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Emergence of economic institutions: analysing the third role of universities in Turku, Finland

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Srinivas, Smita; Viljamaa, Kimmo

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Abstract How do universities become economic development institutions? The normative "Third Role" in Europe refers to universities taking on explicit economic development mandates such as greater technology transfer, and commercial outputs, without providing much of a compass for institutional change. We argue that universities transform themselves into economic institutions against a changing canvas of national welfare by a process of "task-oriented institutionalisation" which involves both individual action and university strategy. We investigate two universities´interactions with firms in Turku, Finland´s biotechnology concentration. Using universities as a lens, we find notable gaps in frameworks on how economic institutions emerge and conclude with five hypotheses for future studies on universities, institutions and economic development.
Classification Special areas of Departmental Policy; University Education; Area Development Planning, Regional Research
Free Keywords Economic development; Institutions; Planning models; Universities; Urban and regional development; Science and technology policy; Finland
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 323-341
Journal Regional Studies, 42 (2008) 3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)