Innovation is key to tackling today’s challenges, and it is a main driver for economic and societal development locally as well as globally. Innovation capacity is also an important element for regional competitiveness. To find innovative and sustainable solutions that benefit society at large, empower citizens, protect the environment and fuel the economy, we need research and education as well as highly skilled people with different talents willing to work together in a creative way. Co-creation is becoming more important due to open innovation and the intense collaboration between various actors. Universities can play a unique role in this regard. They contribute to regional capacity building and competitiveness by delivering the evidence base stimulating innovation in companies and public organisations and by producing adaptable high-skilled graduates, facilitating entrepreneurship, and the circulation of knowledge. Often, they also provide the international talent pipelines needed to nourish and sustain a local or regional innovation ecosystem.
This breakfast event will be an occasion to share and discuss the results of an EUA project about the role of universities in regional innovation ecosystems, building on in-depth case studies of nine universities in different regional contexts, with a different history and approaches to innovation. The event will showcase the various ways in which universities react to societal and technological change and contribute to innovation processes, identify challenges and opportunities and provide a basis for a European-wide exchange on the topic.
In the middle of the negotiations on the future EU funding programmes and two months ahead of the European elections, this is also a timely opportunity to reflect about the role and the interplay of various actors at local, regional, national and European level in fostering innovation and create a regulatory and funding framework enabling universities and their partners to fully unleash their innovation potential.
Consult the presentation of key findings from the EUA study by Dr. Sybille Reichert (Reichert Consulting, Germany)
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