The research activities carried out within the International SEPT Competence Center of Leipzig University have a strong focus on Innovation Systems and University Business Linkages.

Picture of University Library, Photo: Leipzig University
Research Program, Photo: Leipzig University

Innovation Systems and University Business Linkages

The concept of an innovation system is based on the premise that the understanding of the relationships between different actors (companies, state, and universities) involved in the innovation processes is the key to improving the technological competence of a country or a region/city. In our view, the innovation system refers to an open system which is largely built on the interaction of external networks, institutions, and companies. External interaction, for instance between innovation systems, has an important role to play in international knowledge and technology transfer processes between industrialized and developing countries. We extend the widespread Triple-Helix concept by incorporating the 4th group of actors − the innovation service providers. Here, we are dealing with specialized services in the field of financing (e.g. risk capital funds), knowledge transfer (e.g. consulting companies, patent attorneys, etc.) and entrepreneurship promotion (e.g. business incubators).

At SEPT, we recognize the high importance of University Business Linkages (UBL) for promoting innovation and knowledge transfer. Therefore, Higher Education Institutions should assume a more active role in creating such linkages. Through this collaboration, firms benefit from building absorptive capacity, legitimization, knowledge transfer, knowledge exchange, innovative outputs, social capital, among others. We focus in our research on the required resources and competences to develop such linkages at the university side in order to provide Higher Education Institutions a guidance in creating UBL strategies and implementing the respective measures.

Key research focus

  • Analysis of innovation systems in emerging countries

  • Review of the performance of innovation service providers in innovation systems

  • Developing strategies and measures for promoting University Business Linkages

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