Interregional university-linked innovation - the potentials for Europe
Artikel i övriga tidskrifter, 2008
This paper explores the challenges and opportunities in 1) collaboratively coordinating innovation development, in order to, 2) be able to build interregional innovation - so much sought after but as yet to be demonstrated on more than a case-by-case basis. The hopes for European competitiveness through innovation emphasize entrepreneurship, knowledge transfer and commercialization at universities and their associated innovation systems. However, compared to the U.S., European operative practice is often limited to our regional and national backyards, not realizing the potentials of reaching beyond national markets until after many years of so-called incubation. Nevertheless, the innovation creation and development from research, often stemming from the university and facilitated through innovation systems, is commonly recognized as a critical contribution to economic development, not only through the stimulation of wealth creation and employment opportunities, but through the potential development of new markets and industries. With such substantial benefits theoretically available, systems to facilitate innovation development are highly desireable and encouraged. However, the process of implementing and orchestrating such systems in reality is often much more complex than imagined when designed.
The innovation systems existing in Gothenburg have received considerable recognition in regards to new venture development and triple helix type of collaborations. In the EU Interreg IIIC DISTRICT project SEARCH - Scanning and Evaluating Activities for Research Commercialization Handovers - new principles and practices were explored within the Gothenburg innovation systems, and then compared with other regions. Building from the initial findings of project SEARCH, and then proceeding in parallel, VINNOVA Key Actor Program Project GOINN presents an initiative to coordinate the innovation systems of Gothenburg. The foundation provided through the activities of the projects gives the potential to bring European regions together thus eventually generating higher growth and sustainable innovation beyond the borders of the individual EU member state. The paper investigates experiences from project SEARCH and how the project, together with other parallel processes, can provide promising opportunities for a European model of interregional innovation, not only potentially matching the ability for value creation and growth found in the U.S., but eventually creating a greater capacity for European actors to readily access global markets for new innovations.