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THE ROLE OF UNIVERSITIES IN URBAN POLES: A CASE STUDY OF ENSCHEDE, NETHERLANDS.

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Presentation on theme: "THE ROLE OF UNIVERSITIES IN URBAN POLES: A CASE STUDY OF ENSCHEDE, NETHERLANDS."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE ROLE OF UNIVERSITIES IN URBAN POLES: A CASE STUDY OF ENSCHEDE, NETHERLANDS

2 Introduction › A visit to the Enschede exploring the role of universities and wider development of enterprise and entrepreneurship, in particularly the activities of the University of Twente, inevitably raises a range of critical questions: What has driven the University of Twente to develop its entrepreneurial capacity and profile? What are the core elements of the University of Twente model that enable it to be referenced as an “entrepreneurial university” Can the “Entrepreneurial University” concepts of the University of Twente be replicated elsewhere? How has the successful development of the University of Twente impacted upon the local communities of Enschede and Hengelo? What has been the involvement of local Government in shaping economic development policy and the strategic direction and approach of the University? What are the new developments of the University of Twente and how will these address the issues of the economic crisis?

3 ABOUT ENSCHEDE › Enschede is a municipality and a city in the eastern Netherlands in the province of Overijssel and in the Twente region The city is a former centre of textile production. When this industry left the area for cheaper production centres in South-East Asia, Enschede became one of the poorest municipalities in the Netherlands. › The Universiteit Twente a university with mostly technical studies, is located in Enschede. It is one of the three technical universities in the Netherlands. The University of Twente places great emphasis on the useful application of knowledge in society. So far it has produced 600 spin-off companies; more than any other Dutch university.

4 ABOUT ENSCHEDE

5 FROM TEXTILES TO UNIVERSITY CITY › Historically Enschede was a large production centre for textiles In the 1970s textile production in Enschede came to a halt due to fierce competition, mainly from the Far East. Enschede became one of the poorest municipalities in the Netherlands and (de facto) went bankrupt. › The University was founded in 1961 as the Netherlands’ third higher vocational institute of technology later to become a university The Dutch government’s decision to locate the new institute in Enschede, the main city of Twente, was based on the rich industrial heritage of the city. Another important consideration was the fact that the local economy needed a boost to compensate for the dwindling textile industry.

6 FROM GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION TO KNOWLEDGE INTENSIVE ENTREPRENEURSHIP › The University of Twente see "entrepreneurs as a bridge between university and industry“ › Their Entrepreneurial University journey began in 1980 with an initial study of graduate enterprise. As a result the Temporary Entrepreneurial Positions (TOP) programme was started at the University of Twente. The TOP-Programme recognises that there is a gap between fundamental research and the application of knowledge in surrounding society and that entrepreneurs with access to research groups and their knowledge and expertise and facilities are able to bridge that gap. This is reflected in the mission statement for TOP "To stimulate as many people as possible to create a company on the fields of knowledge of the University of Twente that have a good possibility to survive in the long- term".

7 › TOP strives to stimulate graduates and researchers “to start their own knowledge- intensive company.” Assistance in the “incubation-phase” is considered to be important. As the programme developed in the 1980s, the University offered an interest-free loan (up to 20,000 euro), office space and connection to a University research group. But also advice and training in preparing a business plan and working out management, marketing, and financing strategies. Of those going through the programme 80% have been graduates and researchers, 15% from other universities and 5% from industry. The lessons learnt over 25 years are clear and significant. The value of the TOP process lies in the business planning but not in the plan as it will never be carried out. Similarly there is a requirement to never judge ideas but ensure alignment between ideas and the individual. And overall it is recognised that while TOP supported companies may grow slowly they grow sustainably. FROM GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION TO KNOWLEDGE INTENSIVE ENTREPRENEURSHIP

8 › While the TOP programme has been a core component in the positioning of the University of Twente as an Entrepreneurial University other significant developments have taken place to support the entrepreneurial positioning of the university. First is the creation of the Business and Technology Centre BTC Twente in BTC is an incubator for innovative technological companies providing accommodation facilities and business support. Alongside this in 1989 was the creation of Technology Kring Twente (TKT) or Technology Circle Twente an active network of 180 high tech businesses in Twente with a particular focus on co-operation and exchange of information Additionally in 1989 was the development of the Twente Business and Science Park. The Business & Science Park (BSP) is a high value industrial park for knowledge intensive companies,

