Innovation and the Entrepreneurial University
The book explores different approaches towards the ‘entrepreneurial university’ paradigm, explores channels and mechanism used by universities to implement the paradigm and contributes to the public discussion on the impact of commercialization on university research and knowledge. It argues that different types of university-industry interaction may have repercussions even on funding of basic research if an appropriate balance is ensured between the two. University activities – both research and education in all forms – should provide economic and social relevance directed towards open science and open innovation. This book adds value to current knowledge by presenting both a conceptual framework and case studies which describe different contexts.
The chapter looks at universities in their relation to other entities in society. It proposes new metrics for gaining insight into these relationships. The possibilities for the reorganisation of the relationships between universities, industry and government so as to stimulate economic growth or innovation can themselves be classed as innovations. Whilst universities often are the locus of specific innovations, their broader discursive role provides a means of exploring contesting perspectives on innovation. In doing so, they can contribute to a broader public discourse where some innovations which were once seen to be controversial become normalised. The discourse dynamics illustrated by the Triple Helix allows for the description of this process as one where redundancies of expectation are produced not only within the transactional productions of the academy (i.e. academic papers) but also within the management of institutions surrounding education, including university management, academic quality agencies, institutional ranking organisations, academic journals, as well as other institutions which the university is associated with such as health or law.
The number of university graduates is continuously raising for many years creating an additional supply of highly qualified labor which doesn’t always meet respective demand thus can’t be absorbed fully. This holds especially true for Ph.Ds of which ever more are entering the labor market although the number of academic positions remains stable and also businesses have limited capacities for Ph.Ds. What follows is that entrepreneurial activities become a serious option for tertiary graduates. Namely Ph.D. graduates engaged in establishing companies by means of using state of the art scientific knowledge which they developed at universities thus generating substantial impact of university produced knowledge on the economy and the broader society. Specifically the cognitive base and the founders’ educational background is an important determinant for the success and impact of knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship in general and academic entrepreneurship in particular. The chapter introduces a broader definition of academic entrepreneurship and investigates whether new ventures founded by Ph.D. holders exhibit different characteristics and/or different behavior patterns compared to the rest of the firms established in the same period in Europe.
The chapter provides a substantial overview of features and channels of knowledge and technology transfer in light of achieving impact from science and research. A taxonomy of transfer channels is proved and levels of impact from science and technology on innovation is proposed. It’s found that there are different levels of value generated from STI, each featuring different stakeholders with different agendas and expectations. The authors argue that to make knowledge and technology transfer impactful and sustainable a long term and holistic view and approach is required. Against most literature about technology and knowledge transfer this work presents an overarching overview of objects, channels and features of partners involved in transfer. It features technology and knowledge transfer from a holistic perspective and provides useful background for future empiric studies and impact assessments.
This chapter explains the entrepreneurial university concept and its place and role in the triple helix in its entirety. It further elaborates on its implications for university management, departments, faculty members and supporting organizations. Moreover it reflects the meaning of the entrepreneurial university for stakeholders, i.e., university boards, regional and national policy and administrative bodies, funding agencies, the business community, university ranking institutions and the global university community overall. The chapter provides a comprehensive understanding of the entrepreneurial university, which is increasingly important because stakeholders’ expectations towards universities are growing. This in turn leads to increased pressure on universities to move beyond their traditional roles and models towards taking responsibility for economic development, large scale basic education and targeted further education and the development of value from research. These expectations provide opportunities for universities, but impose threats on the existing models and practices. Recent literature on entrepreneurial universities is incomplete and mostly focused on the commercialization of research, technology transfer and the third mission of universities. The article expands the predominant thinking about entrepreneurial universities and gives a broader structured definition.
Innovation has become a frequently quoted and lived central missions of universities. This book demonstrates however that the mission is not constant. New challenges and opportunities emerge at different moments in history and there are currently a number of important strategic orientations that universities need to consider and balance. Universities face the challenge to balance their different activities and missions in order to ensure sustainable impact on innovation ecosystems at different levels. The authors argue that entrepreneurial universities as we know them today will change their thinking and activities from being purely demonstrable impact driven towards an activity portfolio approach. The latter considers ongoing institutional and governance change paired with a selected number of activities which provide demonstrable and visible impact but also continuing to invest into the free mind blue sky driven work typical for such institutions. Even beyond this the entrepreneurial university features risk taking by means of a research and innovation friendly internal climate and organization which is driven by rigor but not administration and performance indicators.
During the last decades the number of universities extending their initial education and teaching missions towards the triple helix and knowledge triangle paradigms, e.g. knowledge and technology transfer and innovation has increased substantially. In line with this evolution the term ‘entrepreneurial university’ became increasingly popular however until recently there is hardly a common understanding of ‘entrepreneurial universities’. The main perception of ‘entrepreneurial universities’ rests with a visible and measurable contribution of universities to innovation and entrepreneurship in a broader sense. Although this perception is plausible and convincing it raises many open questions which mainly point to university governance models. The innovation and entrepreneurial university paradigm requires a holistic view on university governance approaches which include the full set of universities missions and respective management routines. In this respect it’s of utmost importance that universities keep a “healthy balance” between their missions. This statement is frequently used in many instances yet thus far there is no clear indication what a “healthy balance” implies. The chapter provides first indications about entrepreneurial university governance and respective management approaches.