Entrenching the enterprise message through innovative incubators

Asserting pedagogical principles towards assisted academic practice





enterprise education, incubation, ecosystem, industry engagement, professional development


Enterprise Education (EE) continues to inspire institutions and champion creativity amongst staff and students. As the taught and researched fields advance, EE activity is now increasingly facilitated and developed within central university-based incubators, where expertise and knowledge meet ambitious ideas and aspirations across subject disciplines. With this combining of expertise and knowledge from within the university environment, key skills and outcomes are evident which move typical forms of EE within classroom contexts beyond pedagogical considerations of content and assessment strategy. This paper investigates the role of incubators with a case study of recently developed incubation spaces at a Scottish university, involving 10 academics, 3 departments, and over 500 students across all academic levels. Reflecting on an academic year of activity, ranging from formal sessions, mentoring and student-focussed events, to engaging with external partners through national programmes, this case study highlights several key themes. Themes of realised attributes, encountered behaviours, and contexts (A-B-C), which appreciate immediate and responsive qualities within the HE sector result in outlined principles. These principles encourage the duties and responsibilities conducive to innovative incubator-specific Assisted Academic Practice (AAP). This marks differences between EE educators and AAP individuals within active incubation spaces. Emphasising the need for consistent enterprising engagement with regional and national partners, seeking alignment with best practice frameworks, and confirming industry recognition, AAP individuals and groups entrench the enterprise message from the university through phases of design, development, and destination. This paper outlines fresh understandings for university educators and incubator professionals, in centralising EE within staff development and ongoing academic practices.

Author Biography

Robert James Crammond, University of the West of Scotland

Dr Crammond is senior lecturer (associate professor) in enterprise and management with a distinct teaching and research interest in enterprise and entrepreneurship education, reflecting on relevant stakeholders and the university context.

He is an internationally-published researcher and author, and teaches a number of modules across many disciplines. These include: entrepreneurship and innovation, organisational stakeholders and managing business relationships, business and management, leadership, human resource management, organisational development, and business and managerial research skills.

Dr Crammond is a Senior Fellow (SFHEA) of Advance HE, and Certified Management and Business Educator (CMBE) with the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS). At the University of the West of Scotland (UWS), Crammond is the module and CPD leader of the biggest entrepreneurship course at the university, Enterprise Creation. He is also an academic team lead for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), and co-lead of the UWS Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Research Group. He is also a visiting professor at CBS International Business School, Cologne, Germany.

A thematic lead (Enterprise Education & Policy) in UWS's 'Transformative Enterprise Research Group' (TERG), Dr Crammond publishes in many academic journals concerning enterprise, management, and higher education, Crammond has also authored two books: Advancing Entrepreneurship Education in Universities: Concepts and Practices for Teaching and Support in 2020 (Palgrave Macmillan) and Entrepreneurship and Universities: Pedagogical Perspectives and Philosophies in 2023 (Palgrave Macmillan).

Dr Crammond is an associate editor with the Baltic Journal of Management and Journal of Intellectual Capital. He is also an editorial board member with International Journal of Intellectual Property Management and International Journal of Management Education.

In supporting academic development, Dr Crammond supervises undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral-level theses, is the academic lead for the UWS Business Student Society, is the writing retreat coordinator for early career researchers (ECR), academic representative on the School of Business & Creative Industries' school board, and is an occasional internal examiner & viva chair for viva voce examinations.

He holds several external roles in academia, including external examiner positions with the University of Aberdeen, and the University of the Highlands and Islands. He is also a research supervisor with the University of Stirling.

Crammond has written for several higher education and business-specific publications, including: Advance HE, Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS), the Entrepreneurial Mindset Network, the European Financial Review, the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF), the Small Business Charter, The Conversation, The Herald, and Wonkhe.


Dr Robert James Crammond, University of the West of Scotland

BAcc (Hons), MSc, PG (Cert), PhD, SFHEA, CMBE, DipHE (SFEDI)


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