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HZ Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

HZ Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation researches issues surrounding sustainable innovations and entrepreneurship on behalf of SMEs, interest groups, governments, residents and education.

The centre helps these target groups find answers to socio-social challenges. These challenges come in all shapes and forms an can be conflicting in some cases, due to different interests. "We provide insight, create new perspectives and realise projects," coordinator Ageeth van Maldegem says.

The centre focuses on improved customer insights, always aims to make an impact with its research and focuses on knowledge that allows you to develop product and business models.

Behaviour of organisations

The researchers have a good picture of the behaviour of organisations and know what does and does not work when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship. The centre summarises its findings in clear reports for and about entrepreneurs. The knowledge gained is easy to deploy and is used, for example, in the business network and incubator Dockwize. Whenever possible, the researchers work together with students.

Deep customer insight

Researcher and manager Ageeth van Maldegem holds a PhD from Cranfield University in the UK. She studied how organisations in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) create and use deep customer insight in innovation projects.

The results of the doctoral research are reflected in concrete manuals and applied in study programmes at HZ. The research can be read here.


Added value with mussels

Minor Fit for the Future

A Facilitator of Change makes an impact by finding desirable and strategic improvements and bringing others along in the changes. He / she has a broad understanding of the challenge and the different interests and images of those involved. A Facilitator of Change does this from his/her own professional role, such as specialist, entrepreneur, (project) manager, researcher or process manager. The minor Fit for the Future is based on the principles of Social Theory (ST) of a sustainable, collaborative learning society and Expertise Management Methodology (EMM) as described in We got to move. ST and EMM provide a methodological framework whose research philosophy is critical realism and founded on systems thinking. The framework does not prescribe the concrete methods and techniques to be used, as that depends on the issue to be investigated. Of course, the methods and techniques must be consistent with the research philosophy.

Smart Services Bridge

Under the coordination of TUA West, project partners Dockwize, Howest, HZ University of Applied Sciences, OC West and VIVES are building structural cooperation with the field. SSB wants to help companies innovate and offers a two-part mentoring programme to this end. On the one hand, innovation projects are being set up with Howest, HZ University of Applied Sciences and VIVES in which companies receive support from a university of applied sciences to develop or optimise a product or service. In addition, they can go through a valorisation process at Dockwize and OC West to efficiently and successfully implement the innovations that have been developed and grow. The pathways cover diverse topics in the fields of Agrofood, Energy, Life sciences and health, Logistics, Mechanical Engineering & Mechatronics, New Materials. At sounding board sessions and expert days, experiences are shared in an interregional knowledge network. Role of KCOIHZ Knowledge Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation works together with HZ Nexus and Dockwize to support entrepreneurs in Zeeland and Flanders with their questions on new business models, customer insight and impact. For Fysiosoft, for example, it looked at how Fylm can be adopted and implemented faster by healthcare institutions. In another project, the impact of Heerlijk van het erf (fictitious name) - an online platform on which products can be ordered directly from the farmer - is being measured. Would you like to be kept informed of our progress or would you like to submit your own trajectory for Smart Services Bridge? Then contact our colleague Mariska Polderman.

View the overview