Learning to Compete in European Universities

Learning to Compete in European Universities

From Social Institution to Knowledge Business

Edited by Maureen McKelvey and Magnus Holmén

This book addresses the critical issue of how and why European universities are changing and learning to compete. Anglo-Saxon universities particularly in the US, the UK and Australia have long been subject to, and responded to, market-based competition in higher education. The authors argue that Continental and Nordic universities and higher education institutes are now facing similar pressures that are leading to a structural transformation of the university sector.

Chapter 9: The Forgotten Individuals: Attitudes and Skills in Academic Commercialization in Sweden

Mats Magnusson, Maureen McKelvey and Matteo Versiglioni

Subjects: business and management, knowledge management, innovation and technology, knowledge management

Extract

Mats Magnusson, Maureen McKelvey and Matteo Versiglioni 1. INTRODUCTION During recent decades, the university as a societal institution has been under pressure to change, in ways relevant for their commercialization activities of starting up companies and patenting. One pressure for change has been that external actors like governments increasingly expect the university to play a central and important role for economic development. Studies have been made on the impact of university research and science on economic growth (for example Salter and Martin, 2001), and on the different mechanisms and channels for knowledge transfer, across different industries (for example, Cohen et al., 2002). Salter and Martin (2001) identify six major mechanisms for diffusion of university research to industry: increasing the stock of useful knowledge; educating skilled graduates; developing new scientific instrumentation/methodologies; shaping networks and stimulating social interaction; enhancing the capacity for scientific and technological problem-solving; and creating new firms. Similar lists can be found in other references. Cohen et al. (2002) show that the key channels for university research to impact on industry are publications, public conferences and meetings, consulting and informal information exchange. A second pressure for change has been the growing demands within the university to find new sources of income, beyond traditional ones of government block grants, student fees (where applicable), and competitive research grants (Powers and McDougall, 2005). Thus, topics such as the entrepreneurial university, university–industry relations and commercialization by universities and researchers have become hot topics, not only in university...

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