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Efthymios Papastavridis and Aikaterini Grymaneli

This chapter explores how the European Union (EU) addresses transnational organised crime. With the abolition of barriers within the EU, not only people and goods but also criminality transcends borders. This has led Member States to reconsider their autonomy in this field, and agree on enhanced forms of cooperation, gradually transferring competences to the EU. Thus, among the main missions of the EU, post-Lisbon, is to offer its citizens an Area of Freedom, Security and Justice and this is achieved in two ways: through the harmonisation of substantive criminal law and enhanced procedural – police and judicial – cooperation, facilitated further by the creation of specialised agencies, such as Europol, Eurojust and Frontex. In addition, within the framework of its Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), the EU has taken concrete action in relation to terrorism, piracy and more recently the smuggling of migrants by sea.

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Maaike Peters

This contribution discusses police cooperation in the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion (MRE). The MRE has since long provided ample opportunity for transnational crime, due to – amongst other factors – its history, population and infrastructure. In this chapter, the different aspects of regional law enforcement cooperation in criminal investigations in the MRE are explored. Research on crime phenomena (e.g. drug trafficking) will be discussed, as well as research on the responses of (law enforcement) authorities. Moreover, the applicable (traditional) legal framework as well as the implementation of the so-called ‘double strategy’, the organisational structure in the MRE, and research on best practices and obstacles for police cooperation is examined.

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Arne Vorderwülbecke and Rolf Sternberg

University spin-off formation can impact local economic growth. This paper addresses the contribution to a university's entrepreneurial support structure by individuals who started a company out of a university. If this contribution is sustainable enough, it may induce a self-amplifying process by which the university's entrepreneurial support-structure is continuously upgraded. Based on a qualitative case study of Leibniz University Hannover, including expert interviews and an in-depth document analyses, it is shown that alumni spin-off entrepreneurs indeed play an important role for a university's entrepreneurial support structure. However, the empirical findings indicate to a differentiation in respect of the nature of such a contribution. While it is an essential ingredient for the realization of particular support measures, it is only a decorative accessory for the evolution of such a structure. The contribution of alumni spin-off entrepreneurs to the upgrade of a university's entrepreneurial support structure leads to the named self-amplifying process.

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Thiaho Renault, Sérgio R. Yates, Leonardo Melo and José Manoel Carvalho de Mello

One of the most fruitful contributions of universities to regional development in Brazil has been given through the formation of new companies via transfer of knowledge and technologies developed in them. In order to do so, universities and other scientific and technological institutions are creating mechanisms such as technology transfer offices, business incubators, and technology parks, forming around them what can be called innovation habitats. These habitats of innovation may be seen as an important asset to improve the development of their corresponding regions. The purpose of this paper is to present an overview about Brazilian Innovation Habitats and analyze two case studies of leading Brazilian universities.

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Philip McCann and Raquel Ortega-Argilés

This chapter focuses on the role that universities can play in the contributing to regional development through multiple ways. Firstly, it builds on the theoretical grounds that explain the roles of universities as a catalyst for enhancing economic growth and social cohesion. We explore various lines and transmissions mechanisms by which such effects may occur. Secondly, the chapter analyses the various types of policy measures employed in different countries that aim to increase the positive contribution of universities to the socio-economic environment of the local and regional economy. We discuss a range of such measures, including innovation vouchers, knowledge transfer partnerships, and business incubators, in order to illustrate the different roles that universities can play. The chapter provides an up-to-date benchmarking of the current experience of regions where universities are key players in their regional strategy.

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Helen Lawton Smith, Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen and Laurel Edmunds

While investments in certain places yield jobs, growth and prosperity similar investments in others locations fail to produce the desired effects (Feldman, 2014). As an outcome of governmental policies to foster innovation in companies in the healthcare sector, both research and innovation are clustered in particular places (Cooke 2013) as it is often research universities that are central players in research and research-led innovation that have societal value in the healthcare sector, funded both by public funds as well as by the private sector (Arbo and Benneworth 2007, Bagchi-Sen and Lawton Smith 2010). Our case study draws on data from three key bioscience regions along with an emerging region. The chapter focuses specifically on the extent of the role of Oxford University in driving the healthcare cluster development over time while considering the role of other organisations (local and national) and local context specific factors.

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Catalina Martínez and Valerio Sterzi

European universities have gradually taken a more aggressive stance towards IP appropriation. The policies behind these changes have been largely inspired in a linear model of university knowledge transfer and emulations of the US Bayh Dole Act. Our aim in this chapter is to highlight the heterogeneity of university technology transfer across European countries and the differences with respect to US universities, and describe the impact of policy changes, such as the abolition of the professor’s privilege, in the light of new data and evidence. We challenge the linear model of university technology transfer and show how complex the relations between the actors involved can be, as well as the role that patents play in those relations.

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Snoweria Zhang, Fábio Duarte and Carlo Ratti

With the growing ability to capture information about cities and their constituents, designers and technologists have the unprecedented opportunity to understand, improve, and invent spatial dynamics. This chapter focuses on the Underworlds project developed by laboratories at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in collaboration with the Kuwait government. It combines robotics, bioengineering, and genomics to paint a microbial portrait of the urban environment. The bespoke network of automatic samplers works in the sewage to collect data about health trends at a high spatial and temporal resolution, which gives researchers tools to analyse many facets of urban dwelling and public health. At the same time, with mounting public concerns over data privacy, smart-city endeavours such as Underworlds are facing a critical juncture in their evolution. With a sensible eye toward how these endeavours respond to and evolve with the blurring boundaries between public and private, cities and their citizens can collectively harness the boundless opportunities smart cities promise.

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Ruth Segers

An outline is given of the fully collaborative mural making experience of “Welcome (W)all – MURO”. It is a context sensitive participatory art project embedded in an action research process in the socio-economic disadvantaged neighbourhood of Cruz Vermelha, Lisbon. A researcher, a youth organisation, a school and the pupils together with the local public administration of Lumiar, were the principal partners of the project. The project took the pupils outdoors to create a mural on which they could display their (public) place related needs, attachments and personal capacities.

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Eric Swyngedouw

This chapter is a brief reflection of processes and forces of social and political transformation over the past few decades, and how my own inspirations and work have evolved, sometimes from the sidelines but often through direct participation with the theoretical and empirical underpinnings advocated by Frank Moulaert. These include social and economic dynamics of capitalism with a particular focus on the mechanisms of disempowerment and growing inequality and with a critical eye towards identifying and nurturing strategies for emancipatory transformation through socially innovative practices. For about thirty years, my intellectual work and Moulaert’s academic trajectory have unfolded in close conversation, occasional joint writing and recurrent, albeit always comradely, intense debate. Our joint perspective nonetheless was firmly focused on transforming social and political-economic relations in the direction of a more equal, free and inclusive social order, one that would permit each and every one to thrive and nurture their lives and that of those close to them in an emancipatory and fulfilling manner.