9 FROM ENTREPRENEURIAL PROGRAMMES TO INNOVATION PLATFORM AND TRIPLE HELIX CO-OPERATION › The innovation and enterprise development work of the University of Twente has clearly impacted on the region of Twente and its stakeholders. This can be seen in the development of the Twente Innovation Platform and Kennispark. The Twente Innovation Platform was formed on the initiative of the province of Overijssel. The Twente Innovation Platform (TIP) is represented by regional government, educational and research institutions and businesses There is a particular identified need to create in excess of 800 start-up companies but the current enterprise systems supports small company development. This has resulted in the need to introduce a business support programme that is designed for high growth, high technology based businesses. That programme is Venture Lab Twente supporting 350 participants in 4 years, creating 200 SMEs with 30 SMEs creating in excess of 100 full time equivalent employees (FTE) and in total supporting 3000 direct and 6000 employment places.

10 FROM ENTREPRENEURIAL PROGRAMMES TO INNOVATION PLATFORM AND TRIPLE HELIX CO- OPERATION › Venture Lab Twente is supporting 350 participants in 4 years, creating 200 SMEs with 30 SMEs creating in excess of 100 full time equivalent employees (FTE) and in total supporting 3000 direct and 6000 employment places. Venture lab Twente focuses on high technology and high growth based firms, from early phase to business realisation. Particular support is provided for building entrepreneurial competences, building an entrepreneurial team and worldwide networking. VentureLab Twente provides a number of office facilities (free office space) with access to newly developed technologies, venture capitalists and relevant networks of (international) companies and scientists..

11 FROM ENTREPRENEURIAL PROGRAMMES TO INNOVATION PLATFORM AND TRIPLE HELIX CO- OPERATION › The Venture Lab Twente Model

12 FROM ENTREPRENEURIAL PROGRAMMES TO INNOVATION PLATFORM AND TRIPLE HELIX CO- OPERATION › Kennispark builds on the history of the University of Twente as an entrepreneurial university and is a joint development between the University, City of Enschede and Province of Overijssel. It has a key focus on the commercialisation of university knowledge (Kennis) alongside the stimulation of student entrepreneurship and local area development with a core agenda on commercialisation, innovation and entrepreneurship Kennispark delivers this through the operation of 3 key programme areas; Facilitating the starting and growing of businesses; stimulating innovation in existing companies and developing an inspiring area for innovative businesses Kennispark Twente is also an area based development activity which supports inward investment, a master plan for area development (200,000m 2 ), alongside building redevelopment and talent attraction and retention activities.

13 FROM ENTREPRENEURIAL PROGRAMMES TO INNOVATION PLATFORM AND TRIPLE HELIX CO- OPERATION › Kennispark builds on the history of the University of Twente as an entrepreneurial university and is a joint development between the University, City of Enschede and Province of Overijssel. It has a key focus on the commercialisation of university knowledge (Kennis) alongside the stimulation of student entrepreneurship and local area development with a core agenda on commercialisation, innovation and entrepreneurship Kennispark delivers this through the operation of 3 key programme areas; Facilitating the starting and growing of businesses; stimulating innovation in existing companies and developing an inspiring area for innovative businesses Kennispark Twente is also an area based development activity which supports inward investment, a master plan for area development (200,000m 2 ), alongside building redevelopment and talent attraction and retention activities.

14 FROM ENTREPRENEURIAL PROGRAMMES TO INNOVATION PLATFORM AND TRIPLE HELIX CO- OPERATION › Kennispark is the location of 335 companies of which 75% are technology-based or innovation active and support 5549 jobs and is an innovation campus of national importance

15 CONCLUDING REMARKS › The enterprise and entrepreneurial development of the Twente region and in particular the City of Enschede has its origins in the 1980s development of entrepreneurial support for staff, graduates and students at the University of Twente From the origins of the TOP programme the university has established for itself a strong profile leading to its status as an entrepreneurial university The focus of the University of Twente has been clearly inside-out reflecting the commercialisation and university-industry linkage philosophy of the University. › While Enschede can be seen very strongly as a university city with its night life and population of students the engagement of the city and province authorities with the development process around the economic perspective of the city has been limited. While performance in entrepreneurship and knowledge based activities in Enschede is strong there is a visible requirement (observed in the study visit) to reinforce the role of the city and the province in shaping the wider view of economic development and the role of universities in this context

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