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Gdansk University of Technology Strengthens Its Innovation Ecosystem with the Right UBC Structures

For centuries of long-established tradition, institutions of higher learning were closed communities of teachers and scholars. Nowadays, the complexity of social and technological challenges encourages the older universities to refine their developmental path beyond traditional confinement. From branding, e.g. modernized logos and seals, to internal policies adopted, and enabling infrastructures established, this tide of change towards external engagement and social impact reflects itself in [...]

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UBC Builds on Relationships but Cemented Only with Committed Resources

While the positive impact of the people factor is undeniable on the quality and nature of university-business cooperation practices, without the long-term commitment of financial, structural, and human resources, the relationship factors are less likely to be sufficient to institutionalise UBC.

As in all other organisational partnerships, the people factor plays an immense role in establishing and maintaining successful collaboration between the universities and busin [...]

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ASTER: Driving Innovation in The Wider Emilia-Romagna Region

Surrounded by a river on one side and Apennine mountains on the other, the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy is widely known for its breathtaking views, byzantine mosaics, and a rich culture rooted in its ancient civilization. In addition to its natural beauty, a major development that is destined to make the region a centre of attention in the 21st century is its regional innovation ecosystem, which mobilizes universities, research and innovation centers, companies, and local governi [...]

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Corporate University Gorenje Drives Organizational Change with Leading Academic Partners

Taking courses in programing from Apple University or interior design from IKEA College seem sensational study opportunities. However, they are hardly accessible for a wider public. Addressing this need, “FamousCompanyName” universities offer alternative educational paths to non-traditional learning communities who would like to up-skill themselves. These are not exactly HEIs in traditional sense, but more comprehensive training centers, designed by the parent companies to educate their p [...]

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Kolektor Group Maintains Its High-Tech Momentum via University Cooperation

How to stay at the forefront of the innovative development in a competitive industrial market with modest research capabilities? This question chases many businesses executives worldwide, yet, rarely finds satisfactory answers. The Kolektor Group, based in Slovenia is one of those organisations who indeed has discovered the key to success despite limited resources. The organisation has established a perfect balance by integrating a multi-functional university-business cooperation (UBC) in its [...]

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UBC Metrics and Evaluation Need Attention of Its Stakeholders

At first glance, a holistic metrics development and implementation would appear to be a logical step for improving quality and extent of university business cooperation (UBC) activities. Yet, the recent research shows more work needs to be done not only at institutional, but also at the regional, and national policy levels towards generation of comprehensive qualitative and quantitative monitoring systems, addressing both short and long term UBC results. Deve [...]

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How the Latvian Glass Producer Reaches Global Markets: the Transparent Case of GroGlass

Rarely would you think about the technology behind the ‘invisible’ glasses if you ever looked through the shop windows of Hugo Boss in Madrid, Apple in Berlin, or Dior in Chicago. Alternatively, the precious objects behind the 300 transparent vitrines and showcases in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, or cold storage displays of Rewe supermarkets in Germany. It is the Latvia based company GroGlass, who develops and manufactures this technology in cooperation with universities, with its 150 em [...]

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The Art of Stakeholder Engagement: the Fibrenamics Community of Innovation

The idiom “one stone alone cannot grind corn” has perhaps never been more relevant than in these days of technological complexity and expanding societal demands for innovative products and technical problem-solving. Awareness of this complex socio-technical terrain drives the engaged approach to socio-economic development adopted by Fibrenamics at the University of Minho (U [...]

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The South Moravian Innovation Centre Spurs Regional Innovation in Czech Republic

In 2002, the South Moravian Region and the statutory city of Brno introduced the Regional Innovation Strategy (RIS) with the aim to create the conditions for the development of an innovation-based economy, via investments in raising standards in education, research, and entrepreneurial activities. This step was rather intentional than being random, since the same year a major foreign direct investment (FDI) based manufacturing company pulled out from the region and relocated to Romania, leavi [...]

