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The Role of Universities in Regional Innovation John Goddard Emeritus Professor of Regional Development Studies.

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Presentation on theme: "The Role of Universities in Regional Innovation John Goddard Emeritus Professor of Regional Development Studies."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Role of Universities in Regional Innovation John Goddard Emeritus Professor of Regional Development Studies

2 Universities, Innovation and Smart Specialisation Document accompanying the Commission communication on Regional Policy contributing to smart growth in Europe 2020 (SEC/2010/1183) – Key role of strategic intelligence in universities to identify the high value added activities which offer best chances of strengthening a regions competitiveness – Smart specialisation involves business, research centres and universities working together to identify a regions most promising areas of specialisation but also weaknesses that hamper innovation Building Smart Specialisation is a process Universities need to actively participate in this process in partnership with public, private and third sectors In order to effectively do this requires an understanding of the principles of innovation/smart specialisation and the specific regional context Building capacity through peer to peer learning, creating a community of practice and building effective learning systems will be essential

3 University Drivers Declining national funding for HE Search for local support to assist with global aspirations in research and student recruitment Increased local enrolments Additional income for services to local businesses through consultancy and CPD Indirect benefits of local environment to attract and retain creative academics and motivated students Outward and visible manifestation of contribution to civil society

4 City and Regional Interests in HE HE as a major business Global gateways for marketing and attracting inward investment Generation of new business and sources of advise to established businesses Enhancing local human capital through graduate retention and professional updating Content and audience for cultural programmes Contribution to health, well being, social inclusion and environmental sustainability

5 The regionally engaged multi-modal and multi- scalar university (after Arbo and Benneworth) SkillsCulture National policy LM TDP IND HE S&T Global Academic kudos National Regional Science park Hospital Culture village Inward investors Innovation

6 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 Complexity of the activity Intervention type transactionaltransformational high low MECHANISMS FOR UNIVERSITIES TO PARTICIPATE IN THE INNOVATION/SMART SPECIALISATION PROCESS 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

7 Barriers Low/few High/many Experience and competence Vast, tried and tested Limited, novel Effective mobilisation of human, intellectual, social and physical capital Nature of the Barriers/Enablers to success in the external environment Institutional history and its sense of self Policies and practices Maturity of the wider region Nature of relationships – collaboration/competition Nature of the place – complexity of the environment Availability of boundary spanners Leadership within and across institutions Capacity to identify and articulate need Ability to reach collective agreement on priorities Existence of appropriate delivery structures Local, regional and national policies and structures Financial constraints on effective engagement BUT HOW PRINCIPLES ARE TRANSLATED INTO PRACTICE REQUIRES A SOPHISTICATED ANALYSIS AND UNDERSTANDING OF THE LOCAL CONTEXT

8 Case Study: Region Värmland and Karlstad University – SLIM II project SLIM II was launched in 2009 with total funding of 2.1 million, of which 1.05 million ERDF. It promoted existing co-operation and looked for ways to expand it. A total of 700 companies (with 60,000 employees) in 15 clusters participated in SLIM II. The project also linked the clusters and universities. SLIM II successfully brought the actors together face-to-face and built acquaintance and mutual trust. Learning Points – The fact that the University recognised that regional engagement can enhance the core missions of teaching and research was a big enabler of the project initiation and success – Another enabler was that Region Värmlands strategy has explicitly been to strengthen collaboration within and between key regional actor organisations and the University in the context of the regions competitive strengths – Understanding that co-operation processes cannot be directly transferred to other regions – while the principles remain fixed the practice must be adapted to suit the specific environment – Having participated in a peer review and self evaluation process (OECD/IMHE review of the contribution of universities to regional development, 2006) was critical in understanding the nature of the role of the University in the innovation process

9 EU Guide: Connecting Universities to Regional Growth The guide will – provide an analysis how universities can impact upon regions and how they can be mobilised for regional economic, social and cultural development – explore (illustrated by clear and compelling examples from around the EU) some of the potential delivery mechanisms that can be used to maximize the contribution of universities to regional growth – outline the key principles in building university /regional partnership, particularly the drivers and barriers on both sides behind such partnership working and how these barriers may be overcome. – position potential programmes and interventions within the framework for ERDF support The guide will be illustrated with 15 examples of good practice describing existing regional partnerships for innovation involving universities. The sources used to inform the content of the Guide will include documentary evidence from workshops, self evaluations and peer reviews from the following programmes : – Reviews of Higher Education in City and Regional Development (OECD) – European Drivers for a Regional Innovation Platform (EU Lifelong Learning Programme) – Sharing Innovative Practices in University Management - Collaborative Research (DG Research)

10 Building the Bridge between HEIs and Regions

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