Exploring the barriers facing universities that want to improve innovation capacity
When the European Commission launched its strategy for universities in January, it highlighted the importance of their ‘third mission’ after teaching and research: innovation. Universities “have a unique position at the crossroads of education, research and innovation”, the Commission said, helping the EU become “greener, more inclusive and more digital”.
Although universities have always been associated with innovation, the expectation for institutions to be top-notch innovators as well as teachers and researchers has been growing. “Innovation has become more present across all universities,” says Koenraad Debackere, innovation and enterprise chair of the League of European Research Universities. “Whereas last century there were a couple of frontrunners, it has now become a mandate for each university.”