Handbook of Innovation Systems and Developing Countries
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Handbook of Innovation Systems and Developing Countries

Building Domestic Capabilities in a Global Setting

Edited by Bengt-Åke Lundvall, K. J. Joseph, Cristina Chaminade and Jan Vang

This Handbook is the first attempt to adapt the IS approach to developing countries from a theoretical and empirical viewpoint. The Handbook brings eminent scholars in economics, innovation and development studies together with promising young researchers to review the literature and push theoretical boundaries. They critically review the IS approach and its adequacy for developing countries, discuss the relationship between IS and development, and address the question of how it should be adapted to the realities of developing nations.
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Chapter 11: The Role of Universities in Innovation Systems in Developing Countries: Developmental University Systems – Empirical, Analytical and Normative Perspectives

Claes Brundenius, Bengt-Åke Lundvall and Judith Sutz


Claes Brundenius, Bengt-Åke Lundvall and Judith Sutz 11.1 Introduction It has become almost trivial to assert that in the knowledge society universities are important institutions. This consensus notwithstanding, questions such as in what sense and for whom those institutions are important, are far from receiving unanimous answers. Should the major function be to promote higher education in order to serve all sectors of society or should the emphasis be to engage in research, and what are the relationships between the two types of activities? And what should a ‘third mission’ encompass: a broad interaction with society or just an interaction with the business sector aiming at promoting technical innovation in high technology? Debates are particularly entangled in developing countries, partly due to a strong presence of international advice alongside the positions held by local actors, and partly due to the level of the challenges that such countries and their universities are facing. Both in the developed and the developing countries the main emphasis is now on how universities may serve industry through direct flows of information from ongoing research. To illustrate, in a recent book with the title How Universities Promote Economic Growth edited by World Bank economists Yusuf and Nabeshima (2007) the only dimension covered is the formation of university–industry links related to research. But it is obvious that universities contribute to economic growth and development through other mechanisms, not least through the flow of graduates into the labour market. It is also important to see how...

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