Academic journal article European Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies

The Mission of Universities in the Processes of Research - Innovation and Development of Entrepreneurial Culture

Academic journal article European Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies

The Mission of Universities in the Processes of Research - Innovation and Development of Entrepreneurial Culture

Article excerpt

1. Overview

In the context of economic changes over the past decade the creation of new intellectual capital through research activities is essential. A society unable to decide on its own development through research will be dependent on others and will never have an important role in a globalized economy. Consequently, the first issues to be considered are the volume, the level and the quality of education. The processes of generating employment and insuring a relative level of wages have oriented towards college graduates. Higher salaries for highly qualified staff respond to economic demand, but contribute to the growth of wage inequality; wage costs also influence the European social model. Industrial productivity is significantly correlated with the highest educational level and the limits of current technology.

Universities are seen as pools of knowledge for the future technological, economic and social progress, they are perceived as gateways to global information and support for regional development. They provide their region with intelligence (in the form of human resources and R&D outputs); they are implicated in planning the improvement of regional infrastructure and the quality of the environment.

The main stakeholders of the universities are academics, researchers, professionals, students, institutional leaders and managers, national governments, national agencies and advisory bodies, supranational bodies, and businesses and industry (including both transnational corporations - TNCs and small- and medium-sized enterprises - SMEs).1

The universities' autonomy plays a central role in encouraging not only the educational process, but also in concluding contracts with companies that cover research projects, scholarships, equipment donation, exchange of specialists, researchers and other categories as well as in developing a systematic dialogue on human resource development.2

The European Union has the mission to promote the mutual recognition of diplomas, stimulate mobility and eliminate restrictive practices in the employment sector; in this context the education system is even more important.

A relevant aspect is the dilemma of the diversity. The governments recognize the value and role of universities in meeting a variety of social needs, such as:

* suppliers of skilled personnel and generators of scientific information;

* poles that attract international talents and regional investments;

* sources of entrepreneurship and expertise, innovative thinking and promoting social mobility and cultural support.

This diversity of academic functions has become so important that no society can dispense of the vital role of universities. The need to develop internationally competitive centres of excellence is a priority of the leading industrial sectors. These centres must be focused on basic research, on attracting talent, on the reconfiguration of the efforts and on the stimulation of innovation at the level of European research networks.

In the recent decades, the European research from public funds has been developed mainly in non-university institutions, often with strategic imperatives. Such institutions have been rarely able to compete effectively with the most important research universities, most of which are located in the United States.

Universities with intensive research programs are characterized by several unique features that make them the ideal place to develop centres of excellence and innovation that Europe needs:

* The universities with intensive research programs can be powerful catalysts for economic development. They contribute heavily to attract business investors, to facilitate the transfer of technology and can be important partners for the development of regional government agencies through their proximity to the market.

* They are the strongest pole of attraction for young talents that otherwise would move to the best universities throughout the U. …

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