Academic research and economic development

Volume 4, Issue 1 – 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How intrinsic is economic development to a university’s mission? In most cases, it is certainly a byproduct of academic activity, but from there the answers can vary significantly based on factors such as location and culture.

In this issue, we hear from institutions in Korea, Sweden, the US and the UK. It is an international abundance of ideas about innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development. All told from the perspective of the academy.

From conception to reinvention: KAIST advances Korean economic development

By Byoung Yoon Kim and Sung-Mo “Steve” Kang, KAIST

For the new economy, KAIST is recharging itself to educate future entrepreneurs and to create an ecosystem for world-class technology startups. It is planning new programs for entrepreneurship education and adding the supporting infrastructure, while strengthening basic R&D activities to sustain creativity and innovation.

Lund University exemplifies Swedish innovation

Interview with Per Eriksson, Lund University

Exemplifying adaptation and innovation, institutions like Lund University help Sweden consistently top the European Union’s Innovation Scoreboard. The university offers a comprehensive education as it establishes top research teams and a new international hub for materials science, and champions local development while seeding global companies.

Embedding an entrepreneurial culture at Northwestern

An interview with Alicia Löffler, Northwestern University

In 2010 Northwestern University decided to change the way it moves innovations to the market, instituting a more holistic approach and incorporating translational activities: discovering research with potential and moving innovations toward commercialization.

A national report highlights the potential for local impact

Interview with George Baxter, University of Salford

In October 2013 Sir Andrew Witty published a report exploring how UK universities can maximize the potential of their research output and translate it into supporting economic growth. The report helped the University of Salford confirm areas of focus in research and community engagement.