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How Malta Nurtures Start-ups Through Early Stage Crowdfunding

Labelled as “potentially the most disruptive of all the new models of finance” by Goldman Sachs, crowdfunding has now appeared on the radar of universities as well, including as a tool for generating financial support for start-up companies. How crowdfunding is adopted and integrated into campus systems does not follow one single path. In some cases, the university cooperates with a private crowdfunding platform to use their technology for delivering Read More-->

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University Carlos III Madrid Helping Fuel the Future of the Aerospace Industry

Championing the motto “Flying together, flying as one”, the Airbus Group is one of the world’s leading corporate organisations when it comes to believing in the value of collaboration with universities. The recognised leader in aeronautics and space services, Airbus has built high profile strategic partnerships with 21 universities in 11 countries across the world as part of its Airbus Read More-->

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Flexible UBC Structures Have the Potential to Boost Cooperation

Developing relationships between universities and business brings forth the analogy of one being from Mars the other Venus, when comparing the different institutional cultures, functions, and motivations. Given that these two don’t naturally cooperate and that one of the most important facilitators of university-business cooperation are the relationships between people, supporting mechanisms are often needed for successful cooperation.

The Read More-->

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Report Reveals Gap Is High Between Current Advancement And Future Priorities In UBC

The report entitled “Future of University-Business Cooperation: Research, Policy, Practice” released last week suggested ‘more work needs to be done’ to reach the desired advancement in the policy, practice, and research priorities identified by a diverse group of European and Australian UBC stakeholders.

The multi-method study presente [...]

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CU-ICAR Revolutionizes the Future of Automotive Industry

Technological innovations in machinery, logistics, and global manufacturing in the 20th century have led to drastic changes in the textile industry around the world. Existing business model became irrelevant to most small firms, and entire regions faced an economic downfall because of this. With its large textile industry, the United States became one of the countries hurting the most from this disruptive change. The majority of the plants were closed, particularly in the states of [...]

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How to Navigate the UBC Ecosystem with Limited Financial Resources

Although perceived as a high barrier, there are plenty of examples around that show the lack of sufficient resources does not have to prevent you from collaborating. These low-cost UBC activities are found to take place in the form of student placements, joint curriculum design and delivery, events and networks, and seminars and workshops. In most cases the costs are reduced by integrating activities within existing mechanisms, donations granted to HEIs by local organisations, or simply by in [...]

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Europe Needs to Recognize External Engagement As A Profession

European universities rank amongst the top in the world and host some of the best leadership, academics and students in the world. Yet, we seem to neglect to ignite their full potential and not offer them the right skills and knowledge to, together with external stakeholders, ensure their skills are used to the foster economic and social growth.

Challenged by the societal needs and steered by supranational and national policies, universities increasingly extend their engageme [...]

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51 Leading Examples of Universities Engaging with Employers, Business Innovators and Regions

New Good-Practice Case Study Series Launched to Build a Better Understanding of University Business Cooperation (UBC)

Across European regions, various activities exist to promote University Business Cooperation (UBC) among universities and businesses. However, substantial variations occur between different regions, countries and institutions, in whether and how UBC is promoted and developed.

Designed to share innovative and inspiring stories of UBC, the State of [...]

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Empa: Where Research Excellence Meets Innovation Living Labs for Materials Science And Technology

Empa is not your typical research center where the innovation takes place inside the walls of high-tech laboratories. What really makes Empa special is their unique materials science and technology demonstrator platforms that allow you to live in, visualise, interact and test the outcomes of your research.

Empa – Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology focuses on application oriented materials science and technology, with the goal of knowledge de [...]

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From Students To Employees

How can cooperation between higher education and business provide graduates with better pathways to employment? 

For today’s employers, an academic degree is no longer enough. Graduates are increasingly expected to be knowledgeable, skilled and experienced, ready for their professional career. The responsibility for this employment readiness is justifiably being placed on universities to provide them with more relevant higher education.  

In [...]

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The State of Australian University-Business Cooperation (HEI Perspective) Report Is Out!

The State of Australian University-Business Cooperation (HEI Perspective) report is now out!

The report provides essential data for those developing university-business cooperation or entrepreneurship at universities as well as evidence-based policies in the area.  Check out the report to better understand the extent of activities being undertaken between the two, the factors both inhibiting and driving collaboration and the nature of th [...]

