Research team

Management

The motivational drivers of nascent SME internationalization. 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2023

Abstract

Internationalization of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) may contribute greatly to the welfare of a country. Yet, it is unclear why some SMEs (successfully) internationalize whereas others stay domestic. In this project, we aim to better understand which motivational drivers explain whether an entrepreneur aspires and expects internationalization, and whether (s)he is able to actually reach these goals. Does, for example, an entrepreneur who wants to have impact on others (typically for those scoring low on the power motive) have higher internationalization aspirations? We explicitly recognize the existence of two motivational systems: An explicit and an implicit one. The implicit system operates outside of conscious awareness and control, and the explicit one functions at a conscious level. Besides the impact of personality aspects, we also attribute attention to firm and environmental characteristics. As such, we aim to better understand the integrated 'fit' configurations of implicit / explicit personality profiles and environmental characteristics leading to actual internationalization behavior (and subsequent international performance). We execute computer-led Implicit Association Tests and tailor-made surveys, and adopt secondary information from existing databases to allow us to unravel the factors influencing an SME's decision to internationalize, and its internationalization behavior.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Smart ports entrepreneurial ecosystem development (SPEED). 01/01/2019 - 30/06/2022

Abstract

With increasing global competitive pressures, Western European ports have to be more efficient or more innovative to remain competitive. Especially in large and complex port environments there are numerous opportunities for efficiency gains in the logistic chain. Simultaneously, new advances in data science and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are starting to enable more efficient ways of communicating and of integrating entire supply chains. In particular high-tech start-ups and SMEs are leading the way in these technological developments. Currently, port environments do not yet fully reap the advantages from data science / IoT technologies, and high-tech start-ups / SMEs often struggle with the professionalization of their technological ideas and business activities. As a result, the performance potential of the Western European ports is hampered, as well as the full development potential of high-tech start-ups and SMEs and their subsequent economic contribution. This project aims to develop and support the growth of a nascent connected port solutions ecosystem backed by data science and IoT technologies. Bottom-up initiatives are forming around this common goal, mainly among maritime logistics players, port authorities and large IT providers. The current objective is to also connect to and develop a community of ambitious data science entrepreneurs (start-ups and SMEs), data science & maritime experts and knowledge centers. As such, the project aims to translate innovations from both technologies into a connected and multi-modal port environment and generate more efficient communication and logistical streams through dedicated data-based solutions. On top of this, the project aims to reap the full business potential of high-tech start-ups and SMEs, professionalize their business activities and increase their overall (international) performance. The project has three main outputs: (1) Mobilizing a network connecting 2 Seas region data science high-tech start-ups and SMEs, data science and maritime experts and knowledge centers, and port stakeholders, to the benefit of the Western European ports and port stakeholders in need of data science solutions, (2) Building a common approach to facilitate the development of data science applications for port logistics problems, to the benefit of the Western European ports and port stakeholders, and (3) Building a common approach to develop and improve the technical value delivering, commercialisation capacities and professionalization of the smart port entrepreneurs and for the adoption of smart port solutions, to the benefit of (internationalizing) high-tech start-ups and SMEs, and port application users.

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Research team(s)

From research to commercialisation in an entrepreneurial university: Development of pre-incubation structures for the University of Antwerp 01/01/2018 - 30/06/2019

