Research and development strategy definition

research and development strategy ppt and technology strategy research and development
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Dr.ThorasRyder,Hong Kong,Researcher
Published Date:07-07-2017
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EUA PUBLICATIONS 2006 EUA is the representative organisation of universities and national rectors’ conferences in forty-fi ve countries across Europe. EUA’s mission is to promote the development of a coherent system of education and research at the European level, acknowledging the diversity of its members and the importance of solidarity. Through projects and services to members, EUA aims to strengthen institutional governance and leadership, and to promote partnership in higher education and research both within Europe, and between Europe and the rest of the world. RESEARCH STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT AT EUROPEAN UNIVERSITIES BY SYBILLE REICHERT European University Association asbl Rue d’Egmont 13 1000 Brussels Belgium Phone: +32-2 230 55 44 Fax: +32-2 230 57 51 www.concerto.beCopyright © 2006 by the European University Association All rights reserved. This information may be freely used and copied for non-commercial purposes, provided that the source is acknowledged (© European University Association). Additional copies of this publication are available for 10 € per copy for postage and handling. For ordering information, please contact or write to: European University Association asbl Rue d’Egmont 13 1000 Brussels, Belgium Tel: +32-2 230 55 44 - Fax: +32-2 230 57 51 A free electronic version of this report is available through ISBN: 9-0810-6984-5R e s e a R c h s t R at e gy D e v e l o p m e n t a n D m a n ag e m e n t at e u R o p e a n u n i v e R s i t i e s b y S y b i l l e R e i c h e R t T Con ofable TenTs orewordf ......................................................................................................................................... 4 aCknowledgemenTs ...................................................................................................................... 5 6 1.and a mimsT e hodology ........................................................................................................... 2.T universihy do european w developC iesresear T s h ra Tegies? ...................................... 8 2.1 external factors .................................................................................................. 8 2.2 internal Factors ................................................................................................ 11 3. wha T in C addressedissuesand are in universiludedTC resear y T s h ra Tegies? ...... 14 .1 Fostering excellence and improving performance ............................................ 14 .2 thematic priorities ........................................................................................... 14 .  internal horizontal communication, cooperation, interdisciplinarity and cross-fertilisation .......................................................... 15 .4 increasing external research grant income and improving research services .................................................................... 17 .5  expanding knowledge transfer, building partnerships with industry and creating a mentality of innovation ..................................... 17 .6 building regional networks .............................................................................. 18 .7 common scientific infrastructure and infrastructure platforms ......................... 21 .8 Recruitment of top scientists and the scope and quality of resear  ch training .... 21 4.insndividualismiT and iTT u ionalT s eering: C pro T eessand m hods universiof TT sy ra T egyT developmen ................................................................................. 24 4.1 european research universities conduct strategic management rather than strategic planning ....................................................................... 24 4.2 Developing a university strategy: a highly distributed process .......................... 25 4. Underlying assumptions about the nature and current processes  of scientific innovation at universities ............................................................. 27 4.4 Methods of Strategic Management .................................................................. 0 4.4.1 Strategic methods to support conditions of individuals ................................. 0  4.4.2 Strategic methods of institutional steering .................................................... 1 4.5 Financial allocation .......................................................................................... 6 4.5. Mapping individualist and steering methods of strategic management ........... 7 5.u pTT ingT s ra Tin egyT C o onTT ex .......................................................................................... 38 5.1 the importance of a supportive national and regional context ...........................................40 5.2 beyond strategy: addressing organisational culture ............................................................40 6.ele sCTnnoed aT a Tibliographyed b ...................................................................................... 44  FoRewoRD AcknowleDGeMentS Research Strategy Development in European Universities grew out of eUA’s study Trends IV: European Universi- A study which looks into the inner processes of university communication depends on the openness and ties Implementing Bologna (2005) which, in the course of analysing how universities are responding to the critical spirit of the interviewees. i am deeply grateful for the readiness with which interviewees all over challenges of implementing the bologna reforms, highlighted how few institutions have developed institu- europe have engaged in reflections and open commentaries on their internal processes of strategy devel - tional research strategies. this study was undertaken in order to examine in detail strategy development opment. without the many lucid and inspiring comments on research development in their institutions from its definition through to the implementation phase and the factors, both internal and external, which and national systems, this study would not have been possible. in an age of glossy magazines and omni- affect this process. based on site visits to institutions, this report reflects the complex situation which exists present marketing skills, it should be noted that universities are refreshingly able to step outside of any in europe’s universities and demonstrates the importance of strategy development for an institution’s inno- marketing discourse and reflect critically on their own environment to an outside visitor. i would also like vation potential. to thank the contact persons at the different universities for having helped so willingly and efficiently in the organisation of the visits. the issue of research strategy was first examined by eUA at the conference “Research in european Universi- ties: Strategies and Funding” (Uppsala, Sweden, october 2005). this report seeks to continue the discus - last but not least, i would like to thank the eUA Secretariat, in particular lesley wilson, for having sup- sions begun in Uppsala, by casting new light on many questions raised and deepening eUA’s knowledge in ported this project so actively, and the editors at eUA for their Argus-eyed review of the text. this area, recognised as being crucial in the Glasgow Declaration (2005) in which european universities pledge to “exercise their own responsibilities for enhancing research and innovation through the optimal use of resources and the development of institutional research strategies”. eUA would like to thank the ten institutions which agreed to participate in this study for their cooperation Sybille Reichert and enthusiasm and the individual staff members for giving up valuable time to talk openly about their experiences. our thanks also go of course to the report’s author Sybille Reichert who after identifying this issue during the analysis of Trends IV data agreed to investigate it further. She has produced an insightful work on a key issue for eUA members. Since completing her Ph.D. at yale University, Sybille Reichert has been working as a consultant in higher education policy over the last ten years for individual universities, ministries of education, the european commission and the european University Association, focusing on issues of strategic development, inter- nationalisation and organisational reforms of universities in europe from an internationally comparative perspective. She was the co-author of the eUA trends iii and iV reports in 200 and 2005 which looked at Professor Georg winkler the implications of the bologna reforms for university development in europe. having been responsible for eUA President strategic planning at eth Zurich until 2004, Reichert set up her own consultancy firm in 2005, specialising in policy and strategy development in higher education with projects for european organisations, national ministries and universities. 4 51. a ims an D metho Dology 2 This study aims to identify the key issues and con- views with a wide range of different university 4. the head of technology transfer office, iP office As shown already in other surveys based on site- cerns which are addressed by European universities agents, the study scrutinised why and how these or other relevant administration directors deal- visits which focus on institutional processes at uni- in their research strategies. It describes the main fea- strategies were defined, their implementation, ing with research and innovation; versities, open and critically reflective information tures of the processes put in place when developing and how they were seen to impact on the institu- about a topic which could give rise to institutional and implementing them. tions’ innovation potential. 5. the head of finance (or whoever was responsi - public relations responses, political correctness or ble for internal resource allocation) and head of the uncritical adoption of trans-national trends in commissioned by the european University Associ- to provide a sufficient internal view of research doctoral programmes or graduate school(s); other types of institutions, was freely provided. ation, the study developed from the trends iV sur- strategy development both in terms of its contents there was no suggestion that any of the groups vey on the implementation of the bologna educa- and instruments and also as an institutional pro- 6. A random selection of PhD students. interviewed were inclined to use the study as a 1 tional reforms within european universities (Trends cess, ten universities were selected from the sixty- public relations platform. thus the author is confi - IV: European Universities Implementing Bologna, two institutions which had participated in the At the beginning of each interview session, it was dent that the data gathered provides a reliable published in 2005). in this, institutions revealed the trends iV survey. the following universities kindly stressed that the project made no assumption basis for analysis. At each of the universities visited, different effects of these far-reaching reforms on agreed to host site visits: about the usefulness or desirability of developing the reasons given for developing a research strat- their research resources and activities. in the con- research strategies at universities. it simply sought egy were remarkably consistent both among the - University of Amsterdam, netherlands text of the trends iV study it became clear that just to identify the reasons for, contents of, processes different groups interviewed within each univer- - University of barcelona, Spain over a third of the sixty-two university sample had followed during the development and implemen- sity but also across the universities. while some - University of bergen, norway actually developed institutional research strate- tation of the strategy. it was also emphasised that reasons were only mentioned at a few institutions, - University of bremen, Germany gies, even when “strategy” was liberally inter- examples of conditions at individual institutions most were mentioned at all universities, albeit - University of bristol, United kingdom preted. in only a quarter of these universities could would either remain anonymous, or would be with different weightings and local meanings - University of copenhagen, Denmark evidence be found that groups other than the identified only if the example was neutral or posi - associated. in all cases, both external and internal - University of helsinki, Finland central leadership had knowledge of such strate- tive to the institution’s reputation. reasons were believed to be responsible for the - University of latvia, Riga, latvia gies or overarching goals. the trends iV data was need to develop a research strategy. however, - University of Padua, italy too unreliable regarding questions of research external factors were generally seen to lend more - trinity college Dublin, ireland development for far-reaching conclusions to be urgency to the need for strategic goals and drawn. nevertheless, the question arose as to why actions. During each of the site visits, which took place some institutions invest time and central resources between June and october 2005, different groups in discussions to define institutional development from the universities were interviewed separately perspectives in research, the issues to be addressed to ensure that all points of view, including less flat - and which methods of institutional development tering critical ones, could be expressed. the fol - to use. Furthermore, why do some institutions lowing groups were interviewed: allow their faculties to define such goals, with only a few additional institutional priorities, while oth- 1. the Rector/Vice-chancellor or Provost and other ers prioritise an entire range of actions at institu- senior university officials responsible for re - tional level, sometimes also including thematic search (or academic affairs), and vice-rector priorities? responsible for strategic development where such a function existed; to explore these and other questions regarding the content, justifications, external conditions and 2. Some deans and department heads (or heads of internal processes which characterise the process schools if applicable), of formulating strategies at different institutions, eUA decided to fund a small follow-up project . Some professors involved in the process, includ - which would provide an opportunity to examine ing younger professors, for example, assistant in depth a few universities that have developed professors or tenure track professors (where ap- research strategies. on the basis of on-site inter - plicable); 1 Given EUA’s membership, the seven other higher education institutions (of which five had a research strategy) were not eligible. Of the twenty universi - ties which had a research strategy, only those where the Trends IV survey identified some evidence that a group beyond the rector/vice chancellor’s orbit were aware of the existence of an institutional research strategy were regarded to be of interest for this study, the assumption being that only then would it be possible to examine a strategy process rather than just a document. Of