The Research University as a Global Center of Excellence in Innovation

By Hal Raveche

In April 2011, I spoke at a joint colloquium in Taiwan between Jinwen University of Science and Technology and the National Taipei University of Technology. My topic was developing an effective academic entrepreneurship and innovation (AE & I) platform at the university level. As current President of Innovation Strategies International, LLC, I drew on 22 years of experience as President of Stevens Institute of Technology in my presentation. Stevens Institute of Technology has been widely recognized by publications such as Forbes Magazine and Business Week for excellence in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.

A critical component to developing AE & I within an academic institutional environment involves nurturing entrepreneurial values university-wide, at innovation economy and knowledge economy levels. On the innovation economy side, the research university ideally functions as an enterprise with financial independence, allowing for the development of paradigm-shifting ideas that require “space to breathe” that may not be available in the corporate setting. Academic and instructional goals should be designed to mesh with research capacities, with a focus on the formation of cross-disciplinary research teams. This capitalizes on the full range of resources available in a university setting.

Another key component in fostering excellence in innovation is creating a nexus of research, development, and innovation that encourages partnerships with industry, with a goal to launch start-ups with large potential profits. The business and management college within any university setting has a critical role to play in fostering campus-wide  excellence. Entrepreneurship and innovation should be encouraged within the MBA program through community-engaging conferences, publications, and substantial research. An understanding of marketplace dynamics should be fostered among faculty and staff in all departments. MBA students should be encouraged to participate with faculty in focused case studies exploring the marketplace potential of university research. These elements together can create the essential structure for a university to emerge as a global center of excellence in innovation.

About the Author: Harold Raveche applies decades of experience in science, engineering, business, and higher education to his work as President of Innovation Strategies International, LLC. For more information see www.innostrategies.com.

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