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Edited by Attila Varga and Katalin Erdős
Katalin Erdős and Attila Varga
Harvey Goldstein, Verena Radinger-Peer and Sabine Sedlacek
Research universities fill a variety of roles within contemporary society (Goldstein et al., 1995). Arguably the most important role has been providing advanced education to a segment of the population so that they have the requisite know-how to enter the professions. A second has been to generate knowledge through research that leads to scientific progress over time and indirectly often leads to productivity growth in the economy. These have been the traditional missions of research universities since their founding in the late nineteenth century.
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).
Edited by Alan B. Albarran
An Evolutionary Perspective
Edited by Jon C. Messenger
The next stage in the study of technological change comes from an economic historian. In 1942, at the suggestion of Sumner Slichter, Rupert Maclaurin, Professor in the Department of Economics at MIT, organized a conference on “the role of technological research in our economy” at the 54th annual meeting of the American Economic Association. According to Maclaurin, “All [participants at the conference] agreed that full employment and an expanding economy are desirable post-war objectives and that considerably more analysis needs to be made of the kind of entrepreneurial motivation and the kind of environmental conditions necessary to achieve an industrial renaissance in manufacturing” (Maclaurin, 1942: 232). The year before, Maclaurin had initiated the first scholarly research program on technological change. In 1941, he obtained a five-year grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to study the “factors and conditions responsible for technological change”. At the time there was almost no scholarly literature on the subject. Technological change was studied, when it was studied at all, in terms of unemployment and labor productivity. Maclaurin’s program of research was entirely different. He was interested in the process leading to technological change, namely the steps necessary to bring an invention to the market. According to Maclaurin, “although economists have long been interested in technological change, there has been very little investigation of the factors influencing the rate of technological progress in particular industries” (Bright and Maclaurin, 1943: 429). “Until quite recently”, stated Maclaurin:
Having defined technological innovation as the commercialization of goods, what remains is to study how technological innovation happens. Two concepts serve this purpose - process and system - traces of which are present in the policy documents studied in Chapter 7. The one - process - postulates that technological innovation starts with pure science. The other - system - is a contestation of this belief, insisting that technological innovation is a whole and scientists are only one part of it, and certainly not the initiating actors. These two concepts define two approaches that serve to make sense of technological innovation. I distinguish between approach and theory here. Theories of technological innovation are discussed in the next chapter. Here I document the genealogy of the approaches that guide the theorists. An approach is a conceptual framework or discursive and programmatic device that provides a vision and a storyline or narrative to interpret the world (Braun, 1999; Fisher, 2003).