10 - Regional frameworks

10.1 -Fostering the creation of a collaborative University-Business regional network


As was shown in Chapter 9 of this document, networks have been found to be the ideal catalysts for the dissemination of knowledge and information. They offer a clear opportunity for companies to forge closer ties with both external partners and end users. In addition to these communication-related advantages, networks which benefit from the involvement of Companies, Universities and the public sector are a very useful tool for businesses to exert their influence on the steering of public research, funding policies, intellectual property protection, and higher education (Murmann et al, 2003). For these reasons, we propose the creation of a regional network which integrates all the agents involved in University-Industry Collaboration: university representatives (institutions, TTOs, research groups); companies (SMEs and large companies); and Public Administrations. It should be led by public bodies who are experienced in promoting this form of University-Business collaboration.

The objective of this kind of network is to raise awareness amongst all the agents involved and encourage them to become involved in the collaboration process. This direct mutual access would allow them to examine their individual needs and rapidly find joint solutions. To achieve this objective, the network must implement a series of tools which foster communication between all its nodes, including lectures, thematic round-table discussions, subject-specific courses, debates etc.

Implementation process

Agents required for implementation

Thanks to its inclusive nature, this activity requires the participation of the different agents, not necessarily in an economic sense, but more in terms of the active participation of the responsible parties. The creation of these types of forums can boost the systematic implementation of Innovation in our productive system.

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  1. Freeman et al, 1991 Research methods in social networking analysis.
  2. Commercial knowledge transfers from universities to firms: improving the effectiveness of university–industry collaboration. Journal of High Technology Management Research 14 (2003) 111–133. Study based on the universities of Arizona and North Carolina.
  3. Global Knowledge Management at DANONE. Harvard Business School, 2008. Networking mentality.
  4. Institutionalizing sustainability innovation: Universities as a platform for stakeholder collaboration (University of Tokyo).