the remaining eighteen institutions, only one per country was eligible which excluded another four. Of the fourteen eligible institutions, ten were selected for site visits on the basis of practical reasons since all the visits were 2 to be conducted by one person. such as Trends IV, but also the earlier “Eurostrat” project which looked at European policies and their relation to strategy development 6 72. Why Do euRopean unive Rsities Develop Resea Rch st Rategies? At each of the universities visited, the reasons given bremen and Dublin, where several groups reported overview of national and regional stimuli for strategic development at universities for developing a research strategy were remarkably that a substantive dialogue between the university condition institution - a B c D e F g h i l consistent both among the different groups inter- and the regional authority on strategic priorities viewed within each university but also across the had developed, this dialogue was felt to be fruitful Ministry has research priorities (national or regional) x x x x x x x x x x universities. While some reasons were only mentioned and likely to build trust between both partners, Main national funding authority has research priorities x x x x x x at a few institutions, most were mentioned at all uni- provided that some continuity and follow-up national or regional level priorities exert strong influence versities, albeit with different weightings and local could be observed by each partner. (See also sec- x x x x x x on research activities at institution meanings associated. In all cases, both external and tion 5.1 on the importance of regional support) internal reasons were believed to be responsible for Main national funding authority requires strategic x x x x x x the need to develop a research strategy. However, closely related to the requirements of higher edu - priorities from institution external factors were generally seen to lend more cation authorities is the increasing tendency of the Regional and other external public and private funding x x x x x x x urgency to the need for strategic goals and actions. various research grant-awarding bodies to ask for agencies require strategies research-related strategic goals to be defined. this other important funding authority (innovation oriented) x x x x x x x x x 2.1 External factors was reported in Finland, ireland, the netherlands, has research priorities norway, and the Uk. Such information on strate - new activities are mostly funded through 2.1.1. it should be noted that about half of the gic goals, to which grant proposals could be x x x x x x x x x x extra external funding universities were asked by their regional (barce- linked, was usually justified as an attempt to assess Majority of research funding comes through external lona, bremen) or national authorities (bristol, whether the project was sufficiently embedded in grants (“third party” or “second source”) rather than x x x x x x x x x copenhagen, trinity) to describe overall strategic a larger institutional context, thus contributing to through the institutional grant goals related to research, usually as part of the its sustainability or reducing the financial risk to overall institutional plans which are regularly sub- their investment. in Denmark, Finland, ireland and Region plays a significant, “(x)”, or strong, “x”, role in x x (x) x (x) (x) mitted. Such strategic plans were understood to the netherlands, there were frequent criticisms supporting new initiatives form an integral part of the accountability which that the level of institutional grants - through universities owe to funding authorities. in these which strategic actions, flexibility and thus room countries or regions, the relative autonomy and for autonomous action become possible - is 2.1.2. At all of the universities visited, most groups “It takes a concerted effort to become and remain the global budget grant which institutions have at decreasing in proportion to the income generated agreed that the strongest external factor the leader in one area globally. In order to achieve their disposal is linked to the requirement of the through project grants from public agencies or contributing to the need to develop a this goal we have to build on several pillars of institution to describe its strategic priorities in all private sponsors. research strategy was the fiercely increas - excellence.” major areas of activity including research. in latvia, ing international competition, especially in it was reported that the accreditation agency, At all institutions, complaints were voiced that the the natural and technical sciences. Such “In order to position our university in an interna- rather than the government, had asked for infor- indirect costs of project activities were decreasing international competition for highly qualified tional university landscape, the institution has to mation on strategic goals. this had led the univer - the overall space for financial manoeuvre and thus researchers at all levels, from doctoral students to be associated with a few recognisable thematic sity to examine these questions in more detail for strategic action. only projects that were professors, as well as national and european com- strengths, which implies concentrating the limited than the immediate information requests of the regarded as strategic in their own right escaped. petition for project funding, was seen to force resources on the strongest areas.” accreditation agency merited. indeed, the selection of project proposals which institutions to look for areas in which their com- the institution should actually support, and thus petitive advantage is or could be strongest and “In order to survive the Olympic games of inter- At some institutions, it was observed that an allow to be submitted to grant-awarding agen- where they already provide or could hope to national competition, we have to know our insti- explicit relation between the institutional strategic cies, was itself seen as an increasingly strategic achieve critical mass. tutional strengths and weaknesses, relate them to priorities and those of the region or nation would issue since the decision to invest in one project an analysis of opportunities which the environ- contribute to the good will and financial support and possibly sustain it after its grant expired, could ment offers and concentrate our flexible resources received by the institution. where explicit regional result in other projects being left by the wayside. on the most promising areas we have identified or national priorities existed in terms of scientific for survival. Only then do we have a chance to or technological focus areas, institutions also felt it should be noted that all of the universities which move up in the competition. We can only achieve the need to define their positions not just to were obliged to formulate strategic goals relating international visibility, which we need if we want respond to these priorities, but more importantly to research also found other reasons for taking to sustain our claim to be the most research to complement them, according to their institu- such strategy formulation seriously, over and intensive institution in the country, in the areas tional strengths and potential (bremen, latvia, above the mere bureaucratic constraints. where we are strongest.” trinity). Universities emphasise their role in provid- ing a more long-term and pioneering vision of (Comments by the Rectors/Vice-chancellors of future scientific potential, rather than responding three different universities) to externally defined priorities. in barcelona, 8 the need to focus on areas where critical mass and ciplinary research. but to reach this goal, a little 2.1.4. Research strategies were also justified as a 2.2 Internal Factors internationally competitive research strengths re-thinking in research politics with respect to how method to deal with reduced financial lee - come together was seen to be a necessary condi- funds are divided between thematic and applied way. At most institutions there was wide-spread 2.2.1 linked to the demands of international com - tion for competitiveness. creating critical mass and disciplinary research activities will be required. pessimism concerning the overall willingness of petition, most institutions show awareness at all was regarded as becoming increasingly urgent as today there is too little money allocated to basic governments to increase research spending signif- levels of institutional management that there is a researchers in nine of the ten countries interviewed research both nationally and in the eU.” icantly. even in countries where the overall national need to sustain, improve, foster and reward noted a growing tendency of research funding research expenditure had risen, institutional repre- research quality. Various methods are chosen to agencies to favour larger projects or centres/net- 2.1..  At some universities, such as barcelona, sentatives at all levels noted that such increases foster quality culture with respect to a university’s works of excellence in their funding policies. this bremen, copenhagen, Padua, Riga, and trinity, had benefited new programmes and activities, research performance and to mobilise its potential trend was observed with concern by some the institutional leadership and some individual rather than increasing the institutional budgets, or among its researchers. Processes for identifying researchers who felt that this approach did not researchers also expressed the need to develop had increased at a rate less than the actual research and fostering excellence and prioritising among necessarily lead to the fostering of the most inno- a more strategic approach and institutional costs over the same period. Given the belief that the multiplicity of projects, were seen to help nur- vative research, which they felt was more likely to support for dialogue with external private the overall money received by the institutions ture a culture of excellence by focussing on identi- happen in smaller research groups. business partners, not only as employers of would not increase or at least not sufficiently to be fied strengths. At many institutions, different their graduates but also as potential supporters of competitive, the conclusion inferred was that, if groups emphasised that fostering excellence A tension was also seen between the need to con- their research projects and the general research an institution wants to do something new, it has constituted the most important element of a centrate more resources on a smaller number of cause. in Riga, this need was associated with the to withdraw from current activity. there was broad research strategy. while there were differing opin - particularly well placed areas, and the breadth of question of balancing activities in the new market consensus that strategic choices regarding con- ions about the right methods and mechanisms to the institution’s portfolio needed to ensure an economy process. in barcelona, copenhagen and tent prioritisation could not be avoided. achieve the best results, the idea of defining such attractive teaching environment and provide a trinity college Dublin, it was felt that big business internal processes of identification and rewarding sufficient base from which new ideas and fields partners especially are often the best lobbyists for linked to the perception of the declining capacity of excellence seemed to find overall consensus. can emerge. Striking an optimal balance between an increase in public research spending, in addi- of governments to support universities and their Sometimes these measures were seen to help the competitive focus and sufficient breadth was tion to being potential supporters of individual research activities sufficiently, most institutions felt institution withstand national pressures to allocate regarded as one of the most challenging questions research activities of the universities. in Riga, ber- strategic choices were also necessary to minimise money mainly on the basis of teaching. explicit to be addressed and constantly reviewed in the gen, bremen and copenhagen and helsinki, dif- the damage of decreases in government support of the research dimension was seen as strategy process. this was especially true at ferent institutional groups, not just those in mana- funding (now or in the future). “we should not necessary to counteract national funding mecha- medium sized universities, such as bergen, bremen gerial positions but also researchers, felt that let the budget hamper activity in promising areas,” nisms. to put research performance on a visible and bristol, the leadership in bergen stressed the research needs to respond to societal needs and both bergen and bremen agreed. indeed, at pedestal within the institution, by providing spe- importance of fostering basic disciplinary research contribute to the country’s economic bremen University, past strategic choices and cial research support, was seen to help build a and allowing it to compete, together with the- development. development had helped alleviate and even research culture which could otherwise so easily matic and applied research, in the international reverse budget cuts. Strategic choices, which had be pushed into the background by the other research community: “Since disciplinary and basic At two institutions it was also mentioned that been made to minimise the damage caused by demands made on institutions. At Padua, for research represent the foundations of all other potential private donors often wish to know where government budget cuts, had led to changes example, the institutional leadership had increased thematic and applied research activities, removing the most promising areas and winning teams are, which convinced the government to revise its own the numbers and opportunities for PhD candidates disciplines means removing the foundation for all and how their activities fit into an institutional intentions (in the late 180s),  reduce the projected and post doctoral researchers, improved research thematic and applied research activities. if there is development plan, in order to ensure that they cuts and even invest new money in strategic training programmes, and launched an “elite” a lack of balance between basic research in the invest in “winners” only. outstanding strategic projects. school of Advanced Studies for selected students, breadth and focus on thematic and applied projects in areas of excellence are needed as a pre- as part of an overall institutional attempt to sup- research, it may easily become a lose-lose situation condition for fund raising. Related to this, strategic positioning in the port research culture. for the overall activity of the university. brilliant national higher education landscape was felt “brain seeds”, in the form of young academics, Most institutions felt it was necessary to define a to be necessary in light of recent trends to in terms of quality, there is also a preoccupation will choose fields where there is a career and where position more clearly towards new partners in increase institutional differentiation, as with the public recognition of institutional research research can be funded. it is our opinion that a order to make sure the university’s institutional mentioned in Finland, Germany, ireland, nether - quality. University representatives, especially the win-win