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Edited by Jean-Christophe Dissart and Natacha Seigneuret

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Katalin Erdős and Attila Varga

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Harvey Goldstein, Verena Radinger-Peer and Sabine Sedlacek

Research universities fill a variety of roles within contemporary society (Goldstein et al., 1995). Arguably the most important role has been providing advanced education to a segment of the population so that they have the requisite know-how to enter the professions. A second has been to generate knowledge through research that leads to scientific progress over time and indirectly often leads to productivity growth in the economy. These have been the traditional missions of research universities since their founding in the late nineteenth century.

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Yuzhuo Cai, Po Yang and Anu Lyytinen

The literature on the role of universities in regional innovation systems mainly deals with research universities, for example, with an emphasis on knowledge transfer (Anatan, 2015). This is also the case in the Chinese context (Cai, 2018). In recent years, the importance of non-research universities in regional development and innovation has been increasingly recognized (Taylor et al., 2008). Among a small volume of studies exploring the role of universities of applied science (UASs), or non research universities, in the process of regional innovation, a constant challenge has been that of applying appropriate theoretical or analytical frameworks. Currently, most studies in this field apply theoretical insights originally developed for under standing the relationship between research universities and regional innovation systems. The most commonly used frameworks are, for instance, the Triple Helix model (Etzkowitz, 2008; Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff, 1995, 1997) for analysing the UASs and industry links (Yang et al., 2016), and the ‘five pathways to an entrepreneurial university’ (Clark, 1998) for understanding the organizational responses of UASs to the emerging demands of regional development (Lyytinen, 2011).

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William C. Strange

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William C. Strange

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Yasuyuki Motoyama

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Patrizio Bianchi, Sandrine Labory and Clemente Ruiz Durán

The beginning of the twenty-first century is turning out to be full of disruptions and challenges for economies and societies. Climate change, world population growth, migratory pressures, are pressing challenges; the financial crisis has had a dramatic effect and many economies have had difficulties in recovering their pre-crisis development level. Meanwhile, innovation and technological changes are accelerating, in various fields including genomics, nanotechnologies, information and communication technologies (ICTs) and big data, robotics and artificial intelligence, new materials, and others. ICTs, with the Internet of Things (IoT), the Cloud, big data, are allowing hyper-connection of people and objects and digitisation of production processes. The change induced is so disruptive that there is quite wide consensus that we are experiencing an industrial revolution, the fourth one. New means of production and new products are appearing and will continue doing so, changing individuals’ life in important aspects, namely economic, social and cultural.