Work programme of the Bologna Follow-Up Group 2005-2007
EUA Conference on European Universities as Catalysts in Promoting Regional Innovation
EUA Conference: "European Universities as Catalysts in Promoting Regional Innovation" The Universities of BRNO Czech Republic
The role of universities in regional innovation is a new topic focus for EUA. In tackling this field, EUA seeks to build upon a key statement on “Excellence in Research and Innovation” within the Glasgow Declaration, 3rd EUA Convention of European Higher Education Institutions (April 2005): “Universities must exercise their own responsibilities for enhancing research and innovation through the optimal use of resources and the development of institutional research strategies. Their diverse profiles ensure that they are increasingly engaged in the research and innovation process, working with different partners at the regional, national, European and global level”. After debating strategies and funding of research in European Universities (EUA Autumn 2005 Conference, Uppsala), and on how to improve institutional governance and funding to secure their own future (EUA Spring 2006 Conference, Hamburg), the convening of the Brno Conference on Universities and Regional Innovation was seen as the next important strategic event before the 4th Convention in Lisbon (2007) where EUA members would consider how universities’ missions were developing in the international context, linking regional, national and global activities.
The general objective of the Brno Conference was to provide a “showcase” of university good practices in working at the regional level. In addition, EUA viewed the Brno Conference as an important initiative in bringing the voice and experience of the universities into the debate on the future development of regional policy, particularly given the new emphasis being placed on science and technology investment. The conference was hosted by the six universities based in Brno because this was an excellent example of a European region where strategic cooperation between universities, regional authorities and business enterprises in research and innovation was being developed productively.
Taking account of the above context, the objectives of the Brno Conference were:
- Enable exchange of good practice drawn from different regional examples including exchange of experience between different public and private partners;
- Identify instruments and actions universities themselves can adopt and implement to enhance their contribution to regional development;
- Develop strategies for ensuring both local/regional focus and global outreach as components of institutional mission;
- Clarify the role of European policies and actions in promoting universities as key partners in regional development. Identify synergies between the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) activities and actions co-financed by the European Structural Funds and the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP).
Source: EUA 2006 AUTUMN CONFERENCE report available on EUA website