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INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research

The role of Universities in building Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystems

Alternative title: O Papel das Universidades no Desenvolvimento de Ecossistemas de Empreendedorismo e Inovação

Awarded: NOK 4.5 mill.

The project "The role of Universities in building Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystems" (UNEEC) looks at universities playing a great role in their regions. Our aim is to enhance the understanding of universities in governance relations with regional and national stakeholders aligned with universities' internal drivers for innovation and entrepreneurial activities. UNEEC aims to create a collaborative network of researchers from universities across four countries: University of Stavanger and Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, both in Norway, Université de Poitiers in France, Unisinos University in Brazil, and Saint-Petersburg State University in Russia. Each of the participants brings a unique set of knowledge, and our partnership allows the research from different angles to look at universities as integral part of the self-sustaining ecosystem.

The development of society is guided by both economic and social goals. Universities play different roles in this process, via educational and research activities as well as by fulfilling the "third mission" of meeting market demands through patents, spin-offs and other types of knowledge transfer. Universities also take a broader role, being involved in regional governance, uniting with national and regional policy makers, and engaging with local industry and community. Nevertheless, the role of universities as active players in building ecosystems conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship aiming at economic development is not completely clear. Also, there is uncertainty over what types of engagement work in what contexts. Against this background, the UNEEC project aims to create a collaborative network of researchers across four countries to exchange and enhance competences for the studies of the role of universities in building innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems. Each of the participants brings a unique set of knowledge, and our partnership allows the research from different angles: regional development and policies, entrepreneurship educational programs, students as agents of change, and universities as integral part of the self-sustaining ecosystem. This project will enhance Norwegian institutions via establishing an international PhD summer school, developing a shared research agenda among partners, and increasing the visibility of research on international arenas. The project strengthens existing cooperation and expands collaboration to include new partners. Its societal impact will be significant for the regions in which participating Universities are located, as it builds a direct dialog with regional stakeholders to enhance entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems. The project includes diverse societal groups in the discussions, as well as disseminate results via social media and videos, thus ensuring the impact for a wide economic ecosystem.

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INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research