The Role and Impact of Universities in National Innovation Systems
New Horizons in Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Poh Kam Wong
Chapter 7: Towards a ‘Global Knowledge Enterprise’: The Entrepreneurial University Model of the National University of Singapore
Poh-Kam Wong, Yuen-Ping Ho and Annette Singh 7.1 INTRODUCTION As highlighted by Wong (2006), Singapore has achieved among the highest economic growth performance among newly industrializing economies (NIEs) in the 40-year period 1960–2000, with average GDP growth of 8 percent per annum. This rapid economic growth has been primarily driven by a direct foreign investment (DFI)-leveraging strategy (Wong 2003) that relied on attracting foreign investment of increasing technological sophistication. However in more recent years this heavy reliance on foreign investment and technology transfer has become insufficient to sustain economic growth, which has moderated to 4.6 percent per annum over 2000–09. To cope with increasing global competition Singapore has shifted towards a knowledge-based strategy for economic development since the late 1990s (Wong and Singh 2008). Singapore’s policy makers have charted a course for Singapore’s transition from an investment-driven economy to an innovation-driven economy, emphasizing the building of intellectual capital and its commercialization to create value and jobs. While the role of Singapore’s universities in nurturing talent has always been recognized, increasing prominence has been given in recent years to their role in stimulating economic growth through industrially relevant research, technology commercialization, high-tech spin-offs, attraction of foreign talent and injecting an entrepreneurial mindset among their graduates. This chapter examines how the National University of Singapore (NUS), the leading university in Singapore, is changing its role in the national innovation system (NIS) of Singapore. 165 M2781 - WONG TEXT.indd 165 27/10/2011 16:04 166 Academic entrepreneurship in Asia Singapore’s case...
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