2008/01/26

Part I: Benefits of Research Universities to Regional Innovation

This is the first post of a multi-part look at the mutual benefits between a research university and the region 'around' that university.

The reason there are quotes accompanying the word 'around' is because part of this topic relates to whether and how a research university can have an effective 'virtual' presence in a region which is geographically remote from the university, e.g. 200 miles away.

The general premise being examined here is that a research university is a primary driver of innovation for the region around that university.

That premise has been mentioned often in articles and posts I've read about innovation and regional economies, but I can't remember the specific ways in which a research university contributes to innovation. As part of this series of blog posts I'll do online research and get feedback from people who are knowledgeable about or involved in innovation.

My reason for pursuing this topic is that I'm involved in defining and building 'virtual research university' resources for a geographic region that doesn't have a research university within its physical boundaries.

Action items for this series of posts is as follows:
  1. Do online and library research re: ways in which research universities are thought to contribute to innovation in the region where they are located; write up summary of regional innovation benefits from research universities.
  2. Get input from people involved with innovation regarding my synopsis of regional innovation benefits from research universities.
  3. Based on results of the above two activities, develop additional action items to identify or create virtual research university resources for the New North and the virtual organization needed to effectively enable and manage those resources.
If you have experience with or knowledge relevant to the above three action items, please comment on this post or contact me via email. Thanks!

(As additional posts are written in this multi-part series, this initial post will be updated to provide links to those additional posts.)

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