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Toine Spapens and Shanna Mehlbaum

Although environmental crime is highly transnational in scope, enforcement agencies struggle with cross-border cooperation in investigating these types of offences. Environmental crimes are often regulatory offences and first-line enforcement is the responsibility of administrative enforcement agencies. In many jurisdictions criminal law enforcement agencies are competent only when environmental crimes have had acute effects on human health and safety, usually in the context of accidents. Combating cross-border environmental crime more effectively calls for a range of strategies. Important is multi-agency cooperation involving the police, the public prosecution service, the Customs and administrative agencies. Financial investigation and seizing the proceeds of crime may also be a useful approach because sentences are often limited and difficult to impose. Law enforcement may also benefit from information provided by environmental NGOs and the public. Finally, capacity building is important, particularly because environmental crime often involves countries in the global south, which have limited resources.

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Annamária Inzelt

The commercialization of research has been high on the agenda since the beginning of transition in post-Soviet minor economies. The academic spin-offs are one of the channels by which university-derived technologies can be commercialized. This analytical chapter focuses on how progress in the transformation of an economic environment may support or burden the creation and nurturing of academic start-ups and, especially, of spin-offs. After providing an overview of the framework conditions, it investigates the presence and role of science and technology parks for knowledge-based start-ups /spin offs. Through spin-off formation we could observe few impacts of universities on the regional economy. The over-centralised system of the Soviet republics made metropolitan areas more scientific / innovative than the other regions. Nowadays each independent country makes efforts to develop their regional innovation systems outside the metropolitan areas. In each investigated countries we can find seeds of one or two potentially innovative regions.

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Einar Rasmussen

The creation of university spin-off firms is seen as an important mechanism for generating economic and societal impacts from universities and for transferring university knowledge into application in society. Spin-offs are often localized near their parent university, but their importance for regional development is debated. This Chapter discuss research-based evidence on how university spin-offs may lead to regional impacts at several levels of analysis, both directly and indirectly. University spin-offs rarely grow into firms with significant regional impacts. Rather, the impacts of university spin-offs are more subtle, by indirect contributions to businesses and society. Rather than asking ‘what is the direct economic impacts of university spin-offs?’, it is more relevant to ask ‘how does spin-offs contribute to regional stakeholders, such as the university, regional businesses and industry, and the society more generally’. The Chapter outlines research opportunities and implications for how policy can harness the regional impacts of spin-offs.

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Edited by Valsamis Mitsilegas, Saskia Hufnagel and Anton Moiseienko

This Research Handbook on Transnational Crime is an interdisciplinary, up-to-date guide to this growing field, written by an international cohort of leading scholars and experts. It covers all the major areas of transnational crime, providing a well-rounded, detailed discussion of each topic, and includes chapters focusing on responses to transnational crime in specific regions.
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Zoltan Gál and Pavel Ptáček

This chapter focuses on the specific role of mid-range universities in knowledge transfer and regional development. It explores knowledge flows from these mid-range universities facing to a number of additional constraints in Central Eastern European regions. It brings cases from the non-metropolitan regions of Hungary and Czechia in order to examine the specific barriers to knowledge transfer and explain the reasons behind the traditionally weaker role of mid-range universities in innovation. The chapter concludes that not only the position of universities in the collaboration with business sector but their role in the innovation system is quite different, and there is a need for much more complex policies initiating the support of the university sector and starting the development of high-tech industries, small-scale enterprises, and constructing a regional advantage. The case studies show why the Czech regions are more successful in adopting appropriate policies and creating a more developed innovation ecosystem.

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Yuzhuo Cai, Po Yang and Anu Lyytinen

The literature on the role of universities in regional innovation systems mainly deals with research universities, for example, with an emphasis on knowledge transfer (Anatan, 2015). This is also the case in the Chinese context (Cai, 2018). In recent years, the importance of non-research universities in regional development and innovation has been increasingly recognized (Taylor et al., 2008). Among a small volume of studies exploring the role of universities of applied science (UASs), or non research universities, in the process of regional innovation, a constant challenge has been that of applying appropriate theoretical or analytical frameworks. Currently, most studies in this field apply theoretical insights originally developed for under standing the relationship between research universities and regional innovation systems. The most commonly used frameworks are, for instance, the Triple Helix model (Etzkowitz, 2008; Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff, 1995, 1997) for analysing the UASs and industry links (Yang et al., 2016), and the ‘five pathways to an entrepreneurial university’ (Clark, 1998) for understanding the organizational responses of UASs to the emerging demands of regional development (Lyytinen, 2011).

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Katalin Erdős

The academic entrepreneurial processes attracted significant interest from policy makers and researchers alike. Extensive research tried to shed light among others on the factors that enhance academic entrepreneurship, the organizational consequences of those, respectively on the potential concerns that are related to them. Interestingly it seems that somewhat less attention has been given to one of the key actors in the entrepreneurial turn, to the scientists themselves. This chapter aims to provide an insight into the world of academic entrepreneurs by introducing their importance in the entrepreneurial processes, the motivations of scientist for entrepreneurship, respectively shedding light on their diverse involvement by differentiating between commercialization in engaged universities and commodification in entrepreneurial universities. Through some examples of the categorization of academic entrepreneurial types it also highlights the complexity of the phenomenon.

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Henry Etzkowitz

The first and second academic revolutions gradually transformed universities into organizations that are responsible not only for teaching, but also for conducting research and contributing to regional development through multiple ways. The chapter provides a comprehensive discussion of the entrepreneurial turn at universities. In this vein it introduces the impetuses behind academic entrepreneurship, and also discusses the related potential drawbacks of it that caused concerns among many stakeholders. The role of polyvalent knowledge in the academic entrepreneurial processes is also introduced. Examples of prominent scientists’ and universities’ involvement in technology transfer process, the demonstration of the role of government in the rediscovery of university-industry connections, respectively the discussion of the entrepreneurial model that took hold in academia all support better understanding of the rise of entrepreneurial processes in universities.

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Hans Schaffers

The concept of smart cities is a response to the challenges faced by cities to meet broadly shared societal objectives regarding socio-economic development, quality of life and resilience. The promise of the smart city concept is to create an environment of open, participative and citizen-centric innovation based on sharing of knowledge and resources for experimenting innovative solutions for urban development. The last twenty years witnessed a wide range of smart city concepts, experiments and practices, balancing between technological and social innovation perspectives and between corporate and citizen-centric stakeholder orientations. Growing emphasis is on creating and nurturing urban innovation ecosystems comprising an environment of cooperation, experimentation and learning rather than planning and implementation of smart city solutions. Realizing the promise of the smart city vision requires the creation of open, participative and sustainable forms of cooperation among stakeholders to breed and nurture such ecosystems as key infrastructures for urban development.

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Christina Kakderi

This chapter focuses on the different ‘zero initiatives’ that have recently emerged in the literature. By investigating the main components of three different zero-related policies – zero deaths from traffic accidents, zero crime and zero waste – it aims to identify areas of common ground and establish their conceptual and practical integration. The chapter shows that although the core elements of such strategies are rooted in the intersection and developments of each specific science and policy area, they all share some common principles and methodological steps. Also, the systemic, complex and ambitious character of vision zero strategies couple them to smart city technologies and infrastructure which can provide significant added value to traditional solutions and efforts in dealing with urban problems. By combining these two discourses, the chapter finds connections between smart city developments with vision zero related methodological guidelines with the aim to facilitate their diffusion to different urban settings and city domains.