Young, bright and business-savvy ICT Doctoral students with a strong head for innovation. That is what companies that get involved in EIT ICT Labs Doctoral School can expect. The aim is to make the young doctors commercially aware research leaders, ready to take on new challenges in the forefront of European ICT industry.
”At a technical level these Doctoral students will be comparable with recruits from regular university programs. However, our Doctoral students will have extras. They will receive innovation and entrepreneurship education and have better business sense, as well as developed skills in team working in an open innovation setting,” says EIT ICT Labs CEO Willem Jonker.
Find recruits already up to speed
He stresses how recruiting companies can benefit strongly from recruits that are already up to speed on subjects such as patent landscaping and business models.
”Our Doctoral students will already have 2-3 patents filed in their name, and a clear view on how their research can benefit the industry,” says Willem Jonker.
These Doctoral students will learn how good publications and good patents can reinforce each other, rather than being conflicting elements. They learn about how the innovation landscape and ecosystems work, how to found their own start-up, and get introduced to venture capital and early seeding.
”This is the kind of know-how they would not get in a normal Doctoral program. Here they become embedded in the European innovation ecosystem, unlike traditional Doctoral students that work quite isolated from each other. The student from EIT ICT Labs Doctoral School offers a clear added value compared to simply choosing a regular PhD student at any university.”
Benefit from a broad network
The mobility element built in to the EIT ICT Labs Doctoral School naturally gives business supervisors new and potentially fruitful contacts.
”Also, the cross fertilization between different industries within the EIT ICT Labs Doctoral School, are a strong business competition factor. We are creating a meeting place where people exchange ideas between different disciplines and fields. A vibrant place for innovation,” says Willem Jonker.
To ensure this, a number of Doctoral Training Centres, DTCs, has been founded. The DTCs supports the doctoral students, their supervisors and business representatives in creating an open and creative environment.
” We are looking for supervisors from the industry, actively participating in the coaching of their PhDs, and really making sure that there is a bridge between research and industry. We want key people from the industry to take active part in the advisory boards of the DTCs, to offer advice on the content of the program, and decide which topics should be dealt with. ”
PhDs with an entrepreneurial mindset
PhDs from the EIT ICT Labs Doctoral School become business oriented with an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset. Here European companies can find potential employees, in the form of young doctors with a focus on business, who are able to develop business projects founded on their thesis research.
”This Doctoral program is first and foremost focused on producing ICT expertise, while at the same time providing an important added value of innovation and entrepreneurship,” says Willem Jonker.