Design of an integrated program on innovation for universities
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Innovation Management at the University, Univ. of Aleppo, 4th Nov. 2010. Design of an Integrated Program on Innovation for Universities. Galal Hassan Galal-Edeen PhD, MBCS CITP, CT Professor of information Systems Cairo University Chair of Innovation

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Innovation Management at the University, Univ. of Aleppo, 4th Nov. 2010

Design of an Integrated Program on Innovation for Universities

Galal Hassan Galal-Edeen


Professor of information Systems

Cairo University Chair of Innovation

Director, Cairo University Innovation Support Office

Certified Trainer

Cairo University

[email protected]

A Brief History

  • Officially inaugurated on 21st Dec. 1908 as the “National University”.

  • Around 12,500 full time faculty members.

  • Around 250,000 students.

  • 20 faculties, 5 research-oriented institutes.

  • Informally ranked the top State university in Egypt.


  • Background.

  • An overview of curriculum design.

  • The essence of innovating.

  • An over-view of curriculum design.

  • Innovation skills and attitudes.

  • The role of connections, intersections & collisions.

Source: G. H. Galal-Edeen, 2002

A personal background

  • BSc in Management Sciences, Computing and Information Systems stream.

  • MSc in Systems Analysis & Design.

  • PhD in Information Systems Engineering.

  • BA in Architecture.

  • MSc in Advanced Architectural Studies.

  • Member of a number of professional bodies.

  • Teaching full time in the UK for many years.

  • Internationally Certified as a Trainer.

The School of Athens by Raphael (1509–1510),

fresco at the Apostolic Palace, Vatican City.

Contacts, variety, dialogue

An Overview of Curriculum Design

  • Intake, output (aim: Theory of the Graduate).

  • State objectives (learning outcomes?).

    • Knowledge & Understanding.

    • Application (professional & practical skills).

    • Critical skills & exercising own judgment (intellectual skills).

    • Synthetic skills (generating new insights).

    • Communication skills (transferable skills)

  • Using the available student effort hours, distribute to course units.

  • For each unit, with reference to the programme objectives, define specific learning outcomes & assessment instruments.

  • Set QA & Review: External examiners, national review boards, professional bodies, accrediting bodies, alumni, student comments etc.

  • Discuss, debate, document & get approval.

  • Complete required accreditation documents.

A role for professional bodies

  • American Medical Boards.

  • The British/ American Bar examinations.

  • Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)


  • British Medical Association.

  • Commercial Air Pilots’ licensing, also aircraft maintenance engineers.

  • British Computer Society Chartered Professional status (MBCS ICTP).

  • Certified Gas Maintenance (appliances & connections).

with innovation

Market share

with improvement

without improvement


Innovation and Market Share

Source: Prof. H. Schnitzer (TU Graz), with permission


  • Innovation = invention + exploitation model.

  • To go to exploitation you need idea/ concept development.

  • Invention is the first step of bringing a good idea to widespread and effective use.

  • For concept development and exploitation (innovation), you need a business/ economic model.

Famous inventions

  • The vacuum cleaner, or the “electric suction sweeper” was invented by J. Murray Spengler; W.H.Hoover was a leather goods maker who knew about marketing and selling.

  • The world’s first sewing machine was produced in 1846 by Elias Howe, from Boston.

  • But Isaac Singer had stolen the patent and built a successful business from it (he finally had to pay royalty on all machines sold).

What is innovation by R. Branson

  • An innovative business is one which lives and breathes “outside the box”. It is not just good ideas, it is a combination of good ideas, motivated staff and an instinctive understanding of what your customer wants.

    Sir Richard Branson (1998) DTI Innovation Lecture.

Incremental vs Radical Innovation

  • Incremental innovation: making what you already do better, e.g. Windows Vista after XP; improved line-based telephone lines.

  • Radical innovation: Ryan Air,iTunes, Easy Jet, Garmeen bank, VoIP such as Skype.

  • All human societies today need more radical innovations!

Can innovation be taught?

  • Innovation is [..] the means by which [entrepreneurs] exploit change as an opportunity for a different product or service. It is capable of being presented as a discipline, capable of being learned, capable of being practiced”

    Peter Drucker (1985) Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Harper & Row.

Knowledge & Understanding

  • Business planning.

  • Marketing and market research.

  • Product development.

  • Prototype development and testing.

  • Basic economic theory.

  • Ethnographic research methods.

  • Qualitative research and reasoning.

Intellectual & Practical Innovation skills

  • Holistic thinking:

    • The electric light bulb: only good if there was widely available power supply!

    • The challenge is NOT the invention, but in making them work technically and commercially; growing them into practical use.

  • Eclectic mentality:

    • All disciplines are potentially relevant.

  • Interaction skills:

    • Innovation is interactive: technology push (R&D) and demand pull. Understand the problem and its actors.

    • Recognize the ideas of others

  • Experimental attitudes.

    • Failure is acceptable.

  • Everyone can contribute:

    • Away from patriarchal attitudes.

Must consider the ecosystem

  • The student time model.

    • 36/40 weeks per year

    • 40-45 hours per week.

    • 1500-1800 hours per year.

    • In one academic year: 60 credits measure the workload of a full-time student.

    • Each credit point stands for around 25 to 30 working hours.

  • Away from ‘rote’ learning.

  • Reward novel, creative thinking even if you disagree. Give formal credits/ Diplomas?

  • Library and other search facilities.

  • Interaction space.

The physical space

  • Space to generate greater interaction.

  • Increasing opportunities for, collaboration and chance encounter.

  • Consider space:


A space for innovation

  • Mentoring and coaching.

  • Reward and motivation.

  • The ecosystem.

    • Physical environment.

    • Team building.

    • Organizational climate.

  • Training and development

Insights (Henderson & Clark 1990)

  • Innovation rarely deals with a single technology or market.

  • It deals with a bundle of knowledge, brought together into a configuration.

  • Innovation requires getting hold of and use of knowledge about components and how these are put together - the architecture of an innovation.

  • Diversity, wealth and innovation are all connected.

Design-Anthropological Innovation Model

Studies of

Everyday Practice

Concept Development


User Participation

Adapted from an illustration by E. Brandt:

“The Danish Center for Design Research”

J. Barker: Innovation at the Verge

  • We must learn how to combine ideas with the ideas of others as we meet at the verge.

  • The verge is where something and something different meet.

  • Differences come together to create new ideas, new combinations of elements &partnerships.

  • A huge potential to spawn innovations:

    • Between disciplines; industries, professions and eco-systems.

D. Schön: Epistemology of Practice

Supporting measures

  • Provide training: how does innovation happen at the individual & small group level?

  • Provide networking spaces: industry liaison, alumni.

  • Help spread awareness among staff and students: how innovation happens, possible curricular support, etc.

The biggest hurdle!

  • Academics who think in traditional ways and refuse to see the eclectic, multidisciplinary nature of Innovation.

  • Must train and prepare the teachers with the relevant skills and attitudes.

  • Keep trying to change them!

Elements of Innovation Support Strategy

Int.: comms & seminars

Awareness & Trust


Ext.: seminar & strong prec.

Int.: Staff & Student training

Skilling & Training

Ext.: External training

Web site & materials

Streamlining & K Man


Web site:

Thank you.

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