation and research income generation, rather than graduate entrepreneurship, teaching and learning outcomes, retaining talent, the contribution to local economic development or the impact of the broader entrepreneurial agenda. This section identifies the areas where an institution might measure impact.
The steps below guide you through the features and content of HEInnovate. By clicking through the steps, you can gain an overview of how to use HEInnovate for an individual self-assessment completion and for carrying out group self-assessments. You can explore how to organise your HEInnovate workshops and join various HEInnovate events and webinars. You can also read about the resources, other initiatives and projects that are featured on HEInnovate.
Explore the eight dimensions of HEInnovate by completing the self-assessment. The self-assessment tool has the simple purpose of helping higher education institutions identify their current situation, respecting the local and national environments, and from that, agreeing on potential areas for action. Under eight dimensions, there are 42 statements to consider in relation to your institution. You can choose whether you want to complete all eight dimensions or focus only on a few selected areas.
HEInnovate has a group function, it is a highly versatile feature which allows people with different roles to compare their results and use them to generate discussion, dialogue and strategies for change.
The group function of HEInnovate is the best way for higher education institutions to use HEInnovate for institutional change. Once registered, any user can set up a group and invite colleagues and relevant internal and external stakeholders to complete the self-assessment as part of their group.
The HEInnovate self-assessment tool works best if it is used as part of a process for HEIs who are exploring their entrepreneurial and innovative potential rather than in isolation. Workshops are an important part of the process as they provide an opportunity for those involved to discuss and prioritise actions for the future.
You can find additional information on how to organise your workshop among the Training Materials, including an HEInnovate Training Manual with suggestions for draft workshop agendas, whom to invite and format for the workshops; presentations about HEInnovate, workshop guides and an action sheet.
You can also seek advice to the organisation of your workshop by contacting the HEInnovate Team or the members of the HEInnovate expert team.
Explore the HEInnovate resources. The website provides access to relevant resources for further improvement and inspiration. The resources include:
- Case studies on institutional practices along the eight dimensions of HEInnovate
- User stories about the different experiences of HEIs undertaking the HEInnovate assessment
- Guidance notes linked to the individual HEInnovate statements to gain ideas and guidance on how to further your institutions practices and approaches along the different statements
- Digital resources, including videos and interviews which describe how higher education institutions implement HEInnovate and the changes it has brought
- Other documents, including the HEInnovate country reviews, relevant literature reviews and the concept note behind HEInnovate
Sign up to our news and newsletter to receive notifications about the latest articles and upcoming events. We are also running a series of webinars, which usually take place at 5pm CET/CEST on the last Thursday of the month. The webinars engage invited speakers in discussions and experience sharing around topics of relevance to the current discourse in the field of higher education, with a special focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. You can read the summaries of our past webinars and watch the recordings as well.
You can also explore two other initiatives that are complementary with HEInnovate:
The Entrepreneurial Potential and Innovation Competences (EPIC) course assessment tool was designed to help educators to measure the effectiveness of their entrepreneurship courses. It can be used to assess the skill and competence development of participants in different entrepreneurship courses, modules, summer schools, bootcamps or training programmes. The assessment works with a set of statements across five thematic areas with which course participants can assess their development: (1) entrepreneurial competences, (2) entrepreneurial intentions and attitudes, (3) enterprising behaviours, (4) entrepreneurial strategies and (5) educational effects.
entreTime is a new entrepreneurship education service aimed at upskilling educators within higher education institutions and upgrading their pedagogical tools on this domain by providing a comprehensive training package. entreTime entreTime is spreading entrepreneurial teaching and co-creation outside the traditional domain of business schools and economic faculties by creating a unique academic platform.
There are a number of initiatives run by the European Commission that are of interest to the users of HEInnovate. In this section of the website, you can learn more about the following initiatives:
- University Business Cooperation (UBC) is supported by a range of European Commission initiatives, including events such as the University-Business Forum
- Higher Education for Smart Specialisation (HESS) helps elevate debate and explore the role of HEIs in designing and implementing Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3)
- The Labour Market Relevance and Outcomes of Higher Education (LMRO) project aims to help governments and higher education institutions enhance the employment outcomes of graduates
- Erasmus + Alliances for Innovation are bringing together businesses, higher education institutions and vocational education and training (VET) providers to work on more innovative forms of teaching and learning
- Erasmus + Forward Looking Cooperation Projects aim to foster innovation, creativity and participation, as well as social entrepreneurship in different fields of education and training
You can view and download case studies that showcase different institutional approaches and practices along the eight dimensions of HEInnovate,
and user stories about the experiences of various HEIs undertaking the HEInnovate assessment.
- Case studies
The EIT InnoEnergy Master’s programme in Environomical Pathways for Sustainable Energy Systems has broad and deep offers in entrepreneurship training. Its Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) Journey is a structured learning experience aimed at providing students with the skills, tools, methods, and motivation to become an entrepreneur, innovator or intrapreneur. The Journey consists of six elements: Impact projects (Project of the Year and Integrated Project of the Year), Business and Innovation training, an entrepreneurship competition named “Battle of Green Talent”, Data Science for Energy...
- User stories
The Arqus European University Alliance aims to encourage entrepreneurship and creativity throughout the entire university community, including students, academic and administrative staff. The initiative stated, under the Arqus Action Line 5, the following main objectives: Stimulating entrepreneurial mind-set and creativity Reinforcing regional engagement Building on complementary areas of strength fostering cross-sectoral collaborations As a first step in pursuing these objectives, the Alliance aims to develop a roadmap of mutually beneficial activities. The aim is to help strengthen the...
The expert group is an important driving force behind taking HEInnovate forward.