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The State of Australian University-Business Cooperation Report (Business Perspective) Is Out!

The State of Australian University-Business Cooperation (Business Perspective) report is now out!

The report provides essential data for those developing [...]

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Changing Lives In South Africa Townships Through A University-driven Social Entrepreneurship Programme

As the son of a shop keeper growing up in the ‘coloured’ part of town who went on to start his own construction and catering companies and complete a PhD in social entrepreneurship, Dr. Paul Tai-Hing is ideally placed to talk about this rising phenomenon. Spending his childhood in the South African town Port Elizabeth and witnessing the lack of government investment that makes poverty a reality in many [...]

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The City of Ghent – Supporting Student Entrepreneurship Through Collaboration

Entrepreneurship is a ‘hot topic’ in Europe. Nearly everyone is affected by entrepreneurship activities, through supporting it, benefiting from it, or even more importantly: practicing it. The higher education sector is no exception to this, as we can see in the increasing number of Read More-->

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The Role of Universities in Promoting and Providing Lifelong Learning – DUK’s Strategic Approach

You may have heard the idiom that ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’? Well don’t tell the Danube University Krems, a university dedicated to the concept of lifelong learning (LLL) leading the way in facilitating LLL across the Austrian and European educational arenas, who deliver over 200 different courses to 9,000 students from 90 countries.

The drivers for LLL have become widely acknowledged in the context of demographic change towards an aging society. With in [...]

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Overcoming barriers is not essential for launching university-business cooperation

Drivers for university-business cooperation have a greater impact than barriers

Our current understanding of University Business Collaborations (UBC) is based on the role of barriers in the development of cooperation. Various authors discuss strategies and practices to manage and overcome barriers to support successful UBC. The common assumption is that once barriers are overcome, the road is paved for collaborations.

We challenge this assumption by questioning [...]

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3 key success factors of Canada’s ‘engaged university’, the Simon Fraser University

What differentiates the Simon Fraser University (SFU), from other universities in Canada and worldwide? This was exactly the question Prof. Andrew Petter asked himself and the university board when he became the university’s president in 2010. He aimed to identify and determine the future course of SFU by answering this essential question.

Seven years later, the university has metamorphosed into Canada’s ‘engaged university’, attributing the term ‘engagement’ in every core [...]

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How Do We Revitalize A Region After A Major Industry Pulls Out? An Entrepreneurial Example From the Netherlands

What does it take to revitalize a region after a major industry sector pulls out? Although the answer depends on the context, the region of Twente, a rural area situated in the eastern part of the Netherlands has shown how it is done. Through an entrepreneurial spirit, a strong regional network and having embedded knowledge institutions into its region it has regenerated itself.

The collapse of an industry

Following the collapse of the textile industry in the [...]

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MIT redefines regional innovation on its own terms: MIT REAP

During the past decades we have witnessed numerous regions across the world grappling with the challenges to shift from old industrial economies to regional innovation driven models to sustain their economic growth, and stay competitive in a global marketplace. Despite the many strategies implemented and investments made, the efforts of regions to make the leap only rarely turned into a success. Exceptions to the rule and world-known examples such as Silicon Valley, Singapore, and Tel Aviv ha [...]

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Collaboration Between Universities And Business: There Is A Larger Ecosystem To Consider

Last week the European Commission’s DG Education and Culture organised the 7th University-Business Forum. Together with my colleagues Todd Davey and Victoria Galan Muros we presented and discussed the outcomes of the largest study on the State of University-Bu [...]

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Siemens Strategic Approach to Research Cooperation with Academia Sets Their Future Agenda

Imagine having more than 30,000 researchers working within your organisation and having a budget for annual R&D of about €6.5 Billion! Well this is context for R&D at Siemens AG, one of the world’s largest electronics companies.

Whilst most of the internal research at Siemens is focussed on more immediate needs (or the business of today) like many large multinationals, Siemens engages with universities to investigate the business of tomorrow (or the day after tomorrow!).

