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Universities at the Heart of an Innovation-Led Recovery 

October 26, 2023

IRC Insight Paper 005

Insights & Reviews
Business Innovation/Diffusion


Tomas Coates Ulrichsen

In recent years the political and policy attention on how universities can contribute to innovation and tackle major economic and societal challenges has focused heavily on spinouts. Studies have shown the importance of a much wider set of Knowledge Exchange (KE) pathways that are valued by businesses of different types and in different sectors of the economy in enabling them to deliver on different types of business objectives and challenges. This review revisits what we know about the many ways through which universities contribute to innovation. It will position spinouts alongside a wider range of knowledge exchange pathways, explore what is known about how businesses (in different sectors) prioritise different types (and combinations) of interaction, and how they benefit. Crucially, it will reflect on what, after over two decades of increasing attention to this topic, we have yet to understand and evidence with implications for the ability of funders to design effectively targeted policy interventions.  

A summary and full report is available via the download section of this page.

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