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Improving Learning Capabilities: A Case Study of an Independent Research Unit in Interaction with the Local Community

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  • Casten von Otter

Abstract

The focus of this study is on interaction between local public administration, businesses and universities in a Triple Helix. The paper presents experiences from an independent research organization set up to further regional development, where doctoral students worked with a local community. The paper also draws on experience from other similar independent research units in Sweden. It is suggested that a major reason for the lack of rapport between the parties is that researchers and entrepreneurs tend to stress different parts of the research process. While orthodox science emphasizes verification, entrepreneurs are more interested in theoretically informed creativity and innovation, especially when they gain from saving time. They see uncertainty and risk management as unavoidable components of doing business, and often mistrust scientific proofs and abstract modelling.

Suggested Citation

  • Casten von Otter, 2007. "Improving Learning Capabilities: A Case Study of an Independent Research Unit in Interaction with the Local Community," International Journal of Action Research, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 3(3), pages 324-348.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:ijares:doi_10.1688/1861-9916_ijar_2007_03_otter
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    Keywords

    regional development; Triple Helix; interactive research; innovation systems; organization of PhD studies; Mode 2;

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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