Five ways universities drive innovation

24 09 2007

The NESTA Policy & Research Unit has published a new Policy Briefing: Five ways universities drive innovation.  The five missions of universities are listed as the traditional three (undertaking research, teaching, and transferring knowledge) plus two more – universities’ international and regional missions. These are one consequence of the UK’s increasing need to innovate to meet the economic and social challenges of the 21st century.  However, few universities can excel in all five roles. Each must choose where to concentrate its efforts depending on its strengths and regional requirements. Government should encourage greater interaction between universities and the wider economy and society, and ensure that research funding encourages innovation.  

The NESTA prescription for putting universities at the heart of innovation includes: universities reaching out to a wider range of businesses, boosting the business demand for university interaction, ensuring that funding streams encourage innovative research, and specialisation (through building on strengths and focusing on the needs of regions).

Noting that by 2014 the demand for science and technology professionals is estimated to increase by one-fifth, compared to an increase for all other occupations of four per cent, the authors feel that universities can also do much more to give people the entrepreneurial skills they need. They note that: “While most students and post-graduates have access to institutional facilities that support entepreneurship education, such as enterprise and incubator units, quality of provision varies widely”.   [UDI/12/ Published: September 2007]




One response

1 10 2007
Impact of universities on regional development « NCGE Blog

[…] of universities on regional development 1 10 2007 Following on from NESTA’s review of the ways universities drive innovation which highlighted the regional dimension comes a research paper, sponsored by the OECD, which […]

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