Entrepreneurship Week at BBS: research and innovation for a new entrepreneurial culture

1 June 2019

From May 22 to 24, Bologna Business School hosted at Villa Guastavillani the editors of the 15 most authoritative scientific journals in the field of managerial and business administration disciplines, appointed by the Financial Times among the best in the world, and 35 young researchers from 16 nations. The academic conference The Future of Conducting and Publishing Research in Entrepreneurship, Innovation Management and Strategy was part of the BBS Entrepreneurship Week, a series of events dedicated to the debate on the themes of entrepreneurial culture, business and entrepreneurial risk, but also of innovation and research.

The Conference, opened by Alessandro Bonfiglioli, General Director of CAAB, and dedicated to current and future thought leaders in the fields of entrepreneurship, innovation management and strategy, reiterated the importance of scientific research for the understanding and resolution of pressing social issues related to environmental sustainability, economic development and the distribution of wealth.

In addition to research, however, to stimulate and support sustainable and equitable development, it is also necessary to guarantee equal access to information. “To gain access to scientific information, you usually have to pay, but the idea is that the articles should be read in their entirety for free, simply by searching for them on a search engine. The aim is to encourage the circularity of information, making knowledge accessible to everyone,” explained Dolores Modic, researcher at Kyushu University, Japan, during her speech that touched on topics such as technology transfer, innovation policy and intellectual property rights.

Among the collaborative tools, that of crowdsourcing was emphasized by Allan Afuah, professor of entrepreneurial strategies at Michigan Ross University, United States, and Associate Editor at the Academy of Management Review. “In summary, when we talk about crowdsourcing we can think of the case of Wikipedia: a wealth of knowledge, sometimes imperfect, but the result of the free collaboration between skills and information, which is proposed as an alternative to traditional encyclopedias and which is constantly updated and improved, accessible and usable by all. The same principle can apply to open collaboration in the field of research between institutions such as University and Industry.”

Riccardo Fini, Associate Dean for Entrepreneurship of BBS and creator of the Entrepreneurship Week, said: “We brought together a panel that offered the excellence of research in managerial sciences, innovation management and entrepreneurship, providing ideas and tools to young researchers and researchers entering the international scientific community. ‘Publish or Perish’ is the motto within the research elite, because the publication as well as being the salt of knowledge and scientific progress is also the necessary tool to select talents, create one’s identity as a researcher and acquire the consequent prestige. “

The week dedicated to entrepreneurship continued with the UNConference at Tim WCAP, a new networking event format where participants defined the agenda for the day in progress, and with two prestigious events organized in collaboration with the Italian edition of MIT Technology Review, the Boston MIT’s magazine dedicated to innovation and its impact on society. On Monday 27 May, the Editor at Large of MIT Technology Review David Rotman participated in the New Tech Scenarios 2030 event with a Keynote Speech dedicated to new trends in innovation processes, followed by a panel of experts from the sectors of aerospace, medical and robotics technology.


“If we were to give a title to our goal it could be reinventing how we invent,” said David Rotman. “We want to focus on the opportunities these technologies offer us, as innovations change the way we do research.” A future where machine learning and robotics will be protagonists of a technological innovation applied to more and more industrial fields. But Rotman also points to the critical elements of this scenario. Many are concerned about the speed of innovation. Companies no longer invest in basic scientific research: the number of researchers is increasing but the innovative output has remained more or less the same for some years and this is the problem. This is a warning, to invest in research to find the solutions needed by the industry.

The conclusion of the week took place on Tuesday, May 28, when BBS hosted the 2019 edition of the Young Italian Innovators Under 35 Award, dedicated to the best young innovators from the world of academic and business research.

The Entrepreneurship Week has been the first initiative of the BBS Entrepreneurship HUB, with which BBS confirms itself as a collector and catalyst for entrepreneurial experiences, as well as a meeting point for all those who wish to participate in an innovation ecosystem that favors access to skills and key resources to create and grow new businesses, both locally and on a global scale.


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