situation may be achieved only from a uniqueness was not only preserved but improved lands, norway, and the Uk. if not all universities leadership of the institution, mentioned the good balance between a competitive focus on upon. can be research-led universities, it is important to increasing importance attached to labels associ- thematic research and a competitive focus on dis- make sure that an institution’s position among the ated with research quality or performance levels. successful research-led universities is sufficiently easily readable rankings were especially seen as high and likely to remain stable, or improve, in both a source of frustration but also of public rela- order to attract additional resources for expanding tions opportunities. the t imes higher education activities. Supplement (theS) ranking of the two hundred best universities (or one hundred best science or 10 11technology institutions) or the Shanghai Jiao tong 2.2. Another internal factor which justified the some of the most forward-looking new develop-■ Redirection of considerable funds to the strong- international ranking of research universities were development of an institutional research strategy ments in research, these barriers to the renewal of est groups or units, mentioned at half of the institutions visited, usu- concerned the efficient use of resources, human resources was seen to be one of the most ally associated with the desire to improve the especially for research infrastructure. given serious threats to an institution’s research develop-■ explicit demands for improvement from the institution’s position in these rankings, even if the rising costs of scientific infrastructure , ment. A view, this, shared by some of the other weaker research groups or individuals, doubts were expressed about the methodology the university leadership and their staff expressed institutions. used. of course, the ranking with the biggest the (often urgently felt) need to prioritise ■ continuous attempts to improve the transpar- impact by far is that based on the results of the acquisitions. often such cost efficiency was 2.2.5 At three institutions, the institutional strate- ency of procedures and formal reference points, cyclical Research Assessment exercises (RAe) in the associated with the creation of technology plat- gies were also intended to help to confront the including targets wherever possible, Uk, since it determines the level of future research forms where equipment could be shared among a tougher competition for science and engi- funding of a given institution and, possibly, of a wider range of users (as mentioned in barcelona, neering students and doctoral candidates. ■ Unambiguous communication of expected particular department in a given institution. copenhagen, helsinki, t rinity). Making science and engineering more attractive quality levels According to researchers, the impact of the RAe to school leavers and making the institution the can also be felt in public recognition, not only 2.2.4 half of the universities visited developed chosen site for graduate education were seen as competitive mechanisms were seen to be an with respect to the overall performance of the strategies in order to make the most of the genera- two urgent issues to address. important element of research quality culture and institution, but also to the performance of a par- tional change among professors, as noted by rec- were usually mentioned in the strategic plans. ticular department. thus, an important element of tors/Vice -chancellors and deans at the universities Against this backdrop, it was observed at several Several institutions provided internal competi- the institutional research strategy of bristol Univer- of bergen, bremen, bristol, helsinki, and latvia. institutions that the pressure to justify such strat- tive research grants or graduate positions sity consisted of the development of concrete sup- these institutions emphasised that the most egy development internally had decreased notice- to help identify and foster emerging groups port instruments to help meet the overall need to important expression of an institutional research ably over the years and that strategic work is quickly and flexibly or to provide seed money for excel at the next RAe in 2008. strategy would be the plan for hiring professors or becoming more accepted by the university com- nascent projects that could not yet apply for exter- priorities for recruitment. At the level of concrete munity. with this increased acceptance, priority nal grants (bergen, bremen, copenhagen, latvia, 2.2.2 At all of the institutions visited, institutional research activities, the identification of the most setting has also increased as the process develops trinity). in latvia and bremen, there is a pool of and faculty/school leaders emphasised the need promising research areas is obviously up to indi- (as noted by bergen, bremen, bristol). however, doctoral positions, distributed on a competitive to foster synergies between different research vidual researchers so that the future of an institu- some individuals observed a proliferation of strate- basis. in bremen, 125 such positions are centrally directions, breaking down traditional borders tion can depend very significantly on its intellec - gies for all kinds of different aspects of institutional distributed by the research commission. At the between schools and disciplines, as well as more tual capacities and foresight. thus the provision and management, and this was felt to University of helsinki, a pool of professorial posi- rarely and to a limited extent, between institu- recruitment of the most promising profes- result in increasing strategy fatigue. Generally, as tions has been established at central level, which tions. thus, one of the reasons for developing sors who could determine the research will be explored later, more emphasis was placed centres, institutes or faculties can apply for. After a strategies was seen to consist of a more targeted future of the institution, were seen to be on implementing strategic choices rather than on competitive call, the university senate then decides approach of creating opportunities for the most decisive strategic choices of an drawing up elaborate plans. on the recipient on the basis of a recommendation cross-fertilisation among research depart- institution. conversely, one university expressed from the Research council. ments and units. often it was emphasised that its concern regarding a recent constitutional court the need to facilitate cross-disciplinary and other ruling which had declared that enforced retire- At all institutions, professors as well as leaders at forms of horizontal communication did not reflect ment at a given age was a violation of the consti- 3.1 Fostering excellence and improving institutional and faculty level emphasised how a mere political fashion, but was seen to arise from tutional right to equal treatment so that professo- performance important it was to encourage bottom-up initia- the increasing fragmentation of science brought rial retirements were now only allowed upon the tives. At some institutions, particular attention was about by specialisation. At a few institutions, it consent of the individual. Since pensions are well First and foremost, most institutions (eight out of also paid to young and emerging research was also stressed that it was necessary to cross dis- below professorial income the disincentive for a ten) focussed very strongly on internal incen- groups. ciplinary boundaries in order to be able to professor to retire is considerable, resulting in a tives and procedures to strengthen the address major pressing societal problems serious impediment to the institution’s capacity to quality (and to some extent also the quantity) of indicator-based performance funding had which do not naturally fit into orderly dis - refresh its research innovation through new intel- research performance. this was not only men - been introduced at most institutions in varying ciplinary categories. Finding solutions to urgent lectual human resources. only if positions were tioned in the strategic plans, but was also a regular degrees, with the intention of serving as another long term social problems, such as climate change cut entirely, because whole units or departments point in the discussions and negotiations between means to help improve performance levels. this or infectious diseases or the growing demands of were closed down, which could not easily be done the institutional leadership, its committees and was usually not mentioned in the strategic plans, public health, was seen as a primary task of a on a regular basis, did the university have the right the decentralised units. but regarded as part of the overall strategic aim of research university and therefore strategies were to ask a given individual to leave. Given the prob- increasing performance culture (see section 4.5 needed to help institutions confront such lems which were reported at that same university At five institutions, the strategy included an explic - for more details). challenges. with an older generation standing in the way of itly uncompromising quality culture which included these core elements: 12 13. What issues a Re a DDResse D an D inclu DeD in unive Rsity Resea Rch st Rategies? 3.2 Thematic priorities areas. in particular, nanoscience, biotechnology, 3.3 Inter nal horizontal communication, research on a wider scale, a university needs more information and communication technologies, cooperation, interdisciplinarity and cross- researchers who have had the exposure of work- Prominently, and somewhat controversially within neuroscience, biomedicine, and advanced materi- fertilisation ing as “translators” between different disciplinary each institution, most research strategies (eight als were frequently mentioned as areas for expan- communities and methods. As noted in the litera- out of ten) included some prioritisation of a few sion and prioritised attention. of course, these At most institutions, there were concerns regard- ture on innovation processes, there is a need to thematic areas of research. to take away some of larger areas were often complemented with an ing the fragmentation, or lack, of internal com- have a sufficient number of “gatekeepers” to act the sense of injustice of such prioritisation, these issue of particular interest which reflects the insti - munication between potentially relevant research as links between units/organisations and discipli- were usually defined very broadly. the areas tution’s strength or niche. this trend can be seen areas. Such fragmentation was seen to be an inevi- nary communities: “Since it takes related knowl- deemed deserving of particular attention and a in the focus areas of the new institutes or centres table result of the increasing specialisation in sci- edge to absorb knowledge, the effectiveness of high concentration of resources were those identi- which had been established to support priority ence upon which scientific progress is predicated. the transfer of a technology from one entity to fied within the institution (usually by a commis - areas. nutrition, food technologies, public health through helping the formation of larger research another is a function of the extent to which the sion) as performing particularly well, and as hav- and environmental technologies were mentioned centres and research groups, some rectors and receiving entity has related knowledge to allow it ing the best potential for future scientific by several institutions. however, there were also deans hoped to address such fragmentation, in to absorb the knowledge being transferred.” development. one or two areas which were only highlighted at order to be able to tackle a wider range of scien- (Afuah 200)  however, few institutional leaders single institutions and which were associated with tific and societal issues and enhance visibility. seemed to know how to attract and promote institutions have very different approaches to this their unique institutional profile, strengths and thus, it was felt that strategic actions were needed these “gatekeepers”. only in bremen, where inter- prioritisation: some favour soft methods of encour- traditions, certainly in a national context, but to help internal communication and coop- disciplinary research forms an important part of agement which allocate some additional funds often also in the international arena. For example, eration and so create stronger and more the institution’s identity, there was an explicit without decreasing other units’ budgets – a marine research and development related research visible research areas. while it was acknowl - instrument to promote such “gatekeepers”. there method which only seems to be financially feasible were central areas of the institutional profile at the edged that researchers already tend to cooperate the rector and senate had decided to make the at a minority of institutions and by allocating very University of bergen, while techno-mathematics, actively with outside partners, university leaders at ability to communicate across boundaries an limited resources for a limited duration. others process modelling or research into transition institutional and faculty level felt that their institu- explicit criterion for recruiting professors. thus, actually redistribute funds to favour these areas. economy and related social problems were among tion’s position, in terms of national and interna- recruitment commissions are asked to pay particu- this approach means that the process of identify - the unique areas included in the institutional pro- tional competition, would be enhanced if internal lar attention to the communicative skills of poten- ing and justifying priorities has to be transparent file of the University of latvia. Sometimes, the uni - communication could bring together more tial faculty members and their ability to reach out and solid enough to withstand the harsh scrutiny versities highlighted areas of urgent social concern researchers from related fields. enabling interdisci- across disciplines. of researchers. which the institution felt it was in a good position plinary cooperation internally and forging larger to address, such as water management, economic clusters of excellence would help the institution however, the trend to favour interdisciplinary over Most universities felt such priorities should also research into job creation, or technologies for food make a bigger impact in the competitive world. other kinds of research was regarded with some lead to a certain number of new appointments in safety (e.g. barcelona, bremen, latvia). institutional leaders and researchers observed that scepticism. while it was generally accepted that the identified areas. often a pool of graduate or not only funding authorities but also institutional many interesting new developments occur at the junior research positions was reserved for these Related to concern with thematic prioritisation, leadership were paying increasing attention to, interface or boundaries between disciplines, many areas (although funds still had to be sought were the strategic concerns regarding the concen- and making efforts to foster, research consortia. researchers and a few academic leaders stressed through individual proposals to maintain quality tration of excellence and the need to build critical that these