Universität Bielefeld

© Universität Bielefeld



  • Transfer of knowledge / scientific economy
    Transfer of knowledge and technology, especially from a university ("third mission of universities", e.g., in the form of academic patents and spin-offs) and implicit implications for the scientific economy
  • Founding management, especially digital innovations
    Founding management and business model innovations in the context of industry 4.0 and stronger digitization in higher education, possibly in the sense of university 4.0 or as a "fourth mission" of universities with regard to research 4.0 and teaching 4.0

Transfer of knowledge / scientific economy

The technological progress of a society respectively of societies or whole national economies is borne by the basic and applied research. The former one takes place in universities and academic establishments whereas the applied research is conducted by business companies most of the time.

The (partially desired and also required) development of the past decades shows a stronger linking-up of science and economy that leads to new tasks and challenges for ?both worlds?.

Up to now, there were the two big fields of functions consisting of ?research? and ?teaching? that are frequently described as the both missions for the universities respectively the academics working there. Through the motivation of the transfer of knowledge and technology (e.g., through political requirements: Bayh-Dole Act 1980 for the US or the abolishment of the professor?s privilege in 2002 in Germany and Austria), a third mission is added. Thus, universities are engaged in the question, how they can make a contribution to the transfer of knowledge and transfer because it is not only a matter of ?how?, but also of ?if? and the compatibility of scientific and economic norms.

The ?how? can be answered easily and is dependent on the professional orientation of the university. E.g., technical oriented universities can participate directly in the technology transfer in terms of academic patents, cooperation projects with the industry or spin-offs whereas the non-technical disciplines can contribute in terms of cooperation projects with the industry or as well as practical student graduation thesis; to name just a few examples.

The question concerning the ?if? can be answered more difficultly because the basic norms of science concerning the compatibility of the transfer of knowledge and technology must be questioned. Typically, the generation of knowledge in universities is based on the universalism, the communism, the altruism as well as the organized skepticism. Thus, the knowledge is accessible to everyone und can be adducted for the extension and improvement (also by third parties). This circumstance cannot be transferred to the economy because the knowledge is kept a secret or is made accessible with the help of industrial property rights for third parties through the payment of license. The university respectively the scientist is faced the challenge of harmonizing both worlds in order to participate in the transfer of knowledge and technology.

This issue is to be regarded on the individual level of the unique scientists. Aspects, e.g. the personal character and the individual attitude towards the topic of transfer of knowledge and technology but also the exploratory focus and concerning interests must be considered in order to sensibilize and motivate for transfer of knowledge and technology. It results the examination macro level of the university that can develop and set afterwards the measures concerning motivation and sensitization of the unique scientists (and also has to if an active transfer of knowledge and technology shall be conducted).

Founding management, especially digital innovations

This transfer of knowledge and technology can be executed in different ways, e.g., with the help of academic patents or the founding of a new company out off universities in terms of spin-offs. A (partially requested) possibility is the collaboration with companies within research cooperations respectively projects that are supported by third-party funds. In the course of the development concerning the buzzword ?Industry 4.0?, that includes terms like intelligent (technical) systems, linking-up in terms of Internet of Things or also digitization, new challenges regarding cooperation projects between science and economy come into existence. On the one hand, the technical implementation entails a plurality of possibilities for cooperations, especially concerning technical scientific disciplines, on the other hand, this technological progress requires a modification of the companies? business models at which the non-technical scientific special fields can provide support. Questions, e.g., which technical development comes along with which modification of the business model and which economic implications result from that, can be exciting at this juncture, as well as foundations of an enterprise taking place in this context. In the transferred sense of ?University 4.0? or the ?fourth mission? of universities, questions focusing the necessity of alignment of teaching in the course of digitization (?Teaching 4.0?) are relevant. On the one hand, the question arises how the teaching shall be developed in order to prepare the students for the economic employment market and on the other hand, it should be examined which effects this modification of teaching has on the academic activities (?Research 4.0?) and therefore also on the unique scientist.

Heterogeneities, especially gender aspects

All these areas of research can (and should) be regarded in matters of heterogeneities, e.g., relating to education, migration and gender, in order to carve out if, and if so, to which diversities cultural fondness, lifestyles, attitudes and traits can lead to. At this juncture, especially questions shall be considered and analyzed that are engaged in gender aspects in the start-up process and shed light on if and to what extent different approaches of women and men in the whole start-up process (from ideation to the financial and organizational implementation) have influence on the very. For this, it is necessary to see behind the curtain of the differences superficially described by ?gender?. Sector effects that can appear because there are fewer foundations in female-dominated professions shall be considered as well as personal and social differences that can appear concerning the risk behavior but also concerning the particular period of life of the founder. In addition, socio-economic effects like the attribution of certain traits by the society and the resulting way of thinking in stereotypes ?man? and ?woman? can lead to the situation that women do not aim at a foundation of an enterprise.