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What is the future role of universities?


The role of universities is changing from the traditional view that they should primarily be places of academic research and higher education, to the broader view that they need to prioritize additional missions or objectives in regards to intellectual property and innovation, societal impact, and regional development.

This change, the challenges connected to it and the effects of the organizational evolution of the universities were discussed during the international conference “Deciphering the New Challenges to Universities: Knowledge Economy and its impact on internal organization, relations to firms, and public policy”.

Participants at the conference

The conference was organized by Professor Maureen McKelvey at the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE) at the University of Gothenburg together with visiting professors Guido Buenstorf, University of Kassel and Astrid Heidemann Lassen, Aalborg University. The event was held in Gothenburg between 11 and 13 September and brought together internationally well-known and respected names in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship such as Vincent Mangematin (Grenoble University), Paul Nightingale (University of Sussex), Markus Perkmann (Imperial College, London), Deborah Strumsky (Arizona State University), as well as IIE’s research team and PhD students.

 - For me, as a new PhD student, the conference was very interesting and rewarding, since the topic is relevant and it gave an opportunity to get an insight in how research is conducted at this level, says Daniel Hemberg, PhD student at IIE.

The collective ideas and conclusions will be the object of a special issue in a scientific journal within Innovation and Entrepreneurship studies in the not too distant future.

The conference was supported by Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences (Riksbanken Jubileumsfond), the Internationalisation program at Handels Partner Program, IMIT and Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Boat tour in Gothenburg harbour area.

Participants on the boat