developments would be promoted standards). Some institutions formed new research mass. Medium-sized institutions, especially, felt linking to this, research strategies sometimes most effectively if strong disciplinary research was institutes around their prioritised areas in order to under pressure to work in fewer but stronger fields included some structural goals. For example, the supported. it was felt that researchers working give them additional visibility and competitive in order to meet international competition better. creation of new cross-reaching structures such and meeting on a purely disciplinary basis and standing (e.g. at barcelona, copenhagen, hel- A few academic leaders noted that clusters of as “institutes” (Amsterdam, barcelona, helsinki, with similar scientific interests would be better sinki). Finally, most institutions expected the insti- excellence were being fostered at national or latvia), clusters or centres (Amsterdam, bergen, promoters. tutional leadership to play some part, especially in european level and emphasised the importance of bremen, copenhagen) or themes (bristol). terms of communicating the strengths of these taking part in those which are relevant in order to Many researchers emphasised, with some urgency, areas to relevant external parties. ensure the institution’s competitive position. enhancing interdisciplinarity was regarded as that sufficient time and space was needed to con - an aim at all of the institutions, either because the sider and make use of such opportunities. if people Among the different research universities there most exciting scientific questions could not be are overloaded with duties, an expanding portfo- was a remarkable degree of overlap between the answered without it, or because it enabled univer- lio of tasks and too many short term pressures, priority research areas identified, which presuma - sities to help address real life problems which do they do not have enough space to navigate in and bly has to do with the wide definition of these not easily fall into scientific disciplines. it was engage with truly innovative research environ- observed that, in order to foster interdisciplinary 14 15ments (as mentioned in bremen, bristol, copen - grant funding. in ireland, as in other countries, a private partnerships, such as research projects, co- research. the fears concerning the attitude of each hagen and Dublin). major study had been commissioned to compare financed doctoral positions (bremen, barcelona, party were widely regarded to be the main stum- existing practices and develop a national policy Padua, Riga, trinity), industry-sponsored chairs bling blocks in the initial phase of building durable Some researchers also stressed that the readiness framework for research funding and institutional (medium term or fully endowed), courses taught university-business partnerships and which have to communicate across disciplinary and organisa- overheads. Several institutions (such as Amster- by industrial experts or courses co-taught by pro- to be addressed in order to implement an open tional boundaries was strongly determined by dam, copenhagen, helsinki) were concerned with fessors and industrial experts, common use of innovation strategy. personal disposition and interpersonal relations. the increasing proportion of grant-based external infrastructure and industrial researchers as resi- interdisciplinary approaches cannot and should research funding, versus research money that was dents on campus (trinity). in each institution, it Given the increase in tasks and institutional not be forced: they have to emerge from research provided through the institutional grant, since it was frequently emphasised that such cooperation demands, it is hardly surprising that most research questions, ideas and the wishes of individual was mainly through the latter that space for stra- requires some learning by both parties. Sometimes strategies included the aim to expand the tasks researchers in order to become genuine paths of tegic manoeuvre was made possible. businesses do not yet see the relevance of univer- and size of technology transfer and innova- scientific development, rather than superficial sity knowledge production to their own concerns tion services. Some institutions have already had exercises. the risk is that, otherwise, researchers to support external grant acquisition, most insti- (latvia, bergen, bremen). here, universities are technology transfer or innovation offices for a could submit convincing proposals in order to tutions are expanding their research support making an effort to inform the companies of the number of years but are continually expanding obtain interdisciplinary funds and then use them services, the majority of which had been founded potential interest and benefit to them of uni - their scope and competences. others however in their respective areas with no reference to originally to deal with the complicated grant versity research. For example, the University of have only recently set up such services. interdisciplinarity. applications for eU funds. with the rapidly increas- latvia is creating a database and organising exhi - ing multiplicity of tasks and contacts, new compe- bitions on the university research environment. An example of the rapidly increasing attention interestingly, the above described strategic efforts tences and significant personnel development are According to university representatives at this given to innovation in research-intensive universi- to foster consortial research and interdisciplinary needed to tackle the new portfolio of research institution and several others, small and medium ties can be found at the University of cooperation also included the social sciences and support and innovation services. (See also .5  sized enterprises (SMes) especially, do not usually copenhagen. humanities (in Amsterdam, bremen, bristol, below, concerning the expansion of technology consider that universities could address their copenhagen, and helsinki) which were seen as transfer services) research problems. thus the University of latvia At the University of Copenhagen, a survey traditionally less adapted to group research. these tries to be as accommodating as possible and, revealed a far greater level of entrepreneurial attempts met with mixed responses, often more 3.5 Expanding knowledge transfer , building when unable to respond to the problem itself, it activity and industry cooperation of university negative from the older generation than the partnerships with industry and creating a refers the issue to another institution, so that the researchers than the university leadership had younger. Generally, it was felt that some fields mentality of innovation SMe concerned still feels that approaching the actually expected. In order to allow the institution within the social sciences or humanities lend university is worthwhile. in copenhagen, the to benefit from these activities and to expand themselves more easily to group-based research All institutions included the expansion of center for Science innovation is being set up as a them further, a one stop support service was cre- and interdisciplinary cooperation than others, and knowledge transfer and innovation activi- “one stop shop” where companies can come with ated in 2003 to identify, protect and commercial- that an overly rigid prioritisation on group efforts ties in their research strategies and strategic ideas which they want to develop further in coop- ise university research results and support in these sciences could actually undermine overall actions. entrepreneurship and connections with eration with university researchers. in order to researchers’ innovation activities. In addition, the quality and motivation. nevertheless, it was also industry were reported as the most important evi- realise its strategic goal of expanding research- institution developed an institutional innovation stressed by many individuals that new research dence of an activity having relevance in the cur- based innovation, the University of helsinki’s inno- policy (2001) and formed a committee for com- opportunities and paths had been created or rent political and economic contexts. indeed, out- vation services, organised as a company (“licen - mercial policy, including the Vice Rector Research revealed with the help of such “consortial preju- reach, seen as service to society and the tia”), is introducing a matchmaking process. As a for strategic decisions. All these initiatives were in dice”, and had proven to be exciting and reward- contribution of university research to national eco- first step it has started mapping companies and response to, and in anticipation of, a new Danish ing for the individual researchers. nomic growth and social needs, has been, or is their objectives, in order to try and match these law on inventions in public research institutions being established, as the third main function of with potential partners within the university who (2000) and a new law on technology transfer 3.4 Increasing exter nal research grant income universities, notably in Denmark, Finland, ireland, could then be approached. (2004). With respect to costs, the Tech Transfer and improving research services italy, latvia, norway, and the United kingdom. unit aims to break even and develop a net gain while innovation is usually seen as one facet of the Generally speaking, at most universities there was within the next ten to fifteen years. Several institutions have included the aim of possible services which a university can provide, a considerable number of representatives, espe- increasing their external research income in this is now more prominent in terms of how an cially among the institutional leadership, deans Against the backdrop of a strong commitment to their research strategies. At one institution quanti- institution demonstrates its relevance to modern and experimental scientists, who found it strategi- innovation at most of the universities visited, it tative targets were even mentioned in this context. society. cally important to address the business perception should be noted that the major strategic concern At the same time, the issue of addressing the costs that science is too academic, as well as address the identified is for the need for a shift in the mentality associated with externally funded research was a Several aspects of cooperation with industry were university researchers’ fears that businesses (espe- of university researchers and how to orchestrate major institutional concern at most universities, highlighted in strategic initiatives and plans. Firstly, cially small and medium sized enterprises) some- such a change. the three central questions are since general infrastructure and service costs were all universities mentioned the expansion of already times demand too great a degree of responsive- how to remove the fear that innovation necessar- either not covered at all, or only met in part, by well -established forms of cooperation and public- ness to their industrial concerns from university ily undermines the engagement in basic research, 16 17how to make researchers identify more often the involved, is considerable and often goes beyond sities it was stressed that it was the big corpora- lish new levels of cooperation, while, at others, potential innovation dimension in their research the university’s resources. but after a few years tions who were acting as the most effective advo- different networks or alliances are formed. and how best to address this in their projects. more patentable inventions start to emerge and cates for supporting basic research. “industry will often, the technology transfer or innovation entrepreneurial activity is regarded in a more save us from the politicians with their taste for Although science parks are mentioned gener- offices were seen to work proactively in trying to favourable light. immediate returns. it will force the politicians to ally, different stages of maturity were reported: push forward the strategic agenda of increased think more long term,” a researcher commented from bremen where a technology park was openness towards the needs of industry. however, Researchers, innovation directors and university in Denmark. founded 17 years ago with the support of the some university innovation directors report that, leaders alike felt that more incentives are needed region, to the University of latvia, where technol - given the limited resources, they concentrate their in order to stimulate researchers to think about 3.6 Building regional networks ogy parks are a more recent phenomenon, estab- efforts on those researchers who in general are opportunities for industrial innovation, resulting lished with the help of eU Structural Funds. A more proactive, or indeed on the younger genera- from their research, and to develop stronger part- An important element of most research strategies whole range of different experiences and tion who are less reluctant to engage with nerships with industry, despite their natural pro- consisted of expanding the institution’s contribu- approaches to science parks could be seen. how- industry. fessional inclination to focus on basic science. tion to the technological, economic and social ever, all universities saw the funding of science Most often it is the lack of incentives related to the development of its region. in particular, regional parks as a strategic investment which should help As reported at several institutions, one obstacle to national career structures that impedes this pro- concerns, such as the disappearance of old indus- to improve links with industry, which most felt was innovation initiatives sometimes may be the fact cess rather than the institution’s actions. national tries and the need to find new ones with which to in some need of improvement. At some institu- that researchers simply do not know how to pur- budget allocation, salary incentives and career replace them, were mentioned at barcelona, tions it was stressed that, in order to be successful, sue innovation activities. this is easily remedied by advancement mechanisms do not yet support bremen, and latvia. naturally, the focus was most such investment should be linked to the strengths innovation services. teaching scientists, especially innovation activities. often on technological research: for example, in of the institution. thus, the University of latvia, the younger generation, entrepreneurial skills and engineering, production technology, it , micro- after a less successful attempt with a more general trying to foster an entrepreneurial spirit, are however, it should be noted that there were diver- systems technology, materials, solid state physics, technology park, is now taking its most promising regarded as extremely important contributions to gent views as to how far such incentives and the biotechnologies. the idea of new or intensified institutes as the basis for more focused technology creating an environment where entrepreneurial shift of priority between research and innovation partnerships with regional authorities or busi- parks (for example, in magneto-hydrodynamics activity can prosper. in Riga, the university now functions should extend. Regarding most aspects nesses was emphasised at all of the ten institutions and smart materials, biotechnology including provides entrepreneurial training for younger sci- of