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Benefits and Challenges of University - Industry Interactions: A Critical Perspective Jeremy Howells, Ronnie Ramlogan and Shu-Li Cheng Manchester Institute.

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Presentation on theme: "Benefits and Challenges of University - Industry Interactions: A Critical Perspective Jeremy Howells, Ronnie Ramlogan and Shu-Li Cheng Manchester Institute."— Presentation transcript:

1 Benefits and Challenges of University - Industry Interactions: A Critical Perspective Jeremy Howells, Ronnie Ramlogan and Shu-Li Cheng Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, University of Manchester

2 Outline Introduction Challenges Benefits and Impacts Regional Impacts Conclusions and Policy Implications

3 Introduction: Objectives Main objective is to develop a better understanding of the impacts of HEIs on the innovativeness and competitiveness of regional economies. To identify the various avenues through which universities interact with local firms, businesses and other intermediaries in relation to research and innovative activity. Analyse how this, in turn, influences firm performance and the overall competitiveness of local and regional economies.

4 Introduction: Project Outline 3 UK ‘regions’: North West, Wales and East of England 2 main elements: 1) Firm level survey: 6,000+ firms - random sample by region - stratified by economic activity and size - response rate just under 10% 2) University survey: 15+ HEIs across 3 regions (3X5)

5 Challenges Number of major challenges in university–industry interactions: Simple lack of information about what is on offer from universities Quality of information re. innovation provided by universities once contact made…

6 Challenges Source: UK CIS

7 Challenges Generally low level of engagement with universities as partners (CIS4 data)….. …. although in this study the use of universities and HEIs not as low as expected….

8 Challenges

9 Key problems remain in terms of basic mismatches in terms of relevance, time horizons and expectations… … this is especially true for SMEs where resources and time are limited and where demand frequently centres on highly applied, short term technical issues which universities often find difficult to address and lack interest for the academic concerned

10 Challenges

11 Benefits and Impacts In general open innovation framework via R&D and technical outsourcing activity has important effects on innovation…. …. thus significant and positive results between R&D and technical outsourcing and innovation in terms of products/services, processes and even organizational innovation

12 Benefits and Impacts

13 Universities moreover have an important impact, especially in new product/services and process innovation….

14 Benefits and Impacts

15 Although little or no difference between formal and informal links….

16 A Model of University Industry Collaboration

17 Regional Impacts In terms of benefits and impacts it is important to recognise significant regional variations in terms of actor collaboration significance on various forms of innovation East of England (EoE) effects greatest across all actor types North West (NW) more limited and Wales also sparse (only via other firms i.e. suppliers and customers)

18 Impact of Collaboration on Innovation (Logistic Regression Analysis)

19 Regional Impacts How does the impact of firm collaboration with universities and other partners ‘pan out’ by region? Although Wales has lowest contacts, Welsh firms seem to value these contacts and perceived impacts most highly - in terms of perceived profitability, productivity and improvements to business systems (‘Stray Dog Syndrome’) North West in the middle and EoE lowest…… some indication of marginal return effects?

20 Regional Impacts

21 Conclusions Complex interaction between use (and not using), impact and value in relation to universities and other providers Openness and collaboration associated with major impact on likelihood to innovate (evident in firm growth and performance)…. …. in particular university collaboration does have a big impact on innovative performance

22 Conclusions However regional variations are important Indication of displacement activity with Welsh firms having to make use of consultants more…. … but when Welsh firms do use universities they value them more even if their actual impact (for whatever) is much more marginal Clearly policy intervention in relation to innovation and higher education policy is supported but not one size fits all Different regions need to work on different dimensions

23 Thank You


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