Report from the Third European University-Business Forum, Brussels (4-5 May 2010)
Organised by the European Commission’s Directorate for Education and Culture, the third edition of the University-Business Forum was entitled “University-Business Cooperation for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth”.
The topics addressed included: university-business cooperation with SMEs and regional development; university-business cooperation to stimulate and develop innovation; and university-business cooperation and quality of education.
EUA played an active role in the meeting discussions and debates. Board Member, Prof. Tadeusz Luty, highlighted in the opening round table that partnerships are important in all areas of university missions, curricula development, research collaboration and innovation activities. He also underlined that autonomy and sustainable funding, investment in higher education and research and European funding instruments were three essential framework conditions required by universities to integrate successfully the European Higher Education and Research Areas, especially in the context of the global economic crisis. Two recent examples of EUA initiatives in the field of university partnerships illustrated these messages: the revised Responsible Partnering guidelines published in October 2009 and the preliminary results on the EUA mapping of university cooperation with external partners in the field of energy (EPUE Platform).
Senior Programme Manager Dr. Lidia Borrell-Damian chaired a session on “Cooperation to stimulate and develop innovation” and presented, together with Dr. Leopold Demiddeleer, President of the European Industrial Research Management Association (EIRMA), the revised Responsible Partnering Guidelines.
The conference addressed some of the key success factors related to university-business cooperation and highlighted good examples of embedding entrepreneurship in curricula. It also reflected the need that companies have for multidisciplinary approaches as innovation normally arises at the crossing of disciplinary boundaries. The conference presentations and conclusions will be shortly available on the Directorate for Education website.