This briefing describes the ways in which universities are at the forefront of innovation.
- Universities increasingly provide important national and regional links into the global knowledge economy.
- They exchange knowledge, gather intelligence and facilitate international ﬂows of highly-skilled people.
- They are also important actors in regional networks, and help lead the design and delivery of economic development strategies.
- However, few universities can excel in all ﬁve roles. Each must choose where to concentrate its efforts depending on its strengths and regional requirements.
- Government should encourage greater interaction between universities and the wider economy and society, and ensure that research funding encourages innovation.
Universities have traditionally had three main missions: undertaking research; teaching; and transferring knowledge. The UK's increasing need to innovate to meet the economic and social challenges of the 21st century will place further pressure on these roles.
This briefing looks at why universities must focus their efforts and how Government can help them innovate.