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 10: Elite European Universities and the R & D Subsidiaries of Multinational Enterprises

Anders Broström, Maureen McKelvey and Christian Sandström

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


10. Elite European universities and the R&D subsidiaries of multinational enterprises Anders Broström, Maureen McKelvey and Christian Sandström 1. INTRODUCTION Open innovation, research and development activities (R&D) as well as science are recognized as very important prerequisites for many types of corporate innovations. As noted by Tidd et al. (2001), ‘it would be hard to find anyone prepared to argue against the view that innovation is important and likely to be more so in the coming years’. Following both academic studies and the examples set by regional success stories such as Silicon Valley or the two Cambridges, many have argued that higher education and public research activities of a region also increase its attractiveness for private investments (Anselin et al., 1997; Davies and Meyer, 2004; Furman et al., 2005). Consequently public policy-makers are trying to find ways to encourage locally based cooperative relationships, often seeing the university sector as the engine for growth.1 This chapter therefore addresses the workings and the benefits of university–industry interactions between global firms and leading research universities in Europe. Specifically, this chapter will analyse firms which are R&D subsidiaries of MNEs. Our specific focus here is the role of elite universities within regions, which may be wishing to attract more foreign direct investment within R&D and multinational innovation activities, in order to compete. This study therefore draws upon results from two fairly separate bodies of literature addressing our topic, namely international business and innovation, as...

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