In this section you can read the profiles of our experts and contact them.
Fiona has over 20 years of experience of innovation and enterprise, in industry and in higher education. Her expertise enables her to play a vital connecting role between academia and business within entrepreneurial ecosystems. Prior to her current...
Klaus is passionate about entrepreneurship and believes that an entrepreneurial society will create a better world. As Universities play a key role in educating young people to think more entrepreneurial, HEInnovate is a fantastic tool for all...
Ester Bernadó is committed to higher education and life-long learning. She has held several positions in the university such as International Coordinator, Director of Bachelor’s Programs, Director of a Research Group in Data Mining, and Coordinator...
I have been involved in HEInnovate from the very beginning, and now I have used it in my university for more than three years. Since 2014, I have been working as leader of action plan for LUT Entrepreneurship Strategy. My doctoral thesis was about...
An enthusiastic user of HEInnovate, Barbara Gabriel has already implemented it twice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Aveiro with two distinct target groups. HEInnovate is the catalyst for change and for several...
Adina first attended an HEInnovate workshop and training in August 2015, given the initial interest of Babeș-Bolyai University in assessing and subsequently developing internationalisation. Adina since became a member of the HEInnovate expert group...
Nadine is the founder of BCS Consultancy Services, a consultancy company specialising in advice and expertise on EU policies and EU programmes in higher education. Nadine advises on higher education strategic developments, leadership and governance...
Ana has a Phd in Business and Economics, with a thesis about Operational risk in banking and focussed on internal and audit control for years. She moved on to the entrepreneurship world when she started to be part of the Global Entrepreneurship...
Maciej has specialism in developing entrepreneurial strategies for higher education institutions, and he is currently finishing PhD on the entrepreneurial transformation of higher education institutions. He has been a member of the HEInnovate Expert...
Pedro has significant experience in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, including teaching and management roles played at the University of Coimbra, after having completed his PhD at MIT. He has participated in several HEInnovate Expert Meetings...
Oto Hudec has a background in statistical and evaluation methods and has almost 20 years of experience in the management of education and development at the Faculty of Economics. At the same time, he also works as a head of the Institute of Regional...
Zsuzsa is the project manager of HEInnovate overseeing the daily running and continuous development of HEInnovate. Zsuzsa and her team have been supporting the take up of HEInnovate through the mobilisation of the expert network, the development of...
Paul has been engaged with HEInnovate since its conception and has supported its growth and development including the development of the training materials during the past five years. He has undertaken institutional reviews using the HEInnovate...
Since 2013 Steve is manager of the student-entrepreneurship centre DO! (Durf Ondernemen) at Ghent University. Where he is active both as business coach for student-entrepreneurs and as challenger of entrepreneurial thinking within Ghent University...
Milena Stoycheva is the CEO of JA Bulgaria and The Edge: R&BD and Visiting Professor with the EIT Digital Master School in I&E (Innovation and Entrepreneurship). Entrepreneur and educator, she is passionate about the importance of education and the...
Rebecca has been a core member of the HEInnovate Team since the inception of the initiative. She has worked with the European Commission and the members of the expert group to design the self-assessment tool and maintain its relevance. Rebecca is a...
Annmarie is the Programme Director and a Business Studies Lecturer at the Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland. She is a member of the EU HEInnovate Expert Facilitators Group and has broad experience with using HEInnovate. She implemented the...
Istvan is a member of the HEInnovate expert group and he contributed as the national expert to the HEInnovate Hungary review. Istvan has been working on the development of the entrepreneurial culture of higher education institutions (HEIs) for years...
Mikkel is an international consultant supporting organisations developing their entrepreneurial potential and societal impact. Mikkel has led the implementation of the EIT Climate-KIC entrepreneurship programmes across the Nordic countries developing...
Strategist, innovation and science manager, teacher, researcher, mentor and entrepreneur. He is the Executive Director of the Center for Business Innovation at Porto Business School, University of Porto and Professor of Entrepreneurship and...
Read the latest HEInnovate news and see our upcoming events.
You can also sign up to our news and newsletter to receive notifications.
This month’s HEInnovate webinar “How transnational education (TNE) can help your HEI to become more entrepreneurial” will take place on Thursday, the 23rd February at 5pm CET. In this webinar we will explore how transnational education links to the HEInnovate dimension of the Internationalised...
Given the success of the past training activities, we will hold two training sessions this Autumn to provide information and advice on how to make the most of HEInnovate. The training is run in cooperation with the European Commission. The sessions are aimed at participants who are interested in...
11 partners from 4 different European countries (Portugal, Spain, Denmark and Austria) got together under the Knowledge Alliances action, funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission, with the sole objective of achieving the development of sustainable product-services within the...
There are a number of initiatives run by the European Commission and the OECD that are of interest to the users of HEInnovate.
In this section of the website, you can learn more about them.
The third call of the EIT HEI Initiative is now open and the interested consortia can submit their applications until 28 February 2023.
Higher Education Institutions are key in supporting regions and countries in achieving the objectives of their Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3).
Higher Education Institutions can be driver for transformation and innovation, above all when they engage with their environment, locally, at national and international level.
Forward Looking Projects aim to foster innovation, creativity and participation, as well as social entrepreneurship in different fields of education and training, within sectors or across sectors and disciplines.
The Alliances for innovation are structured partnerships bringing together businesses, higher education institutions and VET to work on more innovative forms of teaching and learning.
In 2019, the European Commission and the OECD initiated the Labour Market Relevance and Outcomes of Higher Education (LMRO) Partnership Initiative, a collaborative project with Austria, Hungary, Portugal, and Slovenia.