Think Tank 19, Building 2, Level 3, Singapore University of Technology and Design
8 Somapah Road Singapore 487372
28 June 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Public Lectures


Many of the world’s major cities and advanced metropolitan areas have started to develop their own economic development strategies. Increasingly, these metropoles look upon their local science base as a high-value strategic asset, and tend to expect their research-intensive universities to act as ‘engines of innovation’ impacting on the local economy. Innovation impact assessments of such universities tend to include academic entrepreneurship, university spin-off companies, as well as the interactions between academic research and business sector R&D.

Although each city and metropolitan area is unique, the (expected) role of research universities in their local innovation systems is likely to exhibit general patterns and trends that can be emulated elsewhere.  This opens up benchmarking opportunities in terms of identifying competitive advantages and comparing good practices. One of the key challenges that remains rather less understood is whether these patterns and trends belie important differences in the way that innovation processes are organized between universities and the local and regional innovation systems of which they are a part.  How do similarly structured processes produce divergent outcomes and impacts, while similar outcomes can seemingly also derive from differentiated processes at the city scale?

This presentation will compare ‘university-industry research cooperation profiles’ of several metropolitan areas worldwide, including Singapore. This indicator-based empirical study illustrates advantages of performance metrics to assess (science-based) innovation systems at the city level.

About the Speaker

Professor Robert Tijssen is Chair of Science and Innovation Studies at Leiden University where much of his work has centered on measurement frameworks for university R&D performance and its connection to broader innovation impacts.  He also holds the post of Normal Professor at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, and is a board member of the Center of Excellence in Scientometrics and Science, Technology and Innovation Policy of South Africa’s National Research Foundation.  He is a member of the editorial advisory board of the academic journal ‘Research Evaluation’ and has an extensive experience in consultancy and advisory roles to various companies and international agencies.


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