Speaking at the Observatory’s innovation workshop on 19 March 2009, Prof. Lynn Martin from Birmingham City University discussed the role that universities can have as catalysts for innovation, but also how barriers continue to exist that weaken universities’ potential.
How well a university links with other types of organisations has been found to depend on its strengths, geographic location and relative business infrastructure – and on the social capital of both academics and local entrepreneurs.
Potential barriers to collaboration include a lack of knowledge about potential partners and possibilities for mutual interaction, coupled with the difficulty of aligning the interests of businesses and academics without a solid grounding of mutual understanding and trust (which necessarily takes time and effort to develop).
These types of barriers may be overcome by skilled intermediaries or gatekeepers, with understanding and experience of both academic and business environments while having the skills to overcome barriers and foster relationships. These intermediaries can also clarify the needs of companies and to support the whole process of knowledge transfer.
Prof. Martin’s presentation (with audio) is available below or you can view the presentation on SlideShare:
The Observatory commissioned Prof. Lynn Martin and Dr. Julia Rouse to write a thinkpiece on the role of universities and innovation which will be published in the forthcoming State of the Region dialogue on the wider benefits of innovation.
Other presentations from the innovation day on 19 March 2009:
- Patrick Harris on the importance of innovation and post recession opportunities.
- Prof. Adrian Cole on innovating in the public sector.
- Dr. Palie Smart on effective product design key to success in service innovation.
Filed under: Economy & Labour Force, Events, Innovation, Regional Data and Intelligence Network, State of the Region, West Midlands Regional Observatory Tagged: | Birmingham City University, industry, Innovation, knowledge transfer, Lynn Martin, universities