From the ivory tower to the market place? The changing role of knowledge organisations in spurring the development of biotechnology clusters in Austria

Michaela Trippl, Franz Tödtling

Publikation: Working/Discussion PaperWU Working Paper

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Over the past two decades, universities have experienced far reaching changes in their tasks and roles. Their main mission is no longer confined to education and research, but increasingly also covers technology transfer and commercialisation activities. The aim of this paper is to examine as to which extent this phenomenon could also be observed in Austria. We differentiate between four key tasks of universities, including their roles as "antenna" for receiving external knowledge, source of highly skilled labour, cooperation partner for industry and seedbed for new firm formation. Focusing on the biotechnology sector we will demonstrate that an opening of the ivory tower and a move of Austrian universities towards the market place has occurred. Furthermore, we will show that these changes have been to some extent policy-driven in nature. (author's abstract)


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