Abstract

The outspoken ambition of the University of Antwerp to create value for society is translated in this project to the ambition to become an entrepreneurial university. In order to achieve this ambition the University of Antwerp is committed to reinforce the different actors within the university in their endeavours to translate their research results, knowledge and expertise to society as a whole. There is a clear need for the development and offering of state-of-the-art pre-incubation services at the University of Antwerp. A pre-incubator offers a protecting environment in which entrepreneurial ideas can be tested on their market potential. The ambition of the University of Antwerp to create value for society as an entrepreneurial university can only be achieved through its unceasing support of its commercialisation processes of research knowledge and expertise, while safeguarding its basic values of academic fundamental research. To close the gap between scientific research output on the one hand and sustainable commercialisation on the other hand, and the survival of the so-called 'valley of death', pre-incubation facilities, like insights in opportunity and market potential detection and IP knowledge, should be installed or reinforced to allow researchers to test and evaluate the commercial potential of their research output in a protecting environment. Moreover, the TRL levels will be increased indirectly, which is a pre-requisite of support programs for scientific research (eg. Horizon 2020, VLAIO,…). An increase of the TRL level equally leads to lowering the threshold for business and industry (and related investors) as such reinforcing the commercialisation potential of the research. This project aims to develop five pilot pre-incubation structures for target disciplines (sustainable chemistry, logistics, health, product development and social innovation). These pilot cases were selected based on the 'Beleidsvisie 2016-2020' and the research spearheads of the University of Antwerp. In the deployment of the pilot cases special attention will be paid to the clear fit with the existing incubation and techtransfer activities of the University of Antwerp. In the same line of reasoning the pre-incubation structures will be embedded in the entrepreneurial ecosystems of the five targeted disciplines. Addressing the needs and barriers of the researchers is a central point of attention. The short term result is a minimum viable product for pre-incubation services for the targeted disciplines. At the same time, our results will provide a blueprint for the development of pre-incubation services for other disciplines in the long term. By safeguarding the embeddedness of pre-incubation structures and optimal fit with existing initiatives within the University of Antwerp as well as with its entrepreneurial ecosystem stakeholders a leverage is created to society as a whole.

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Research team(s)

Road to Growth. 01/10/2017 - 30/05/2020

Abstract

Entrepreneurship is the driver of economic progress. Today's champions – Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, et cetera – all started as small-scaled projects. Unfortunately, European countries, including the Flanders region, lag behind. Small-scaled entrepreneurial projects experience difficulties in their further development and growth. The new champions come from North-America or Southeast-Asia, not from Europe. This has to change. For this, the Flemish government launched a large-scaled and ambitious program (2016-2020) to coach SMEs and entrepreneurs in their further development. Within this program, UNIZO and Antwerp Management School (AMS) developed a project called "Road to Growth" (Ambition in Entrepreneurship). UNIZO and AMS are ambitious in their goal to provide a unique and effective coaching program to support ambitious Flemish entrepreneurs. By 2020, hundreds ambitious entrepreneurs will, thanks to the support of UNIZO/AMS, have developed their company. A tailor-made coaching program provides the necessary support to do so.

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Development commercial strategy and instruments for the commercialization of Science Park University of Antwerp and incubator Darwin. 01/07/2013 - 30/09/2014

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Province of Antwerp. UA provides the Province of Antwerp research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Research team(s)

Science parks and Business Incubators in Belgium, Brazil and Italy: Strategic Choices, Institutional context and Performance indicators. 04/11/2011 - 03/11/2012

Abstract

This research project aims to develop an integrative model to examine the relationship between an incubator's/science park's strategic choices (e.g., service focus, service customization, technology and knowledge transfer) and its performance (e.g., start-up growth and survival, innovation). Moreover, the influence of institutional contexts in developed versus emerging/transition countries is taken into account by looking at two settings: developed (that is, Belgium and Italy) versus emerging/transition (that is, Brazil) countries. With this project's funding, we aim to develop a primary database which can be used to examine these relationships further.

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Research team(s)

Strategic choices, institutionalism and the business incubator phenomenon: how does the institutional context influence the relationship between an incubator's strategic choices and its performance? 15/09/2010 - 14/09/2011

Abstract

This project aims at examining the following: (1) the relationship between strategic positions and incubator performance, and (2) the influence of the institutional context on this relationship. Our objective is to capture different institutional contexts by empirically examining incubators in various European countries. The study frames within the fields of strategic management, innovation management and entrepreneurship and international business. This part of the project specifically deals with creating a European incubator data base.

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A contingency perspective on perceived tenant satisfaction of technology incubators 01/10/2009 - 30/09/2011

Abstract

To counter the high failure rate of small start-up firms in general and technology-based firms in particular, the nurturing of start-up firms in business incubators is often suggested. Although many incubator studies have been developed, a better understanding of which strategic, external and internal incubator variables result in a good "fit" and hence above-normal performace of technology incubators in an under-researched domain in incubator literature. The current research project tries to address this literature gap, grounding the project in criterion-specific contengency literature.

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