Educational Collaboration at Nordic Technical Universities – How is it Performed and does it affect Innovation and Entrepreneurship?
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AbstractIn order to shed light on the role of higher education and its importance for innovation and entrepreneurship this paper presents the results of a survey of the four major technical universities in the Nordic countries; Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland; Chalmers Technical University in Gothenburg, Sweden; the Danish Technical University in Copenhagen, Denmark; and the Norwegian Technical University in Trondheim, Norway. Through the survey we have investigated what forms or tools the four technical universities use to collaborate with industry in education and to what extent these forms affect innovation in companies and entrepreneurship. The survey results show that there are five main forms of educational collaboration for innovation and entrepreneurship: 1) Thesis and project assignments, 2) Internships, 3) Executive and continuing education, 4) Entrepreneurship education, 5) Meeting spaces for innovation, platforms or arenas, between companies and students. All four technical universities use all five forms but with varying intensity. In terms of volume of activities and an innovation perspective thesis and project assignments by engineering students in their finishing year seems to be the most important form. From an entrepreneurship perspective the entrepreneurship education and related facilities such as incubators seem be most important.