Innovation and industry: the role of universities

Innovation and industry: the role of universities
Document type
Fazackerley, Anna; Smith, Martin; Massey, Alex
Policy Exchange
Date of publication
23 November 2009
Trends: economic, social and technology trends affecting business
Business and management
Material type

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This paper looks at how universities could form a key part of Britain’s economic recovery by acting as incubators of business and providers of expertise. It is clear that the role of universities in innovation is more subtle than government policies have acknowledged. Universities that are active at the heart of successful technology clusters do not just spin out companies. They develop highly-skilled people who move between industry and academia; they incubate businesses and provide expertise; they produce knowledge that is used by technology businesses; they provide public space in which people from various overlapping branches of research meet. Some universities in the UK perform these functions successfully. But government policy does not recognise their importance.

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