In order to improve and develop an entrepreneurial spirit on campus, Diponegoro University collaborates with the SMART Project and ERASMUS +. SMART Project is a university business engagement project in Indonesia to support work ability and transition into labor market for graduates. Prof. Ambariyanto, M.Sc in his explanation said that this project is one of the research activities funded by Erasmus+ to strengthen Capacity Building at High Education Institutions (HEI). In this project, the program undertaken is Entrepreneurship. This program is closely related to the 1st and 4th goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and it is very suitable to carry out program by Erasmus in Indonesia.

This collaboration also involves 10 state and private universities both from domestic and overseas universities. In detail, there are seven domestic universities namely Diponegoro University (Undip), Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS), Udayana University (Unud), Mataram University (Unram), Sam Ratulangi University (Unsrat), Kalimantan Institute of Technology ( ITK), and Maritime University of Raja Ali Haji (UMRAH); and  three European universities which are Alma Mater Studiorum Università in Bologna (UNIBO) in Italy, Agora Institute for Knowledge Management (AGORA) in Alicante, Spain, and the University of Turku (UTU) in Turku, Finland.

The SMART Project is motivated by the impact of a solid business-university relationship on broad socio-economic growth in the current European Strategy 2020. Meanwhile, in European countries, business-university cooperation has increased in recent decades. Thus it shows evidence that a critical need for good models and practices is needed for creation of strategies and instruments in this domain, since the interaction between universities regarding entrepreneurship is still rare. This collaboration can integrate lessons learned in Europe into the context of Partner Country (PC) which are the target of initial action of SMART Project. This project is carried out with the aim of increasing capacity and skills of Indonesian HEI personnel for a productive implementation of business-university cooperation.

In addition, Prof. Ambariyanto, M.Sc continued, this project also aims to build and operate a sustainable structure for Business Engagement Centers (BECs) with a one-stop approach to support students, researchers, and companies. There is a national network in form of dialogue platform to share experiences and good practices in business-university cooperation. Professor of Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences of Undip, who currently also serves as Vice Rector for Research and Innovation, stated that this project will run for three years. During the next three years, the activities that will be carried out are: Good Practice Bridge (Jembatan Praktik Bagus) led by AGORA, Skills Improvement (Peningkatan Keterampilan) led by UNIBO and UTU, Business Engagement Center Arrangements (Pengaturan Pusat Keterlibatan Bisnis) led by ITS and Undip, Quality Control (QC) and Arrangements led by AGORA and ITS, The Deployment (Penyebaran) led by ITS and AGORA, Sustainability (Keberlanjutan) led by Unud, Unsrat, and Undip, as well as Management held by ITS. Each leader will be responsible for all forms of activities in the projects mentioned.

It is hoped that for the next three years, all projects and activities can run smoothly, so that the plan on proposal can be done optimally and get a positive feedback from Erasmus+. In addition, by examining Entrepreneurship topic for this project, it is hoped that it can stimulate higher education in Indonesia to be more advanced by opening up thoughts about entrepreneurship. Moreover, this collaborative project is a real form of Undip’s action in implementing SDGs. “From this collaboration, it is expected that students, lecturers, researchers and the entire academic community to build start up. Later, with the completion of this project, it can create business links between universities in developing the economy sector and can avoid business overlap in Indonesia. Then this collaboration can produce an independent business starting from university, can reduce poverty and can improve the quality of education, especially in the development of start-ups”, concluded the first representative from Indonesia who becomes coordinator of Erasmus+ project program.