Universities and rto s future cooperation needs
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Universities and RTO ’ s: Future cooperation needs. Ramon Marimon Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona EARTO, March 3, 2006, Lisbon . What we have missed. The University was an European invention

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Universities and RTO’s: Future cooperation needs

Ramon Marimon

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona

EARTO, March 3, 2006, Lisbon

Ramon Marimon

What we have missed

  • The University was an European invention

  • But the Research-Entrepreneurial University has been, possibly, the most profitable US invention in the 20th Century

  • There is no much need to talk about –say, MIT, or Stanford, or Giorgia-Tech– RTO cooperation…

  • The main EU University-RTO cooperation need is to make the EU universities open and competitive

    to make them Research-Entrepreneurial Universities!

Ramon Marimon

The problem is not

  • That EU does not produce PhDs in Science and Engineering

  • That there is no private investment in University R&D

  • That there is no European demand for frontier research

  • That SMEs do not cooperate

  • That there are not EU positive University-RTO experiences

Ramon Marimon

If anything EU produces more PhDs in S&E

Ramon Marimon

There is private investment

In fact, relative private investment in university R&D is not lower in EU (6,6%) than in US (US 4,5%) EC, Key Figures 2005.

and R&D/GDP performed in universities is not lower in EU (0,44%) than in US (0,43%)

Ramon Marimon

Except that part of the demand is fulfilled overseas…

  • Novartis is moving its main R&D to Cambridge, US (to be closer to more than one hundred research groups…)

Ramon Marimon

and Europe continues to invest more on R&D abroad

Ramon Marimon

True, SMEs play a larger role in EU R&D

Ramon Marimon

But they also know how to cooperate…

Ramon Marimon

True, cooperation has improved and we have positive experiences

  • From Framework Programmes (although NofE has not been a good instrument for cooperation)

  • From the development of University based Science and Technology Parks

  • From closer links of Technology Centers with Universities

  • From a need to “outsource firms’ R&D”

  • From greater awareness, e.g., EARTO!

Ramon Marimon

But, the global picture is weak

  • Private funding on higher education (/GDP) is much lower in EU (0,20%) than in US (1,77%)

    and this lack of private funding is not offset by a higher public funding in EU (1,08%) vs. US (1,48%).

  • Under funded universities are poor partners; particularly poor if universities

    • do not properly reward those who bring in a successful cooperation

    • do not have structures that allow for stable partnerships with industry (with IPR agreements)

    • confuse cooperation with ‘faculty consulting,’

      or a way to get public (e.g., FP7) funding

Ramon Marimon

The solution is not

  • To increase, across the border, public university funding

  • Set up ‘European MITs’ (e.g., Italy, Austria, EIT,…)

Although they may help

Ramon Marimon

But to change the University accountability & reward structure

  • For the same universities, making them compete for resources: students, competitive R&D funds, cooperative RTO agreements

  • For the centers and departments, within them, making them compete in their fields

  • For the faculty and researchers, making them more mobile and productive

Ramon Marimon

and resources will align with quality…

making & allowing all of them compete at the EU, and global knowledge society, level

setting more public funds on a competitive basis

Ramon Marimon

US Universities: research rank vs. resources (per student)


Source: The Lombardi Program on Measuring University Performance 2002; The Center


Ramon Marimon

Universities and RTO’s: Future cooperation needs

  • There are many specific needs that ‘need’ to be accounted for: IPR agreements, better mutual knowledge of capabilities and needs, etc.

  • But, in my opinion, there is one major need…

Ramon Marimon

To change the ‘social contract of cooperation’

  • From a ‘short sighted’ contract in which

    • universities see cooperation as an immediate source for cash

    • firms, and other RTOs, see cooperation as a cheap & easy source of knowledge

    • both sides see it as minor activity

    • both sides are uninterested on the other’s major activity (e.g., education vs. products)

Ramon Marimon

Universities and RTO’s cooperation

  • To a ‘long sighted’ contract in which

    • both sides see cooperation as part of the process of knowledge creation

    • both sides see the long term rewards of strengthening education and the economy

    • there is no much need to talk about

Ramon Marimon

University accountability & reward (& governance) structures!

  • For most EU universities, such ‘long sighted’ contract requires a reform of their

Ramon Marimon


Ramon Marimon

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