technology transfer, patenting and other iP visited. Despite their international research per- functional foods),. this new approach is proving a entists and PhD students who then can bring services, it was felt that industry offers and should spectives, universities stressed strongly the impor- great success and generating considerable interest these skills to the research groups in which they offer more know-how and resources. the distribu - tance of being located in a research-friendly envi- from business. work. this has resulted in promising increases in tion of roles, labour, and resources to be invested ronment. indeed, at half of the institutions, some entrepreneurial activity. in innovation services between universities and important new strategic initiatives had been made At most universities, the investment in science industry seemed to be a highly disputed and unre- possible by regional support. At the University of parks is regarded as strategically important for two All directors of innovation services emphasised solved issue. Many university representatives and bremen, the Rectorate’s strategic reserves and reasons. Firstly, the investment in forming links that they saw no necessary contradiction between some innovation service representatives also new initiatives were largely made possible by the with industry is regarded as contributing to efforts outstanding performance in basic research and expressed scepticism regarding the extent of pos- framework conditions, laws, financial and political in building a new mentality among university high level of activity in innovation. Quite often, sible support from industry, even in the long term. support of the region. researchers. Secondly, science parks are designed those who are most active in innovation are also industry’s readiness to invest in university research to facilitate a new form of partnership with indus- among the most successful in basic research. once and innovation was described as being rather in catalonia, ireland and more recently latvia, the try, one which responds more closely to industrial their successes with innovation activities become more hesitant in europe than many had hoped region had been supported significantly by eU needs, with the hope of constructing an environ- known, and are associated at the same time with (although there seems to be considerable varia- Structural Funds, often with direct benefit to the ment where the requirements of science and outstanding achievements in science, a snowball tion of levels of private investment according to universities by way of investment in costly scien- industry grow together. barcelona’s Science Park effect start to occur, as representatives from trinity the different knowledge sectors). Some expressed tific infrastructure (for example, support for the may serve as a good example of how to use a sci- report. there, after years of mobilisation and doubts whether the US model of industrial involve- barcelona Science Park, or scientific equipment at ence park as a key instrument to open up proac- enhancing opportunities, a major increase in inno- ment in university would really be transposable to the University of latvia). tively the university to industry partners: vation activity can now be seen. At all universities, the european context. to conclude, strategic technology transfer and innovation service officials attention needs to be focused not just on chang- Many university leaders and their innovation serv- Connecting basic research with corporate as well as institutional leaders observe that the first ing the mentality of university researchers, but ice directors mention attempts to establish new research and development around common phase of achieving such successes begins slowly, also of those working in industry. regional networks which bring together scien- labs, services and infrastructures, Barcelona’s and requires researchers to be persuaded one at a tists, technological firms, hospitals, and public Science Park was the first science park in Spain time. in the beginning, innovation services have Finally, it should be noted that strategic attention authorities, around common aims, problems and and served as the model for the twenty other to actively seek out the researchers and build up given to building links with industry did not only infrastructure. At times science parks aim to estab- parks which have been or are now being devel- “customer relationships” with them. the time concern innovation activities and the creation of a oped across the country. The starting point was required, and investment by the personnel dynamic innovation environment. At three univer- 18 1the realisation that technology transfer activi- a research centre by the Generalitat de catalonia’s think beyond the borders of a single university in ries of new professors. t wo others mention ties had reached a plateau and that they were Ministry of Universities, Research and the informa- order to remain competitive in the costly experi- additional support provided from public regional too divergent to meet the real needs of firms. tion Society, the University of barcelona’s Faculty mental sciences. funds for topping up recruitment packages. New forms of cooperation needed to be found. of Medicine, the hospital clinic of barcelona and The former Vice Rector for Research (who has the institute of biomedical Research of barcelona in some regions or countries the coordination of t wo institutions explicitly mention the strategic recently become the new Rector of the Univer- of the council for Scientific Research. iDibAPS infrastructural investments for science among sev- goal of internationalising the composition of its sity of Barcelona) founded, directed and aims to integrate quality clinical research and high eral institutions is required by funding authorities professoriate: barcelona and helsinki want to expanded the science park from 1997 onwards, level basic research in order to achieve a more (this was reported for example in catalonia, Fin - attract more researchers from abroad, at junior with the help of EU structural funds (50% of the effective transfer of scientific breakthroughs in the land, ireland, netherlands and norway). Forward- researcher/lecturer as well as at professorial level. expenses were met by Zone Two funding) and prevention and treatment of the most common looking investment choices and transparent, user- Attracting researchers from abroad is often made regional support. The science park concentrates health problems in Spain. it also seeks to turn friendly, cost-saving procedures for ensuring difficult by institutional or national recruitment its efforts strongly on biomedicine and the catalonia and barcelona into an important inter- optimal investment and use of costly scientific procedures or the uncompetitive level of start-up development of Barcelona as a bioregion, an national pole of biomedicine, an aim to which the infrastructure were a strategic concern at all insti- funds. to this end catalonia has established a pro - effort which has also been supported by the barcelona science park is also contributing to. tutions, since such major investments always gramme (icReA) to top-up the start-up investment pharmaceutical industry (60% of Spain’s phar- common infrastructures function as nodal points implied less money for other investments, thus funds for new professorships in order to make maceutical industry is in Catalonia), as well as in the network (see .5.). Similarly, the University presupposing some prioritisation. them competitive in attracting international on nano-bioengineering (with the strong of helsinki is also participating in a nationally scientists. engagement of the Politecnica of Barcelona’s funded centre of competence which combines 3.8 Recruitment of top scientists and the new Institute of Nano-bioengineering, and the excellent university research with other public and scope and quality of research training Most of the institutions stress the importance of network of excellence Nano to Life.) After years private research institutes and some corporations, paying attention to the needs and creative devel- of mixed reactions ranging from great enthusi- using common infrastructure. the last major element of institutional research opment of the young scientists by offering them asm to scepticism, the science park now receives strategies relates to human resource development opportunities for kick-off funds, attractive infra- wide-spread admiration and interest. University 3.7 Common scientific infrastructure and and in particular to the recruitment of top sci- structure support. the University of bremen is researchers benefit from the state-of-the-art infrastructure platforms entists and the scope and quality of research seeking to strengthen the intermediate scientist/ facilities and services and the fact that they can training. lecturer level (“Mittelbau”) which in the past, for now apply for funding for which they would Following on from the previous point, new links historical reasons, did not exist at the institution. otherwise not be eligible (for example, loans around common infrastructure constitute As mentioned previously, the most important ele- the situation of young scientists seems to be influ - from science park foundations). Companies, another central strategic concern for most of the ment of human resource development is consid- enced not only by the availability of funding to which have five year agreements with the sci - universities visited. with no end in sight to rising ered to be the recruitment plan which presup- kick-start new research activities, but also by gov- ence park, benefit from the access to the scien - costs and an awareness that the planning, invest- poses some identification of new areas in which ernance structures. At three institutions young sci- tists’ ideas, the recruitment possibilities, the use ment and use of scientific infrastructure may professorships should be advertised. the recruit- entists at assistant professor level complained that of state-of-the-art facilities, and the fact that sometimes be too fragmented between different ment of top scientists, while not necessarily they find it difficult to build up their new activities they can attract investment in research. Joint departments, the leadership of many institutions mentioned as such in the strategic plans, is when faced with the dominance and territories of units comprising companies and research units mentioned strategic actions to improve the sup- regarded as the most important strategic invest- established institutes, departments or chairs, since of the university are generally felt to be a con- port, coordinated investment and use of scientific ment in the future of their institutions. the strate - funds are not easily redirected from these estab- siderable step forward from more traditional infrastructure, not only inside the institution but gic reserves of rectors or deans are often used to lished channels. forms of collaboration. 250 jobs have already also in cooperation with other interested users. in support particularly important and costly recruit- been created and the space is now being dou- barcelona, bergen, bremen, Dublin, latvia, sci - ments. offering competitive packages to world- Ambitious young rising scientists seem highly bled to accommodate more commercial users. ence parks or other platforms (like the previously renowned professors or even young rising stars is aware of other opportunities at other institu- Discussions about merging the technology mentioned iDiPAbS) have been established and observed to be an increasingly expensive task, so tions. The more international their outlook, the transfer unit with the science park’s innovation are being expanded to ensure greater cost effi - that such investments have to be prioritised and less they seemed to accept being held up by services are being held. Generally, the science ciency and also foster new cooperation since linked to areas of outstanding strengths. other - sluggish institutional support and limited park is seen to serve as a “shop window” for researchers often come together around common wise, the institution has little chance to attract the national funding possibilities. As a female industry outside to gain a relevant insight into infrastructure. At bristol and helsinki, the institu- most competitive individuals and risks spreading assistant professor engaged in biomedical the university. tional leadership explicitly asked whether the posi- its investments too thinly to allow for sustainable research comments representatively: “If they tive experiences of ceRn and the european development in the long run. At several institu- don’t give me the scientific support and infra - in addition to the model of science parks, other Molecular biology laboratory in heidelberg should tions academic leaders wondered how the rising structure I need to set up my activities at full examples of strategic regional networks were not serve as models for establishing successful costs needed to attract top scientists can be met speed within the next two years, I will reorient identified. one good example is the catalan networking and cooperation structures around by the institution alone. t wo institutions men- myself and go back to the States” (she had iDiPAbS (institut d’investigacions biomèdiques extremely costly common infrastructures?. it is tioned that they have been granted private sup- completed a post doctorate at Harvard Medical August Pi i Sunyer) which was founded in 1  as increasingly becoming a financial necessity to port for topping up start up funds or even the sala- School). 