Social Capital Enhancement Through Regional Co-Operation: A Study Of A Swedish Policy Program
The environment for research and education is rapidly changing with the entry to the knowledge economy. Collaboration between higher education, government, and industry becomes more essential for knowledge production as do the sustainability of the networks between the collaborative partners. In Sweden a Special Committee was established for a three year period to financially support regional collaboration projects that focused on higher education. This study, based on questionnaires as well as interviews, analyse whether social capital was generated between projects’ collaborative partners. The results show that horizontal networks were useful to the collaboration projects and that social capital increased between partners through frequent contact and indirect spreading of the project to other areas. However, the social capital was not necessarily new but often developed from already established networks. Some policy conclusions for future collaboration projects are drawn.
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