The Role and Impact of Universities in National Innovation Systems
Edited by Poh Kam Wong
Chapter 6: The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology: A Case Study in Entrepreneurial University-led Knowledge-based Economic Development
6. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology: a case study in entrepreneurial universityled knowledge-based economic development Naubahar Sharif and Erik Baark 6.1 INTRODUCTION In this chapter we explore a new role for the university, one in which it contributes directly to the economic well being of the society in which it operates, contributing social and economic value not only indirectly, through training and knowledge generation, but also more directly by creating new avenues into the private sector. Here, in partnership with business interests, the university supports the application and exploitation of knowledge by lending its capabilities (including technology) to the creation of new market-ready products and services. Hong Kong, where the higher education sector adapted in the 1990s to the former colony’s new status as a Special Administrative Region of China, has witnessed its own version of this transformation. Hong Kong’s higher education sector accounted for 80 percent of its total research and development (R&D) expenditure in 2000, indicating the central importance of universities in Hong Kong’s innovation system (Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department 2007b). Even the 2003 figure of 56 percent is high compared with R&D spending in other advanced economies, where the figure is roughly 17 percent. In common with other newly industrializing economies (NIEs) in Asia – notably Singapore – Hong Kong shows signs of developing a knowledge-based strategy for economic growth. Ever since the former Chief Executive, Tung Chee-Hwa, spelled out this strategy in 1998 and 1999 policy addresses, policy makers have been...
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