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UEAPME: the European SME Federation outlines its members needs

by Nicolas Bossut last modified 2008-06-14 11:09

UEAPME president presented University and SMEs next years challenges. Xavier Heymans, Zea Partners CEO, reacts and specifies his purpose about open source SMEs. At present, the open source economy represents already 565,000 jobs and €263 billion in annual revenues in the European Union.

Source : UEAPME weekly flash and Flossimpact

UEAPME is the employer's organization representing the interests of European crafts, trades and SMEs at European Union level. UEAPME President Georg Toifl spoke on 28 February at the first European University/Business Forum in Brussels. He summarized its federation positions.

Faced with globalisation, rapid changes in technology and the lack of qualified staff, SMEs needed to benefit from closer ties with academia and vice versa, said Mr Toifl, who singled out management and innovation as the most promising areas for collaboration.

On management, Mr Toifl stressed the need for a “reality check”: the offer of SME-specific management curricula by European universities was still very limited and the number of graduates working in SMEs needed to be increased, not to mention the necessity to build bridges between the two realities for instance through stages and internships.

On innovation, Mr Toifl touched upon several aspects, such as the need to fully exploit SMEs’ innovative potential, a point that was echoed by University representatives; the success of SME-geared, small-scale projects; the need to widen the concept of R&D to include non-codified innovation used by crafts and SMEs; the importance of regional clusters for technology transfers and cooperation.

Zea Partners agrees with UEAPME considerations and goes farer. Xavier Heymans, Zea Partners CEO, outlines the needs of an "open source software sensitisation". He explains: many students are leaving the University without hearing about the economic potential of the open source software industry and its collaborative model. At present, the open source economy (firms that contribute to open-source development) represents already 565,000 jobs and €263 billion in annual revenues in the European Union. Universities and teachers have to modernize their concepts, not only in computer sciences but also in administration and management matters.

Source

http://www.zeapartners.org/articles/ueampe001