Open seminar on University – Industry interaction and challenges concerning innovation policy.

Professor Dr. Artur da Rosa Pires will on Wednesday November 13th present his paper "University – Industry interaction: Stretching the limits of policy path dependency"

As part of the seminar series in Finance and Economis at the UiS Business School Professor Dr. Artur da Rosa Pires from the University of Aveiro, Portugal will present his paper "University – Industry interaction: Stretching the limits of policy path dependency".

Place: UiS Business School, Ellen & Axel Lunds hus, room H-125

Time: Wednesday November 13th, 11:30 - 12:30

Current development policy frameworks give, as never before, a prominent role to innovation. Moreover, Universities are increasingly seen as playing a crucial role in supporting innovation dynamics and innovative activities. The awareness of the role of Universities in economic development grew significantly with the emergence of the knowledge economy. The wide acceptance and dissemination of the Triple Helix concept, largely inspired by the experience of Silicon Valley, helped to introduce purposeful policy programmes to stimulate universities’ contribution to innovation-based development strategies. As a result, many Universities incorporated the “third mission” ethos and opened up a rich and diversified field of new institutional initiatives, mainly focused in “one-direction” technology transfer processes, often neglecting firms’ perspectives on innovation drivers and the co-production of knowledge – a research gap clearly in need of further attention.

The current policy frameworks, however, do introduce some subtle but deep-rooted conceptual changes (and challenges), as clearly illustrated by the new generation of European Union (regional) innovation policy, the Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) . Largely adopting a place-based approach to innovation policy, they further emphasise the role of Universities but introduce  two (additional) fundamental changes to prevailing innovation strands: firstly, Universities are seen as playing an active role not only in regional innovation systems but also in the design of regional innovation strategies; secondly, the concept of innovation is broadened, going beyond marketable (industrial) products and including novel solutions to global and complex socio-economic problems like poverty, ageing or ecological sustainability.

These two perspectives have unquestionably profound implications on the way Universities position themselves in the (regional) innovation process but also on the way policy making authorities interact with, and frame the contribution of Universities. The extent to which the changing context is being apprehended and dealt with, and how issues of policy path-dependence have been confronted, are still very much open questions. The paper will attempt to address these issues by i) briefly highlighting the evolutionary dynamics of University-industry interactions, ii) focusing on the emerging innovation policy framework and on potential role that may be played by Universities, grounding the argument on the author’s recent experience at the University of Aveiro, coordinating a joint policy design initiative (2007-2012) with the eleven municipalities located in the immediate vicinity of the University, and iii) exploring some key institutional challenges that lie ahead, in the near future, both for Universities and for public policy authorities.

Light refreshments will be provided.