News & updates
A European Commission study on university-business cooperation in 33 countries shows that cooperation in Europe still offers untapped potential for employability, innovation and regional development.
Results from the largest European study on university-business cooperation (UBC) yet completed shows that, given the right circumstances, UBC can be a highly positive activity for all parties involved. Particularly, the State of University-Business CooperationRead More-->
The conversion of research outputs into tools and processes that are readily applicable in the public and/or private arena has become an increasing area of concentration for higher education policy makers. Reflecting that, the number of national and supranational funding programmes specifically earmarked for research valorisation has risen. In Ireland, The Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative (TTSI) is one of such programmes that aims to bolster the commercialization capacity of highe [...]
Supporting the development of high-growth tech start-ups from idea to fast growth is the ambition of UnternehmerTUM (UTUM). As a spin-off of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), UTUM has access to students and academics from one of the best technical universities in Europe. Being located in the German state of Bavaria, the economic engine of Germany and the home of BMW and Siemens, it is part of one of the b [...]
Famous for encapsulating Norway’s rich history and nature, the Trondheim region is also known for its long-standing culture of education. One premier example is the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) that has emerged as a result of a merger of three university colleges in the region, with one from Trondheim, and two from the surrounding cities of Ålesund and Gjøvik.
NTNU is practice-oriented university with educational offerings that are deeply rooted in the requ [...]
Located within the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Skylab is an innovation hub that is designed to create a community of entrepreneurs in the wider Copenhagen region through the principles of open and collaborative innovation. DTU Skylab was initially implemented in March, 2013. The idea was to check how the students and the academic community would react to an open and creative environment with facilities for quick prototyping and testing.
After a year of the pilot phase it bec [...]
Amidst the transition from ivory towers to a more responsive and engaged institutions, universities of the 21st century are opening their doors to external actors. In that they are increasingly viewing other public and private entities in the community as their key allies in the process of knowledge production and application. Within this broader context supporting intra and inter organizational collaborations is becoming increasingly common amongst today’s universities. The AIMd [...]
For many, Małopolska region in Poland is only familiar due to its medieval-era landmarks, Carpathian Mountains, thermal spas and its rich history centred in the city of Kraków, yet, the region has a lot more offer. Małopolska is now one of the fastest growing regions in Poland and in Europe, proving itself as a hub of knowledge transfer and innovation propelled by Klaster Life Science Kraków (LSK), which set out to develop collaboration networks, and exploit resources in the area of life [...]
In the increasingly knowledge based world we live in, continuous professional development (CPD) has become an integral part of professional life. Employees need to continuously update and up-skill their competences in order to keep pace with the changing requirements of the labor market. This need also appears to be well recognized by employers. However, a significant portion of the workforce in different countries still finds it difficult to participate in professional learning programs on a [...]
For over a decade, Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) Potsdam, Cottbus and East Brandenburg have been facilitating ‘perspective exchange’ between industry partners and university professionals via exchange of offices or appointments for a day, or two. Since 2007 more than 100 scientists and entrepreneurs have swapped jobs as part of the project, leading to joint research, improved curricula, and internships and dual study options [...]
If your vision is to bring your country to the front row of innovative development, boost its potential in cutting-edge research, and create an attractive ecosystem for long term stakeholder collaboration, then the Swedish approach is a good example to learn from. Launched by the Swedish government, the governmental agency for innovation policy Vinnova aims to fund research and stimulate collaboration between companies, the public sector, universities and research institutes to promote a sust [...]
The EU 2020 strategy for “smart, sustainable, and inclusive” growth has recognized blue growth as one of the key pillars of the European economy. As such, research centers and laboratories dedicated for the exploration of marine life are receiving a growing attention both at national and supranational levels. Roscoff Marine Station (SBR) is one of such centers that is growing in prominence in Europe. SBR is set up as a research and higher education center in 1872, in Brittany region of Fr [...]
The collaboration between Telecom Italia (TIM) and Italian universities represents an ideal UBC environment where all collaborating parties are given ample opportunities to learn from each other. This reciprocal pathway of learning is mainly achieved through Joint Open Labs (JOLs), the private company sites that are established at the heart of the collaborating university campuses. With the motto “co-location for co-creation” TIM jointly works with its university partners from idea genera [...]
The collaboration between Audi Hungaria Zrt. and Széchenyi István University (SZE) is like no other. A conducive regional innovation policy, coupled with a strong strategic, structural and operational linkage sets it apart from most other similar endeavors in Europe and beyond.
This win-win cooperation between Audi Hungaria and SZE formally started in 1999. The university aimed to raise its overall standing and contribution by providing its students a practice-oriented learning envir [...]
The starting point for a small revolution in higher education began in 1993 with the note ‘Do you want to go on a trip around the world and learn some marketing on the side?’ being posted on the notice board of the Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences (JAMK), in a small city in central Finland. The chief protagonist of the note was Johannes Partanen, a maverick marketing lecturer with a passion for making a difference, who was driven by the need for a new learning model to better en [...]
