Required Competences in Innovation Engineering
What competences and why?
In Engineering higher education, students develop knowledge and skills, in order to solve problems and answer questions from society and from the companies they are going to work for. Currently, companies value even more engineers who also possess the so-called soft skill competences. A variety of competencies is required from an engineer in order to fully develop innovation. Creativity and assertiveness, for example, are well known to be key driving competencies for being innovative. An exclusive set of competencies called the i5-competencies are seen as the competencies an innovation engineer must have:
Competences of an Innovation Engineer.
1. Think and Act intra/entrepreneurially: think independently, intuitively and in a consumer-friendly way. Take calculated risks, take responsibility, and foster a network in order to maximise corporate opportunities.
2. Develop innovation: incorporate different relevant aspects in the process of product and process innovation. The development of innovative products requires that engineers acquire basic knowledge on ethics, patents as well as appropriate methodological approaches on designing.
3. Cooperate interdisciplinary: cooperate with other disciplines. Face the opportunities and challenges of other disciplines, while recognising opportunities and challenges of one’s own discipline, and effectively employing this mutual set of unique capabilities in teams.
4. Connect inter-culturally: cooperate respectfully with different cultures, establish and maintain international contacts, and identify the relevance of the opportunities of several cultural environments in developing innovation.
5. Have interpersonal skills: To possess certain leadership capacities, to be able to set up discussions with peers, to analyse the best choice, to use convincing reasoning, to be able to be a chairperson in meetings, to use project management methodologies, and to be an efficient team player. Interpersonal skills include also advanced knowledge about ethics and communication within teams, whether in a company environment or in relation to customers.