Universities, regions and doctoral education

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1 Universities, regions and doctoral education Bjørn T. Asheim Professor University of Stavanger; CIRCLE, Lund University; and BI-Norwegian Business School, Oslo uis.no Presentation at EUA-CDE workshop on Regional Engagement and Doctoral Education, Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France, 22 nd 23 rd January

2 Structure of the presentation The role of universities in regional development What is PhD training for? Scientific excellence or regional relevance (e.g. in a Smart Specialisation context) Theoretical/analytical framework for discussing the role of doctoral education in regional development (knowledge bases and modes of innovation) Concrete regional example: The county of Møre and Romsdal in North-West Norway what kind of PhD program does this region need? Concrete example of PhD program for regional development: NORSI Norwegian Research School in Innovation (RCN) 2

3 The role of universities in regional development Education and research Third mission (after teaching and research): direct interaction between universities and society Creating high-tech firms Consulting for local industry Delivering advice for politicians Informing general public debates Generative role: discrete outputs in response to specific demands Developmental outputs: development of regional institutional capacities

4 Doctoral education and regional developmemt Doctoral education (PhD programs) represents the core task and activity of universities combining advanced teaching and research The expansion of PhD programs implies that the production of PhD candidates are not only directed to the needs of universities and a career in academia but also to needs of research based knowledge in industry/business and private and public organisations New forms of funding of PhDs: industrial PhDs (now also extended to the public sector) 4

5 Doctoral education and regional development Doctoral education has become a resource in promoting regional development Carrying out research at universities (exploration) Using research results in promoting innovation in firms (exploitation) Working in intermediate organisations (TTO, industrial associations, regional governments, support agencies) to enable and stimulate the exploration exploitation interaction Shoud doctoral education reflects these different activities and job opportunities, and if, how should this be done? 5

6 Doctoral education and regional development What about doctoral education and relevance for regional development general or dedicated eduction? Should the only criterium be world class scientific excellence/ basic research (Horizon 2020 Spreading of excellence and widening participation)? Or should the doctoral training reflect the need of local/regional industry (i.e. more applied research) to stregthen the absorptive capacity in industries and public sector in a SS perspective? What about the role of entrepreneurship and innovation in the programs a compulsary part of all PhD training? What types of HEI (unis/applied unis) should host PhD programs? 6

7 Existing and future competitiveness Strengthening existing industries through incremental process innovations in existing technological trajectories securing high productivity or by incremental product innovation based on combining knowledge bases path extension (positive lock-in) Upgrading existing industries by changing technological trajectories through regional branching based on related variety or a combination of knowledge bases path renewal Promoting emerging industries (radical (product) innovations) building on newly created, R&D based knowledge path creation Account should be taken of all these dimensions but especially focus on facilitating regional diversification through new path development (path renewal and path creation)

8 Differentiated knowledge bases Knowledge creation and innovation take place in all kind of industries but is done in different ways, needs different kinds of knowledge and skills and requires different forms of innovation support No type of knowledge should a priory be considered superior with respect to generating economic growth and innovation. All knowledge bases can be used alone or in combinations - to create product differentiation Characterise the nature of the critical knowledge which knowledge creation and innovation processes in different industries cannot do without (ontological, generic category) Distinguish between three different knowledge bases: a) analytical (science based) b) synthetic (engineering based) c) symbolic (art based)

9 Differentiated knowledge bases: A typology Analytical (science based) Developing new know-ledge about natural systems by applying scientific laws; know why Synthetic (engineering based) Applying or combining existing knowledge in new ways; know how Symbolic (art based) Creating meaning, desire, aesthetic qualities, affect, intangibles, symbols, images; know who Scientific knowledge, models, deductive Collaboration within and between research units Strong codified knowledge content, highly abstract, universal Problem-solving, custom production, inductive Interactive learning with customers and suppliers Partially codified knowledge, strong tacit component, more context-specific Creative process Experimentation in studios and project teams Importance of interpretation, creativity, cultural knowledge, sign values, implies strong context specificity Meaning relatively constant between places Meaning varies substantially between places Meaning highly variable between place, class and gender Drug development Mechanical engineering Cultural production, design, brands

10 Different modes of innovation Different modes of innovation (Lorenz and Lundvall, 2006) STI (Science, Technology, Innovation) analytical knowledge/basic research (science push/supply driven) and synthetic knowledge/applied research (user/market/demand driven) DUI (Doing, Using, Interacting) Competence building and organisational innovations synthetic and symbolic knowledge (user/market/demand driven) Combining modes of innovation (STI/DUI) makes firms perform better (Berg Jensen et al., 2007) Firms sourcing broadly (both R&D and experience based knowledge) are the most innovative (Laursen and Salter, 2006)