The ongoing transition to an increasingly knowledge-intensive economy has sparked entrepreneurial transformation across several regions, and Lithuania is no different. Soon after gaining independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991, Lithuania placed entrepreneurship in the front and center of its education policy. Consequently, most of the higher learning institutions in the country started setting up centers that facilitate entrepreneurial transformation. This is in addition to incorpor [...]
Witnessing one in three of their graduate friends still unemployed, young Greeks might feel disheartened with their own graduation prospects. Alternatively, they might find themselves driven to advance from the category of desperate “job-seekers” to that of ambitious “job-creators”, as entrepreneurs in times of economic difficulties. While e [...]
How to encourage unconventional thinking and a shared passion to break the economic boundaries, and revitalize a region with new innovative solutions? Confronted with this question, universities worldwide have started to reinterpret their traditional practices through more agile and externally fluid approaches. Likewise, the University of Tartu (UT) has accepted the challenge of fostering organizational change towards becoming more entrepreneurial, and recognized the importance of well-establ [...]
In Northen London, Middlesex University recognises that learning happens both in an academic institution and in the workplace. Therefore, they established in 2007 the Institute for Work Based Learning (IWBL). The institute primarily designs and manages work based learning (WBL) programmes that provide opportunities to working professionals to gain higher education degree qualifications. These qualifications come with formal recognition and academic credits for the learning that occurs in the [...]
The final recommendations of the European Commission’s Strategic Policy Forum on Digital Entrepreneurship stresses the need to ‘up-skill and re-employ’ the workforce in order to close the skills gap caused by technological innovation and the rise of digital tools used in the workplace. Described as the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution [...]
At the doorstep of her alma mater— treasuring this long-awaited moment of true accomplishment – Anja has just graduated. Soon enough, along with the delight of receiving the degree certificate a sense of uneasiness arises. What awaits for Anja in the fast-evolving world of employment? Is she “career ready”? The Student Support and Career Development Center (CPSRK), an interactive employability platform, forestalls the concerns of Anja and many other University of Zagreb s [...]
The University of Warwick is consistently ranked in the top 10 UK universities for highly recognized teaching and research. Attaining as much quality and prestige, WMG, formerly known as the Warwick Manufacturing Group, has grown into one of the largest departments of the university, as a world-leading institute of 500 researcher staff and an £180m annual programme. WGM aims to help reinvigorate UK manufacturing by ‘bringing academic rigour to industrial and organisational practice’ thro [...]
In November 2015, Dairy Crest (DC), a leading British dairy company, opened its Innovation Centre (IC) on the campus of Harper Adams University (HAU), the UK’s largest specialist higher education institution in the field of agri-food, in Edgmond in Shropshire. It is a unique development between a major food business and a university, perhaps the only big partnership in the food processing sector in the UK so far. The establishment of the IC followed pre-existing, though more occasional, rel [...]
As the university-business cooperation in the form of educational activities gains momentum across Europe, more innovative models of joint programmes emerge to equip students with the right skills, and bring them a step closer to the job market. An outstanding example is Learning to Be (L2B), which makes it possible for 60 students to take on business challenges every year, working on problems pitched by participating companies. This elegant and effective program is proving to be very innovat [...]
On May 6 1976, a series of devastating earthquakes shook the lands and the hearts of the citizens of the Fruili Venezia Guilia region of Italy, shattering the familiar image of their once burgeoning home. To revive the spirit and economy of region, and restore its competitiveness following this major setback, the Italian Government envisioned an investment in innovative research as a long-term recovery strategy. AREA Science Park was launched to realize this vision, as a hub designed to trans [...]
On 14-15 December, 2017, more than 100 experts and stakeholders meet in Brussels to present and discuss the findings and conclusions from the largest study on the State of University-Business Cooperation (UBC) in Europe.
Across European regions, various activities exist to promote the cooperation among universities and businesses. However, substantial variations remain between different regions, countries and institutions, in whether and how UBC is understood, accepted and supported. T [...]
The European economy is on an upward trajectory. Reflecting various macro-economic forecasts over recent months, the recently published EUROCHAMBRES Economic Survey (EES) of over 50.000 businesses in 23 countries reveals a broadly positive outlook for the year ahead. Investment levels, domestic and export sales are all set to grow.
Linked to this, businesses expect to create more jobs next year. But, the new EES also highlights a grow [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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-->
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-->
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-->
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
The State of Australian University-Business Cooperation (Business Perspective) report is now out!
The report provides essential data for those developing [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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!).Read More-->
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Motivations predict behaviour 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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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” . This method has generated many critics for its inability to achieve development goals (e.g. alleviate poverty), whilst simultaneously requiring large [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]