20 21institutions mention wanting to increase the Rovigo and 25% from the university. the school using incentives. bergen is also working to gain number of PhD students (bergen, bremen, hel- offers special support courses and excellent approval for joint PhD degrees in order to sinki, latvia, Padua, trinity), the number of post student/staff ratios for twenty-four «high fly - increase mobility. bremen wishes to review its doctoral researchers (bremen, helsinki, trinity) ers» who can be students from both cycles traditional teaching exchanges from the point or the proportion of international PhD students (bachelor or Master). they have to be particu - of view of their research cooperation potential (bergen, bremen, copenhagen, Padua, trinity). larly good to be admitted to the school where and also in view of international exchange at in latvia and ireland this institutional goal is they follow interdisciplinary and research-ori- doctorate level. associated with the national government’s policy ented courses, many of which are offered in to increase research capacity. in ireland a recent english. Students also have to learn another oecD report has even recommended that ireland language (German, Spanish, French). in hel- double its PhD capacity. in latvia, 70% of doctoral sinki and bremen, the positive experience with students have to pay tuition fees and most have the nationally funded graduate programmes to work full time during their PhD in order pay and the support they offer to individual gradu- their living expenses. Access to grants is not easy, ate students should now be extended to the nor are they high enough to pay living expenses whole institution. however, there were also (unless it is a grant from structural funds). State institutions where such provision and structures scholarships, although being small, preclude existed in some faculties, without it being part the holder from working. thus the institution is of an institutional policy to extend these pro- working under difficult conditions and needs grammes or support structures to the whole to increase PhD funding from the institutional institution or to define institutional standards budget as well as ensuring that those who receive of support or structure. At these institutions, funding also get excellent PhD training with opti- these decisions were entirely left to the facul- mal mentoring. ties, departments or graduate deans (as was the case in Amsterdam, bergen, copenhagen). Regarding graduate training, the strategic goals in the Uk and ireland, a national code of good concerned: practice provided an overarching guideline, while the nature or structure of the programmes ■ the link between doctoral and master was left entirely to the individual departments level teaching, in order to ensure the best or schools. transition which takes into account different entry qualification profiles, as well as the need in several countries (Denmark, Finland, ireland, to increase cost efficiency (for example, by the netherlands), graduate schools have also including more common provision); been established between several institutions, to ensure sufficient critical mass in a given area. ■ the link between top research areas and this raises some questions regarding strategic graduate programmes/schools, to positioning of the institutional research profile. enhance international competitiveness; ■ the quality of supervision and mentoring, ■ the integration of graduate training into including the responsibility for overseeing these larger, more structured environments, questions. such as graduate or doctoral schools, providing better social and interdisciplinary ■ the internationalisation of the graduate integration as well as complementary taught experience, in particular through the modules (for example, teaching research meth- creation of joint programmes or joint ods or related skills, such as project manage- degrees (helsinki, copenhagen, and trinity). ment, iPR, communication and presentation For example, copenhagen has the strategic skills, academic writing in english, science pop- goal that every programme must have at least ularisation, or other transferable skills). in one english track, which should also benefit the Padua, an elite graduate school (Scuola Superi- internationalisation of research through the ore Galileo) was founded a year ago with 75% availability of potential PhD students. trinity of funding from the cassa di Risparmio di and bergen aim to foster outgoing mobility 22 24. i nDivi Dualism an D institutional stee Ring: pRocess an D metho Ds o F unive Rsity st Rategy Development 4.1 European resear ch universities conduct the quality of strategic development at universi - leadership, faculty deans, department heads, insti- tion, some formerly independent institutes associ- strategic management rather than ties was most often seen to depend on the quality tute heads or whatever the unit definitions may ated with the university were about to regain their strategic planning of dialogue on the future which leaders and indi- be) is distributed differently, according to the stra- independence thus rendering their integration viduals of the various levels were able to conduct tegic issue tackled. At some institutions, for exam- into a process of institutional strategic priority set- the image of a university or any other institution with each other. while university researchers are ple, the central leadership does not want to select ting practically impossible. in most cases, however, developing a strategy, may bring to mind a pro- quite attuned to thinking about the future of their or prioritise scientific areas, but feels quite com - the institutes’ or departments’ strategic proposals cess that resembles a rational plan largely initiated, scientific fields, university leaders regarded it as a fortable with the idea of setting strategic aims were considerably revised and prioritised at the orchestrated and directed from above, with goals considerable challenge to direct such strategic with respect to quality procedures, targets regard- next institutional level. defined at the top level which are then negotiated thinking beyond the boundaries of these fields ing the number of doctoral positions or external and fine-tuned at the next level. the reality in into an institutional dialogue. After all, as many research grant income, or overarching guidelines At four institutions, faculties seemed to play an european universities appears quite different. Stra- noted, the institution itself is not a natural point of regarding the contours of graduate training. important role in the strategic prioritisation not tegic development is clearly an iterative process, reference for most researchers, even though they clearly, the most consciously and carefully distrib - just as a relay between the institutional and more characterised more by continuous dialogue and may be quite proud to be a member of it. their uted process relates to the identification and selec - disciplinary perspectives, but also as a first filter for constant revisions, by identification and adoption fields, disciplinary or interdisciplinary, form a com - tion of scientific areas in which the institution the multitude of proposals. At the University of of new opportunities, rather than by a rational munity of experts all over the world and constitute should prioritise investment. here leadership at copenhagen, faculties played the most important design decided on high and handed down for a more immediately meaningful environment for institutional or faculty level seem acutely aware strategic role, with the faculty of health sciences implementation. indeed, it can be said that strate- researchers than the institutional setting around that they have to make difficult and carefully and the faculty of sciences either having devel- gic development at universities resembles much them. to convert what is often described as a weighed decisions since expertise is horizontally oped or being in the process of developing their more what recent theoretical studies on strategy rather nebulous sense of affiliation to a given insti - distributed to such a degree that comparison has own research strategy. the strategies relate their call “strategic management”. in contrast to the tution into an understanding of their university as to be drawn between widely different elements. strengths to external opportunities and seek ways earlier school of “strategic planning”, followers of a forum where researchers could and would want to make use of external relations and partnerships strategic management emphasise the manage- to construct a scientific future together, rather o f course the most visible strategic tool and pro- with industry in order to expand. (it should be ment of an organisation through strategic visions, than just existing side by side, seemed to be one cess, which is usually seen as being the den fi itive noted that these faculties are very large institu- with careful attention to soft issues of internal of the key concerns of institutional and faculty element of strategic management, consists of tional units: for example, if counted as a separate organisation and environment, such as style, leaders. drafting and adopting a strategic plan. t his plan institution the faculty of sciences would be the structure, climate of the organisation (hussey is supposed to be widely regarded as a reference third largest higher education institution in Den- 18). they regard the focus on creativity, and 4.2 Developing a university strategy: a highly document for medium term development. t he mark in terms of research budget) thus on behavioural aspects of management and distributed process den fi ition of this strategic plan therefore ree fl cts the flexible implementation of strategic visions, as most clearly the diverse nature of strategy develop- one institution was in the process of restructuring more important than the rational analysis of stra- As mentioned previously, strategic development ment at european universities. t his process does with the explicit aim of empowering the de-cen- tegic opportunities in relation to institutional at universities comprises a whole set of strategic not just involve a few forward-looking members of tralised level to think and act more strategically, strengths and the design of an institution-wide actions which are beyond the contours of any the executive board, but also boards of institutes with the help of its own budget autonomy. Mov- strategic plan, although the latter is often still con- written plan or explicit design. nevertheless, (or whatever the lowest organisational unit may ing away from a dual de-centralised structure with sidered a necessary first step. At the universities before we look at the whole range of methods of be), in many cases the faculty councils and at most sixty-one departments and six rather weak over- visited in this study, strategic development strategic development (section 4.4) we should places the senate and its relevant committee, as arching faculties, the fifteen larger new schools revealed great attention to these soft issues of focus on the development of the strategic plan well as a wide array of vocal individuals. were designed to achieve more coherent strategic management, in particular regarding the promo- itself, since it is the most visible part of the process action. tion of individual initiative and innovation. Strate- of strategic development at european universities. if we look at the different levels within the univer- gic development at universities seemed to focus it may well even be the most developed and dis- sities we should note that strategic concepts are At all institutions, an institutional committee or most strongly on mobilising ideas and strategic seminated process within the wider scope of stra- most often developed and collected first at the commission, usually connected with the Senate or thinking by individual experts – a very modern tegic development methods. At all of the institu- level of institutes or departments and then col- Scientific council, plays a central role in strategy version of strategic management which has little tions visited, the definition of a strategic plan lated and often prioritised at the next level (usually definition. this committee uses the input from to do with the centralist planning which some involves the input from, and negotiation with, faculties). At two institutions, most groups felt departments and/or faculties as a basis for its people may fear is associated with “university several institutional levels, usually repeated several that this remained the most decisive level of stra- work. At the universities of bergen, bremen, bris- strategies”. times, in a dialogue which is not only limited to tegic development and that little channelling and tol, helsinki, latvia, Padua and at trinity college the institution itself but, as mentioned in chapter prioritising actually occurred above institute level. Dublin the first draft of the strategy is prepared by indeed the definition of a fixed document called 2, often includes regional or national partners. (it should be noted that this was seen sometimes the Research council or commission with the “strategic plan” for the whole institution con- to prevent the emergence of new initiatives, as the help of professional staff. this draft is stituted a relatively minor part of the strategic to describe the process, it should be noted first of mentioned especially by younger researchers, then circulated again for comment and, after final process, although such a document was produced all that the process unfolds differently, and the since it would require some willingness to redis- revisions, adopted by the senate or board. this at all of the institutions visited (see section 4.). weight of the role of different level actors (central tribute resources at faculty level.) At a third institu- process usually takes over a year to complete. the 24 24 25following description of the process from bergen institutions which have seen several rounds of overview of the different institutional approaches to strategy definition may be seen as typical: strategy development, report that at first such approach to strategic management a B c D e F g h i l plans were not taken very seriously by the aca- “After initial brain-storming discussions, the demic community. however, after several central institutional level plays the most important role in x x x x x x x proposals are then put forward to the Faculty rounds the strategic plans were accepted strategic development Council, after which they are submitted to the as serious guidelines for action. they lost central institutional strategy/ strategic action prioritises Senate. Based on departmental reports, each of some of their original vagueness and clearer (x) x x x x x x x x particular areas the seven faculties is expected to develop a prior- priorities were set so that they were no ity list of proposals. Major priority areas could longer a mere wish list. nevertheless, it should central institutional strategic action focuses mainly on x x x x x x x x x be den fi ed quite easily since they coincide with be noted that, no matter how clear the priorities new initiatives the basic prolfi e and tradition of the institution. and how mature the process of strategy develop- central institutional level changes previous resource x x x x x x x x However the prioritised research areas with a ment was felt to be, there was no institution which allocation shorter time perspective (v fi e to ten years) are felt that the strategic plans, once drafted and A central academic body (the Senate/Research council / more controversial and have to be constantly adopted, should be used as a binding contractual Research committee) has a central role to play in the strat - (x) x x x x x x x x reviewed and renewed on the basis of priorities document. the aims were regarded as guidelines egy definition within the faculties. These faculty proposals are and reference points which should still allow then forwarded to the Research Council where a enough flexibility to respond to unforeseen Faculties and Schools play the most important role in x (x) (x) x r fi st overall strategy is devised and submitted opportunities. defining research strategies for comment back to the institution.” Research institutes below the level of faculties play the it should also be noted that at the eight institu- x x most important role in defining research strategies t he level of detail which was required in tions where thematic prioritisation occurred, such the medium term strategy differed widely priority setting attached itself not so much to ex from institution to institution, as did the ante strategic concepts, but rather to strategic explicit links to financial allocation. t he narratives associated with individual research initi- most detailed strategic prioritisation could be atives and projects and the wider contexts of 4.3 Underlying assumptions about the There is a large degree of consensus among the found at the University of l atvia where the strat- excellence from which they were seen to emerge. nature