Since the rise of emerging economies in the global scenario, it has been critical to better understand the role of knowledge and innovation played in this process. We focus on researching not only how knowledge and innovation is managed and generated in emerging markets, but also how traditionally they learned from advanced economies to enhance their innovation capability, and recently the reverse innovation process about how this innovation capability in emerging markets affects and is transferred to advanced economies.

With this purpose, the proposed KITFEM research project aims to study the management of knowledge and innovation in, to and from emerging markets, with special emphasis on its impacts on the EU. With the proposed secondments among fifteen partners in nine countries around the world in four continents, between partners from academic sector and non-academic sector, KITFEM combines research on the issue of knowledge and innovation between emerging markets and European enterprises, and knowledge sharing and dissemination around the world to enhance the impact of European innovation.

Involving 54 researchers, managers, tech, and administrative staff, KITFEM consists of seven work packages to foster the interaction between scientific community and other stakeholders such as institutions, industries, business, and general civil society, to ensure the popular interests and engagement of the researched topic. In such a way, one work package is dedicated to project management and internal communication and another to external communication, dissemination and outreach activities.

Five work packages focus on research, training and dissemination, at multiple levels: Institutional-industrial-organizational-individual. With the designed project structure and competitive capability of the fifteen partners involved, KITFEM is expected to generate high impact in the globe, both in term of research excellence and societal engagement.


Based on these premises and purposes, K.I.T.F.E.M. project aims to pool EU and emerging markets’ competences and on-going research efforts to carry out a comprehensive, multidisciplinary and multi-level investigation, aimed at analyzing the role and the interplay of the main factors that characterize knowledge management, innovation and competitiveness in, to and from emerging markets and the projected impacts on EU innovation strategies and policies, as well as exchanging, training and diffusing knowledge and innovation among academic and nonacademic sectors. Therefore, the main questions for the RISE research exchange and the joint scientific activities planned are specified in the following:

1. How do international knowledge transfer, new technology and business models innovation and implementation work with (in, to and from) emerging markets? How do these factors impact on emerging countries (i.e. Argentina, China, Mexico, Morocco, or Vietnam in this project) enterprises’ innovation capabilities? How do these factors interact with each other and how can these interactions affect EU enterprises’ innovation capabilities?

2. How does collaborative innovation among different stakeholders emerge and succeed in advanced economies and emerging markets? What are the strategic factors in influencing knowledge transfer and innovation in advanced economies and emerging countries enterprises? What is the role of cultural difference played in this process? Finally, how do these factors affect knowledge, innovation and overall firm performance?

3. Which are the challenges for organizations and their workforce when involving employees for increasing firm innovativeness? What forms of employee participation are used and what is the causal relationship between employee participation and involvement and firm’s innovation performance? What are the contextual conditions in emerging markets under which different forms of employee participation evolve and feed into a firm’s innovation performance, especially in comparison with these in advanced economies in the EU?

4. How do expatriate management practices facilitate knowledge management and innovation creation? How do different types of expatriate management practices interrelate and systematically mediate the duality of innovative capability? Which mechanisms push employees to create new ideas/start-up? Which processes are necessary for a new product/service creation?

5. Are there significant relationships among international knowledge and technology transfer process, collaborative innovation, employment relations, and expatriate management, which affects firms’ strategies and institutional policies for EU and emerging countries, both in terms of knowledge creation, innovation and overall firm performance? If so, what can these relationships tell about emerging countries’ path to technology and business innovation? Last but not least, what are the actual and potential impacts of a strengthened innovation capacity of these emerging countries on EU enterprises’ strategies and innovation policies? How can local policies, following specific EU sectorial strategy, affect businesses in the knowledge and technological transfer process?  

 While the specific objectives are to be transferred into specific work package (the state of art of each research field within the study question will be detailed in each work package in the section 3) to work with, the final aim of the proposed exchange schema is also to create the nucleus of a unique network of European and emerging countries’ (i.e. Argentina, China, Mexico, Morocco and Vietnam) knowledge and innovation scientists, universities and research centers, along with the participation of non-academic sector, to better connect with and contribute to the ampler society. This nucleus will be capable to facilitate scientific collaboration based on the realization of joint research and training programs, the mobility of researchers and their projects between EU and emerging countries.