11 Blue Maritime cluster (GCE) - Ålesund One of the very few complete maritime clusters in the world 13 design companies, 14 ship yards, 20 ship-owners, 169 equipment suppliers, employees (220 companies) 40% of the world s most advanced offshore fleet is controlled by the region s ship owners - second largest offshore fleet in the world after USA Most companies home-bread but an increasing number of international players (Rolls-Royce Marine, V.Ships, VARD (Fincantieri), Bourbon) High pace of innovation, prototypes, competition, cooperation, informal communication, unique know-how within the field of advanced marine operations for the global offshore industry 11

12 The Norwegian innovation context Norway has none regions that are innovation leaders, three regions are innovation followers, and the rest moderate innovatiors (below the EU average) Møre og Romsdal is thus a moderate innovators even if containing a world leading, knowledge intensive cluster (unemployment 2.4%, GDP/capita NOK) Innovation mostly DUI based, where application development is the most important form of innovation (not registered in CIS surveys). With respect to R&D, D technological development is the most important activity. In the maritime cluster, there is very little R. The HEI system in the county also has low R capacity 12

13 How to make traditional industries more innovative? Strenghten the absorptive capacity of firms relying on an experience based innovation mode by making them able to increase their research based competence (e.g. functional food). Research has shown that firms combining modes of innovation (R&D and experience based) and sourcing broadly (both R&D and experience based knowledge) are the most innovative (combining knowledge bases) Move these industries into high value-added niches through combining knowledge bases, where intengible knowledge (i.e. symbolic knowledge) is especially important 13

14 Blue Maritime cluster innovative strategies Improve the DUI mode of innovation by user-producer relations and close collaboration with customers, suppliers and the university college (vocational training to applied research) Bring in unrelated knowledge combining synthetic with symbolic knowledge (shipbuilding construction of new types of ships) Increase share of research based knowledge R - (applied research (sythetic knowledge)/basic research (analytical)) Increased research capacity at Aalesund University College through five new professorships funded by (local) industry Aalesund University College has now just got a CRI (Centre for Research driven Innovation), which will strenghten the R capacity From clusters to regional innovation systems Two strings HEI global excellence and regional relevance 14

15 Combining knowledge bases: illustrating empirical examples Synthetic Automotive Food Film Biotechnology Analytical Symbolic Pharmacuticals Advertisement Symbolic

16 R&D based innovation strategies (new path creation) Applying a R&D based strategy still dominating EU s innovation policy - is a costly development and differentiating strategy with a high failure rate and long term perspectives for a positive outcome (long time from exploration to exploitation) Portugal invested strongly in PhD training in sciences resulting in brain drain as universities was not allowed to hire due to the economic crises and the industry could not make use of such highly educated candidates (lack of absorptive capacity) 3B s Research Group, University of Minho success in research failure with respect to spin-offs and job creation in the region

17 Broad based innovation policy More R&D driven innovation policies are very seldom the only answer to improving regional innovativeness and competitiveness as Regions economic structure are heterogenous, where a one dimensional R&D based policy will not work. A customised regional innovation policy is needed not the least for peripheral areas (Constructing Regional Advantage/Smart Specialisation) Many drivers of innovation (supply, user, demand (latent), market, social, and employee driven) Many types of innovation (radical vs incremental; product, process, organisational, market) Many regions and nations starting to have a stronger focus on this problematic. Thus, the idea of a broad based innovation policy get increasingly more support Should PhD programs reflects these tendencies?

18 NORSI (Norwegian research school in innovation PING (Program in innovation and growth) BI-Norwegian Business School, Oslo - PIMS (Program in innovation management and innovation strategy) NTNU (Norwegian University for Science and Technology), Trondheim

19 NORSI national research school Norway has a system of national research schools in research areas that are small and fragmented between various HEIs Funded by the RCN over two periods of 4 years. Altogether 18 such national research schools have been funded The majority of these schools are funded by dedicated means from the ministry of education However, 3 programs are funded by specific research programs NORSI is one of those 3 programs, and are funded by a research program on Program for regional R&D and innovation, where most of the money comes from the ministry responsible for regional development Increase the competence/knowledge about regional innovation 19

20 NORSI-PING 50 PhD students with very different background Partner universities comprising all Norwegian universities, LU, and some regional university colleges with a doctoral program (University college in Lillehammer) Regional university colleges without doctoral program in innovation studies (e.g. Aalesund University College has two students inrolled in the program) More information on NORSI-PINGs webpage Thanks for the attention! v

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