Title: University-based entrepreneurship and economic development: a learning-centred model

Authors: P. Conceicao, M.V. Heitor

Addresses: Instituto Superior Tecnico, Lisbon, Portugal. Instituto Superior Tecnico, Lisbon, Portugal

Abstract: Within the broad institution of ||the university||, a diverse range of organisational and strategic arrangements has contributed to economic development in ways that go much beyond the traditional roles ascribed to education and research sometimes universities take a stake in regional development initiatives, engaging their efforts with local business and government; at other times, students take advantage of the opportunities presented to them in universities by starting-up new ventures; faculty may sometimes do the same. The unifying characteristic of these different arrangements is provided by the unique characteristics of ||the university|| as a societal environment for exploration and interpretation of knowledge. We begin by describing traditional perspectives on the impact of universities for economic growth. Secondly, we discuss recent conceptual advances that shed new light on the importance of learning processes for economic development. Based on these conceptual advances, we propose a model for economic development based on learning, broadly defined as the process through which knowledge can be accumulated. Finally, we derive policy, university management, and theoretical implications. The most important result is that the institutional integrity of the university must be preserved, in order to safeguard the existence in society of an institutional place where the exploration and interpretation of knowledge drives, sometimes in concealed ways, the process of economic development.

Keywords: higher education policy; entrepreneurship; economic development; learning economy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTPM.2002.001766

International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management, 2002 Vol.2 No.3, pp.220-239

Published online: 18 Aug 2003 *

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