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Clear The Path For Cooperating With Universities By Overcoming The Top Three Barriers

For business, cooperating with universities can be a frustrating process and be a struggle to achieve their desired outcomes.

The potential to access ground-breaking new research conducted, and technologies developed by the universities can be enticing, the ability to utilise student talent, and even access the opportunity to work with the next generation entering the workforce can provide companies with an advantage over competitors.

So with these sort of benefits on offer, wha [...]

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25 New Good-Practice Case Studies on University-Business Cooperation (UBC) in Europe and Beyond

Imagine an undergraduate learning environment where there are no exams, no classrooms, no teaching or teachers and no control over what students should learn. If this model seems somewhat futuristic, this educational model already has in fact a successful 23-year history in Finland. The case of Tiimiakatemia (English: Team Academy) is among 25 good practice case studies which have been recently published as part of the 2016/17 State of [...]

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With 880 licenced innovations and 110 spin-outs, Yissum is the commercialisation front-runner

The changing role of HEIs globally is challenging universities to translate their research efforts into innovation and marketable technologies. The efficiency, productivity, and success of such processes, however, largely depends on a complex number of interconnected factors. These factors include the quality and skill set of the staff, the product-market fit, and possessing sufficient financial resources to support transfer activities. However, for those institutions who manage to solve this [...]

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Motivations For Academics To Cooperate With Industry

Motivations predict behaviour[1] and the motivations for university-business cooperation have been a much-discussed topic in practical and policy forums the world over as well as in scientific literature. The questions so often asked include ‘how can we encourage academic and business people to cooperate more’ and ‘what motivates the different stakeholders to cooperate? With often vastly differing opinions expressed.

Some important [...]

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European Academics Say That They See Themselves As The Main Initiator Of UBC – Business Disagrees

Inarguably, university-business cooperation (UBC) has emerged as one of the main tools for effective knowledge transfer across research and business sectors. The collaboration between academia and industry focuses on practice-based research and the dissemination of research results to the industry, while benefiting both partners, fostering innovation and boosting regional development.

In a practical sense though, the question arises: who is responsible for initiating university-busines [...]

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Unleashing the Potential for University Driven Innovation Ecosystems

There is increasingly greater recognition of the potential for higher education institutions to not only be a key driver in the innovation and human capital supply chains of business, but also to be a key driver in the advancement of their regions. As the Director of the largest international study on the topic of university-business cooperation (UBC) and university engagement, Dr. Todd Davey’s keynote for the 2017 University Industry Interaction Conference is set to reveal key results fro [...]

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Developing university-business cooperation: Is more funding the answer?

In development circles, ‘the big push’, made famous by Jeffrey Sachs’ The End of Poverty, advocates substantial investment through a “comprehensive package of massive aid transfers and widespread reforms that aim to tackle multiple socio-economic pathologies quickly and simultaneously” [1]. This method has generated many critics for its inability to achieve development goals (e.g. alleviate poverty), whilst simultaneously requiring large [...]

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Study into University-Business Cooperation – Opinions Sought

Due to its potential for positive impact on business innovation and skills as well as university engagement and student employability, the European Commission has commissioned a wide-ranging study on cooperation between higher education institutions and public and private organisations in Europe.

Whether you have been involved in university-business cooperation or not, we request your participation to ensure its success and to be able [...]

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Dual Study Programmes and Entrepreneurship Helping Universities

With over 350 attendees, this European Commission’s Thematic UB Forum was one of the biggest yet. Gathering together European delegates around the topic of entrepreneurial universities, innovative businesses, strategic alliances, etc.

The forum opened by a number of inspirational speakers who have been personally involved in entrepreneurial ventures, including the US Ambassador for Austria, Alexa Wesner, and the State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy [...]

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Success rates in Horizon 2020 – funding for all or only a selected few?

Over the past 40 years, there has been a tremendous focus on stimulating education, research and innovation in Europe. Lead by the European Commission, funding of these strategic areas have been through numerous EU Research Framework Programmes (FP1 – FP7), and through the current Horizon 2020 programme, the EU’s largest and most considerably funded research initiative to date. However, most of these funds seemingly go to a select few countries, organisations and people. Considering t [...]

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