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John Goddard Emeritus Professor of Regional Development Studies Universities and Smart Specialisation How can universities be mobilised for regional economic, social and cultural development?
A TOPIC OF GROWING INTEREST AMONG REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT POLICY MAKERS AND PRACTITIONERS
CONNECTING UNIVERSITIES TO REGIONAL GROWTH Forthcoming publication from the European Commission aimed at providing practical guidance for regional authorities wishing to work with their universities achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth
Key areas covered: overview of the key principles underlying why universities can be important agents in regional development analysis of how universities can impact upon regions and how they can be mobilised for regional economic, social and cultural development overview of some of the current delivery mechanisms (illustrated by examples from around the EU) being used to link universities to regional growth /development emphasis of the need for strategic coordination of these mechanisms within a wider policy context to produce the maximum impact exploration (illustrated by more in depth case studies) of the complex barriers and challenges to be overcome, both internal to the universities and in the wider enabling environment suggestions for practical methods, tools and frameworks aimed at building university /regional partnership,
GLOBALLY CONNECTED, REGIONALLY ENGAGED? Why universities can be important agents in regional development
The regionally engaged multi-modal and multi-scalar university (after Arbo and Benneworth) National policy LM TDP IND HE S&T Global Academic kudos National Regional Science parks HospitalCulture village Inward investors Passive and multiplier effects Human capital Innovation Sustainable and inclusive
CONNECTED OR DISCONNECTED? The importance of the regional context
No boundary spanners Focus on supply side, transactional interventions Ineffective or non existent partnership Lack of a shared understanding about the challenges Entrepreneurs locked out of regional planning No boundary spanners Focus on supply side, transactional interventions Ineffective or non existent partnership Lack of a shared understanding about the challenges Entrepreneurs locked out of regional planning The disconnected region PUBLIC SECTOR Lack of coherence between national and regional/local policies Lack of political leadership Lack of a shared voice and vision at the regional/local level PRIVATE SECTOR No coordination or representative voice with which to engage Motivated by narrow self interest and short term goals Dominated by firms with low demand or absorptive capacity for innovation HIGHER EDUCATION SECTOR Seen as in the region but not of the region Policies and practices discourage engagement Focus on rewards for academic research and teaching
Generating intellectual and human capital assets for the region HIGHER EDUCATION SECTOR Developing coherent policies that link territorial development to innovation and higher education PUBLIC SECTOR Investing in people and ideas that will create growth PRIVATE SECTOR Evidence based policies that support smart innovation and growth Evidence based policies that support smart innovation and growth Analysis of evidence and intelligence for planning Building the infrastructure for growth Skills development, commercialisation of research The connected region – strong partnerships based on shared understanding of the challenges and how to overcome them
WHAT ARE THE MECHANISMS? How can/do universities contribute to regional development and growth?
Research & innovation Graduate enterprises Staff spin outs Innovation vouchers Consultancy services Technology transfer Knowledge transfer partnerships Teaching &learning Talent attraction Widening participation Workforce development Talent retention Human capital development Stimulating innovation International links and investment International links and investment Complexity of the activity Intervention type transactionaltransformational high low MECHANISMS FOR UNIVERSITIES TO PARTICIPATE IN SMART, SUSTAINABLE AND INCLUSIVE GROWTH Helping businesses articulate demand Teaching Facilitating networks and clusters Social mission &engagement Student volunteering & community work Cultural development and place making Public lectures Physical regeneration and capital projects Museums and galleries Helping the region to articulate demand so the resources of the university can be mobilised in an holistic way to promote innovation Academic Research
THE BARRIERS TO ENGAGEMENT What are the factors that limit the effectiveness of these mechanisms?
University reach-out challenges Resources – civic partnerships not core business and have to be cross subsidised from other areas Complex territorial governance structures including city/region tensions Political instability in local government Poor perceptions of universities on the part of some stakeholders Measurement of impact Limited absorptive capacity of partners (e.g. SMEs)
Expectations from civic partners: the demand side Expertise of universities relevant to the region not being tapped. Internal targets for academics and their lack of boundary spanning skills a barrier More pro-active leadership in city development required – think tanks for the region Need to focus on key regional challenges – e.g. business competitivenes sustainability, health, social exclusion and social mobility
And these barriers increase as activities become more transformational
ACHIEVE MAXIMUM IMPACT The need for strategic coordination within a wider policy context to
Universities and Leadership of Place Political Leadership Community Leadership Managerial Leadership Intellectual Leadership
Towards a universities and civic leadership programme Focus on developing the region as well as developing its leaders How to lead the region not just lead in the region Leadership development, unless it brings people together around a common problem at an appropriate level of detail looses the point. Leaders from the university and outside should identify a key challenge (e.g. removing barriers to social mobility, developing a sustainable city) and then hand over to an operational group of future leaders from the university and the region A single region/place focus for the programme within a national framework but learning from experience outside the country
Place Based Leadership Development Knowledge Networks Skills Impact Leadership Foundation in Higher Education: Universities and Leadership of Place Place Context National Context International Context Place Commitment Boundary spanners Partnership workers Qualities (influencing, networking, resilience, etc.) Relationship Builders Secondments Exchanges Immersion events Research projects Joint Projects Case Studies Good Practice Guides New Ways of Operating
Building the Bridge between the University and civil society John.email@example.com
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