Universities, Innovation, and the Competitiveness of Local Economies
This report shows how universities can support local economic development through their contributions to local industrial innovation processes. The author argues that the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to economic development pursued by many universities, with its focus on patenting, licensing and revised business formation, should be replaced with a more comprehensive, more differentiated view of the university role. According to the author, universities need a stronger awareness of the pathways along which local industries are developing and the innovation processes that are associated with those pathways. He recommends that universities should seek to align their own contributions with what is actually happening in the local economy and that such a strategic approach to local economic development is fully compatible with the pursuit of excellence in the university’s traditional primary missions of education and research.
© 2005 MIT Industrial Performance Center (IPC)
Richard K. Lester