Globelics Academy and Twinkle Association linking SMEs to markets in Global South
Internationalization and entering to foreign markets is not easy task to do for the small companies. Especially when target markets are culturally, institutionally, economically and geographically very distant in from the home base of the company. In other words, when they are currently fastest growing economic areas, in Africa, Asia or Latin-America, in “Global South”. However, these obstacles are possible to overcome, and first step is to learn about the target markets, and to create personal and trustworthy networks to the regions. For this kind of early phase contact we want to offer an opportunity for few small globally oriented companies who consider going to Global South. In practice, this means work-shopping and interacting with 27 international PhD. students arriving to Tampere from twenty countries around the world in May 15 – 25 to join the 12th International Ph.D. school on Innovation and Economic Development (Globelics Academy).
The Globelics Academy (GA) aims to support the training of Ph.D. students who utilize the innovation systems approach in context of emerging or developing economies in their dissertations. GA was organized in Tampere first time in 2008 by TaSTI/UTA and it has been organized in Lisbon, Pretoria and Rio de Janeiro as well. Why Ph.D. students, often already working, or at least in the near future, in prestigious occupations in Ministries or other decision making or/and knowledge creating institutions, including major companies, should interact with Finnish SMEs? Simply because this provides hands on experience what is reality behind the abstract words like “FDI” or international knowledge flows. So, this event should work as venue for the hands-on learning experience as a part of the two week training and networking session. The concept is referred as “small world”, in order to remind that often people in very far distances from us, are actually only couple of people away from us – if you find the right people.
Working together with TWINKLE Association Ry, we hope to develop the “small world” platform for companies, especially SMEs that by its part pave the way to growing international markets, and especially to challenging markets in Global South. Three companies from Tampere region are taking part in this workshop: Cuppla Technology, Mukava IT and Learning Scoop.
The Globelics Academy originates from and is connected to the world-wide research network Globelics, which was initiated by professor Bengt-Åke Lundvall (IKE-group, Aalborg University) and professor Luc Soete, (United Nations University). Network includes many prestigious academics who have been creating the evolutionary economics and innovation system approaches. However, Globelics is a global network of scholars working on innovation system-research and policy. Its main academic aim is to enrich and enhance the quality of innovation research by applying some of its fundamental concepts such as ‘innovation systems’, ‘competence building’ and ‘interactive learning’ to issues at the core of economic development. In addition to global Globelics Academy, Globelics network hosts higher education activities in India, China, Africa and Latin-America, among the other things, and has organized annually high-level scientific conferences in Asia, Latin-America, Africa and Europe since 2003. And importantly, it has a strong connection to policy makers and development policies, i.e. going beyond the academic work to societal impact.
We hope that in spirit of New university of Tampere, this model finds it place as it brings together business, policy and academia, as well as talents from all over the world – Globelics and Twinkle – as well as entrepreneurs and companies from Tampere region.