and current processes of scientific research universities visited about the nature egy’s research innovation lines are defined with innovation at universities and contemporary process of scientific innova - indicators on the basis of a data template which At several institutions, it was emphasised how tion at universities. This is based on the follow- had been designed recently in a PhARe project important leadership of the strategy devel- All of the research universities visited shared some ing three core beliefs: for prioritisation in the process of establishing a opment process was to the sustainability of assumptions on the nature of scientific innovation. technology park. t his template compiles indica- the decisions. Apart from the rector or vice- these should be kept in mind when considering 1. The individualistic motor of scientific tors of grant income, students, international visi- chancellor and any other centrally appointed head the approaches to strategic development taken by innovation: The most innovative ideas are bility, originality (i.e. research should not be in of the strategy development process, it was often each. At the same time, however, there are also always born in the mind of individuals who saturated fields), relation to the needs of l atvian stressed that deans also had a crucial role to play diverging assumptions regarding the possible have always been and will always be the society, and the capability to encourage the in the institutional strategy development, since impact and expected success which central or fac- most important motors of innovation. Thus, development of new technologies and services. they formed the relay between the perspective of ulty incentives or other steering methods are felt university leaders should never presume that o nce these areas are identified by the Senate the institution and the perspectives of the disci- to play in the institutional development. lastly, they are able to prescribe which areas lend Strategy Group which is headed by the Vice-Rec- plines. indeed the strategic role of deans and/or there are different assumptions about the external themselves to institutional prioritisation. tor for research, they then go to Senate which department heads had made three institutions environment, its stability or otherwise, which con- Such priorities should be generated bottom- accepts the strategy by voting (not an easy pro- change their procedures for selecting individuals tribute to the institution’s acceptance or rejection up and should be defined very flexibly in cess in itself). For each year, the larger areas are for these offices. in the past, these were elected for of steering at central level, as well as to judge- order to not suffocate the innovative life of broken down into sub-headings (this process is shorter term offices (in the spirit of a primus inter ments as to which level should appropriate which the institution. preceded by regular lobbying for these annual pares among colleagues). it was now the rector or function in the institutional environment. thus, to definitions) for which prioritised funding was institutional executive board who appointed deans understand the strategic development process at made available. t he Senate (called University or department heads on the basis of proposals universities, we first have to take a closer look at c ouncil) has the final decision and priorities are from the faculty. in bergen, the new procedure of these assumptions. then implemented by internal research fund allo- appointing department heads was first introduced cation. in spite of this level of detail and strict pri- in one pilot faculty. After some positive experi- ority setting, professors did not express any sense ences, the institution is now moving to introduc- of feeling restricted by these priorities, but ing appointed department heads in all faculties. seemed to feel there was enough space to con- 26 27 tribute to the definition of the sub-headings.2. The increasing group factor of scientific these should be given greater room for action, stitutional leadership to provide meaningful pursue their own research interests, but should innovation: An increasing number of scien- i.e. better financial and physical resource. opportunities and incentives for people to meet look for as much overlap as possible between tific questions can only be tackled by research therefore, good recruitment procedures and a in cognate areas which will be useful for the their own sense of what are exciting research groups, which are often interdisciplinary. The reliable review of project ideas by peers with institution’s positioning and visibility. areas and those which society sees as particu- composition of these groups cannot be enough expertise are needed. Rather than larly relevant for its future well-being. if only for imposed since the right “chemistry” between steering individuals, one should provide the Ad :  there is a range of beliefs regarding the pragmatic reasons, for example, to ensure the people is one of the most important factors in means which allow them to come forward with weight attributed to developing an independent financial competitiveness of the university, re - the success of a group’s innovative research new ideas as easily as possible and which allow long term perspective versus that attributed to the searchers have to make sure that their research potential. The only thing that can be done to the institution to take note of these ideas in or- institution responding to societal needs. t wo types is regarded as relevant by the tax payer or oth- foster group formation by those who man- der to be able to promote them if they are can be distinguished: er financial supporters. thus, the university age institutions or funding agencies is to judged worthy. A:  it is the university’s role to provide long term should give a large degree of freedom to indi- provide opportunities and incentives for indi- research and identify future problems and per- viduals so that they can realise their ideas, but viduals to meet around common scientific 1b: the University should give maximum freedom spectives. Research relevance follows from this. should also push them to pay more attention interests. to individuals so that they can realise their ide- while it is useful to optimise the dialogue be - to certain issues if these are deemed to be par- as, but only if they have been proven to be tween such long term research and other ac- ticularly pressing for the institution (for exam- 3. The balance to be struck between long among the best. Peer review of proposals is not tors who could make use of such research, the ple, as part of its profile of strengths) or for the term perspectives and relevance for soci- enough to ensure quality. the institution should contents of the research itself should not be wider community. ety: Universities derive their institutional provide rewards and performance-related re- moved in the direction of assumed relevance uniqueness from their long term perspective source allocation to allow the highest perform- since the most ground-breaking solutions may looking at the sample of our institutions, we find on all areas which they could and should ers and best ideas to gain more resources/pos- actually come from unexpected sources any- that their institutional beliefs, which influence explore. At the same time universities should sibilities and motivate the less well performing way. their readiness or reluctance to accept institutional produce research results and viewpoints to improve. Furthermore, it is reasonable to b: while the university should be responsible for steering (as will be discussed later), are distributed which help society tackle its biggest and create opportunities to foster internal coopera- developing long term perspectives, it also has in the following manner: most pressing problems. Since one of the tion among members of the institution, or to an obligation to conduct research that feeds most pressing problems is the sustainability motivate them to pursue overarching aims into areas which have already been recognised of economic and social welfare in Europe, which seek to increase institutional visibility. as being of particular importance for the future universities have to produce relevant research development of the country (or region/conti- in order to contribute to creating conditions Ad 2: there is a range of beliefs regarding the nent). University researchers should not just in which the ambient economy and society necessity to steer the formation of groups, from can thrive. allowing groups to self-assemble, to trying to do Beliefs a (individualist B (steering as much as possible to help the formation of new beliefs) beliefs) Given this consensus, there are different degrees research cooperation. institution A 1A/b, 2A/ b, A  2.5 0.5 and shades attached to these beliefs which con- 2A: Groups assemble by themselves. if the institu- institution b 1A/b, 2b, b 0.5 2.5 tribute to the understanding and design of the tion tries to suggest the topics, there is a dis- institution c 1A/b, 2A, A  2.5 0.5 strategic process. tinct danger that artificial project proposals will be suggested and people will still follow their institution D 1b, 2A, A/  b 1.5 1.5 Ad 1: Regarding the first belief, there is a wide own interests. the only thing research environ - institution e 1b, 2A, A  2.0 1.0 range of different beliefs regarding the degree to ments need is sufficient financial resources and institution F 1b, 2b, A/b 0.5 2.5 which individuals can or should be moved to a good flexible international quality review of improve their performance, their internal coopera- proposals. institution G 1b, 2b, A/  b 0.5 2.5 tion and/or engagement with institutional priori- 2b: while researchers naturally find others to col - institution h 1A, 2A, A .0  0.0 ties. t wo types may be distinguished: laborate with all over the world, they have no institution i 1b, 2b, A  1.0 2.0 particular reason to seek collaboration within a 1A: the University should give maximum freedom given institution. indeed, more often than not, institution l 1b, 2A, b 1.0 2.0 to individuals so that they can realise their ide- they may not even be aware of potential excit- as, without any attempt to steer them in pre- ing partners there, even though it is within the defined directions. Since some individuals are institution itself that interdisciplinary coopera- brighter and more innovative than others, tion may actually be easiest. it is the role of in- 28 2thus, we have institutions A, c and most strongly can still be a significant amount of attention paid insufficient sources for the acquisition of scien - that it does not exist at the others, given the h, with a predominantly individualistic set up, to individual researchers, greatly improving the tific infrastructure, were immediately consid - author’s limited exposure to the institutions). while institutions b, F and G show stronger trust in conditions under which they work. when such ered by researchers as restrictions to their indi- once again it should be stressed that a sense of institutional steering. institutions e, i and l are attention to mobilising the potential of the indi- vidual innovation space. younger academics, responsiveness could also be supported by easy more in the middle range, with e leaning more to vidual researchers is complemented by other especially those who had not yet built up their access to regional actors, which may also con- the individualist side and i and l more to the steer - steering methods, this may lead to some individu- personal networks of contacts that could pro- tribute to the flexibility of research support in ing side of the spectrum. als and groups being supported far more than vide flexible solutions to funding shortages, felt everyday life. others. these constraints strongly. interestingly, we can see a relationship between 2. internal research funds for emerging 4.4.2 Strategic methods of institutional the beliefs that are predominant in the institutions interestingly, it should be noted that there are also projects and areas. t his was regarded as steering visited and the ways in which the process of stra- institutions which feel very strongly about crea- an important method for enlarging individual tegic development is organised. At those institu- ting the optimal research conditions for individu- innovation space since early stages in project the following methods are based on the belief tions at which the A beliefs are dominant, namely als, while allowing at the same time significant development were generally not easily that institutional steering can create competitive institutions A, c and most strongly h, there is also intervention and prioritising on the part of the funded through external sources. w herever advantages and contribute to positive institutional greater reluctance to attribute steering power to institutional leadership (see 4.5). such internal research grants existed, namely development (concurrent with beliefs 1b, 2b, and the central level leadership, apart from quality at the universities of Amsterdam, bergen, b): management which is regarded in all institutions 4.4 Methods of Strategic Management bremen, c openhagen, helsinki, Padua, Riga, 1. All institutions stressed that it was very impor- as an accepted steering task of institutional leaders t rinity c ollege Dublin, they were distributed tant to have resources attached to new activi- (though not confined to them solely). with their these beliefs find their expression in a variety of on a competitive basis and allocated after ties, for which flexible strategic reserves were predominantly individualistic set up, these institu- strategic management methods. peer review, which was organised internally allocated at institutional or faculty level (Am- tions try to minimise the number of steering inter- but often included international peers. Some sterdam, copenhagen, helsinki, latvia, bremen, ventions and tend to limit these to a few guidelines 4.4.1 Strategic methods to support conditions institutions also used these research funds to and trinity). Most often strategic funds were and uncontroversial consensual goals, such as the of individuals strengthen institutional consortia or centres used to create new structures (centres or insti- increase of graduate students or the enhancement of excellence. All institutions which had in- tutes) around proven centres of excellence. of graduate training structures and mentoring. to support the belief in the individual as the prime ternal research funds made sure that these this was seen to add new momentum and pro - even in relation to quality, the redistribution of motor of intellectual development, institutions did not duplicate but were complementary vide additional visibility to the outside world. in resources is exercised to a limited degree. in con- provide: to national or regional research funding op- bremen, helsinki, and Riga, this seemed to be trast, institutions which show a dominance of b 1. attention to competitive conditions of portunities. the favoured way of helping push a major new beliefs, namely institutions b, F and G, find reasons individual professorships in terms of re-  . a ttention and responsiveness to emerg- initiative forward. to justify institutional intervention and have more sources and infrastructure. Such attention ing and promising initiatives of indi- A second possible use consisted of supporting trust in institutional steering, and are thus also may include the use of strategic reserves for viduals by academic leaders at depart- projects in their quest for external funding, more likely to attribute more power to central particularly desirable new appointments. the mental, faculty or institutional level. An sometimes called matching funds. it was often leadership functions with respect to other over- more internationally competitive the market in important but often overlooked method of mentioned that a small amount of money can arching strategic aims. a given scientific area and claim of the institu - supporting individuals consists of the identifi - be enough to enable projects to obtain more tion to be well positioned in the area, the more cation, communication and financial support significant outside funding. it was also observed of course, it should be repeated that individualism urgently was the need to have strategic re- of individual initiatives. t his created a strong frequently (among all groups) that such re- is a strong foundation of all research universities, serves for recruitment negotiations empha- sense of possibilities being open in several in- serves are becoming more and more important these, perhaps, being the only environment in sised. naturally, competitive conditions are not stitutions, which led to a general awareness because external funding sources increasingly which researchers can flourish. but institutions just determined by the institution itself, but of researchers that “a good idea can travel far see institutional support as a sign of commit- with predominant A beliefs take such individual- also strongly defined by the national and re - in this place”. t his perception seemed to play ment and the internal appreciation of a project’s ism so far as to find most limiting institutional gional funding conditions. indeed, in those a remarkably large role in the emotional iden- worth. in the netherlands this attitude has actions, apart from ethical standards and quality countries in which the research funding agen- tification of researchers with their institutions evolved into a strict principle of matching pay- assurance, as undesirable and pernicious to the life cies are regarded as providing sufficient possi - and should not be underestimated in defining ments by the funding authorities which de- of a research university. bilities for research project and infrastructure the attractiveness of an institution in the eyes mand a 40-50% institutional overhead contri- grants, the dependence of the individual re- of particularly active and innovative research- bution to each research project. this adds to however it should also be stressed, that even at searchers on institutional provision was notice- ers. t he author found strong evidence of this the problems which are usually listed in discus- institutions where considerable steering functions ably less pronounced (for example, in Amster- at the universities of bergen, bremen, bristol, sions on the draining effect of externally fund- are felt to be necessary or at least accepted with- dam, bergen, copenhagen). conversely, defi - c openhagen, l atvia, Padua and t rinity c ol- ed research projects which are not fully costed out major resistance at institutional level, there ciencies in national funding provision, such as lege Dublin (which does not mean to suggest by the institution (David westbury 2005). 0  1t hirdly, strategic reserves were also used to priority projects each receive about €100 000 ing bonuses and to support research priority “Single researchers will not be able to com- create attractive recruitment conditions for per annum over a five-year period. Another areas in other ways. pete in an international arena. The institu- highly sought-after professors. t wo institutions part of the reserve may be freed up for strategi- tional leadership has asked the deans and the managed to top up such internal funds with cally defined professorships, often those which At the University of latvia strategic reserves deans have asked the department heads to extra money from foundations to increase sal- explicitly go against the tradition of only re- also existed at central level, after subtraction cluster researchers and candidates around ary levels in order to be able to attract junior cruiting new professors when old ones are re- from the faculty funds, but also included con- fewer areas and bigger groups in order to and senior researchers from abroad (barcelona, tiring (and most often continuing or only siderable sums from eU Structural Funds. strengthen them and the whole institution for trinity). slightly redirecting the direction of that profes- international competition but also to push 2. w hile the previously mentioned flexible funds sorship) or used to identify new areas in which At all institutions, it was stressed repeatedly and fertilise ideas.” were most often used to establish new insti- professorships should be advertised. (thus co - that strategic funds are essential to allow Following on from this point, it should be tutes and big centres, the creation of new penhagen had recently advertised seven such them to respond flexibly to new initiatives. stressed that such consortialisation was not structures around areas which had already professorships in biomedicine, bio-signalling Sometimes the allocation of such funds is ac- regarded merely as a marketing device, but proven their excellence was not seen to be the and related areas at the Faculty of health Sci- companied by negotiating extra money with also as a genuine effort to enhance cross- only instrument needed to remain competi- ences). other (often regional) funding authorities. It fertilisation and innovation through new tive. At institutional level strategic funds were was also observed that the redistribution of combinations of perspectives and through also performing a kick-start function to help At other institutions reserves were mainly lo- internal funds was more easily carried out at an increased “bumping factor”. the themes embryonic areas emerge and consolidate. cated at central level. this is the case at helsinki central level rather than at faculty or espe- around which such cluster formation or Such support for risky research or emerg- where the central reserve, derived from a pri- cially departmental level since collegiality, consortialisation occurred were not defined ing areas was seen to be necessary since out- vate pharmaceutical company, which had been which was observed to be an important ele- from above, but identified on the basis of side funding authorities may be too traditional in the hands of the university for 100 years and ment in an inspiring research environment, previous input (often through projects, in their outlook and priorities or too slow in which has produced revenues for several dec- often prevented such unequal treatment. Of existing centres of excellence or the plans reacting to fund such research (as noted at ades, was used for graduate training quality course, in cases like Copenhagen, the few fac- of outstandingly successful individuals). bergen, c openhagen, helsinki, t rinity). it was initiatives and professorships in new areas pro- ulties were so big that they functioned almost the institutional trend is sometimes strongly also seen to be important as a counterpoint to posed through new initiatives from the facul- as individual institutions. Moreover, the funds reinforced by national funding authorities the previously described “consortialisation” ties. At trinity the strategic fund is used to sup- allocated to the faculties was often calculated shifting some of their resources to research trend by which bigger groups are supported port bright new ideas and growth areas predominantly on the basis of teaching tasks undertaken by bigger consortia and centres to the detriment of small groups or individu- amounted to €7-8 million. and in many cases left little leeway for the of excellence. als. t hese funds were always distributed com- redistribution to or among other functions. petitively with the help of a research council Some institutions have mixed models with stra- t his trend is sometimes very critically viewed and a peer review process, in most cases in- tegic reserves at central and faculty level. this . cluster formation (consortialisation). At all by social scientists and scholars in the cluding national experts, in some also interna- was the case at bergen which has over €6.5 but one of the institutions visited different humanities whose research is traditionally tional ones. million available at central level for centres of groups agreed (with varying degrees of enthu- more individualistic and does not easily lend excellence and other special initiatives, with siasm) that it was necessary to form larger clus- itself to being grouped. while some such the extent and modalities of strategic funds additional strategic money (the greater part) at ters across disciplinary and departmental, and grouping activities are appreciated, the fear differed significantly from one institution to the faculty level. while it is up to the faculty to pri - often even faculty boundaries, in order to gain is often voiced that very successful individual other: oritise areas, these decisions have to be defend- critical mass and visibility. only with larger, research and scholarship will lose out in the ed at central level. more visible groups and centres of excellence is long run. At most institutions, a mix of At copenhagen there was little money at cen - it possible to survive european and especially pragmatism, excitement at discovering new tral level, but more at faculty level (the univer- At bremen, the strategic reserve was available international competition. this attitude was opportunities (usually among the younger sity only consists of a few faculties). At copen - at central level but the central strategic money sometimes an explicit element of the research researchers), but also a considerable degree hagen’s Faculty of health Sciences, 10% of in- also included amounts gathered from the re- strategy and sometimes seen and used as a of frustration (Amsterdam, bergen, bremen, ternal research money goes to such a fund, so gional authority on a more ad hoc basis (often supportive method to enhance internal cross- bristol, helsinki, Riga, trinity) could be that € million per annum can be distributed resulting from researchers’ initiatives) which fertilisation and external visibility. the percep - found. in the Sciences there was less criti- on the basis of internal competition. Following added up to around twenty million euro in to- tion was expressed by all groups within the in- cism, although some researchers noted that an international review conducted by two to tal. here the strategic funds, which were de- stitutions, but seemed to be strongest among genuine innovation and the most important three reviewers, applicants have an opportuni- creasing with repeated debt reduction pro- rectors/vice-chancellors and deans, as repre- breakthroughs usually occur in smaller ty to comment. the final selection is then made grammes, were distributed on a competitive sented by the following comment from the groups, which did not imply that there is no by a panel of senior researchers who can also basis for 120 doctoral positions in particularly University of bergen: function for larger groupings but that it has exercise considerable organisational influence strong research areas, kick-start funding to a more complementary role. to ensure that the projects have a high poten- prepare applications for larger third party tial for institutional sustainability. the selected funding, to distribute small third party fund- 2  the problem of the “small orchid subjects” seen to be cases in point. when asked how ment on the quality of the project or indi- the actual research idea, the merits of the was also mentioned. Some universities individuals explained this relative ease of vidual research qualifications. Academic researchers, as well as the educational ben- mentioned being caught between their cooperation, non-hierarchical and informal leadership cannot avoid making judge- efit which it would potentially bring, all of relative lack of cost efficiency and the duty communication was regarded as a decisive ments on academic excellence. which required peer judgements. to protect these subjects in the interest of factor. academic diversity which is a precondition Given the difficulty of judging such a wide however, more informal types of expert ad- for a creative environment. Sometimes so- At another institution it was regarded as area of highly specialised expertise, any vice were also mentioned, such as conduct- lutions involved the coordination of cog- particularly helpful for intra-institutional judgement needed a solid basis which was ing interviews with key players who lead nate scientific areas within the same institu - communication to have only small chairs established, wherever feasible, through ex- bigger, successful institutes or initiatives. tion or with other institutions in close prox- and no institutes, which could cause them ternal evaluations by peers and often sup- Generally, such identification was felt to be imity. Some national measures included the to be reluctant to enter into cooperation ported by quantitative data. external difficult but not impossible, though always concentration of a subject at one place in for fear of losing territory. evaluations by peers were said to in need of improved differentiation. it the country, which involved the relocation help provide an accepted basis on should also be noted that many institution- of the researchers affected. Flexible fund allocation and readiness to re- which problems could be addressed al groups mentioned that evaluating the distribute funds on the basis of excellence and strengths prioritised, as was men- Social Sciences and humanities presents an 4. Related to the previous trend towards support- and interdisciplinarity, was seen as another tioned in Denmark, Finland, ireland, the even greater challenge, given that refer- ing larger groups, there is a wider concern that way of ensuring some cross-unit communi- netherlands, norway, and the Uk. the Uni - ence points are often less international. attention should be paid to internal horizon- cation and institutional coherence. in insti- versity of helsinki was even willing to invest tal communication and collaboration be- tutional contexts where these methods its own institutional money in peer evalua- At institutions which allocate an internal tween faculties or other units. were followed, researchers reported con- tions of research performance in order to fund for competitive peer-reviewed re- siderable efforts to seek cooperation across establish a solid foundation on which stra- search grants, this was also regarded as a in this context it should be noted that de- units to bring forward projects that were tegic choices and priorities could be based. helpful channel for identifying emerging centralised structures can be (but are not more likely to gain institutional support. At several institutions, such as bergen, bris- areas in which larger strategic projects or necessarily) an obstacle. the most impor - tol, copenhagen, it was emphasised that structures may be worth creating. the in - tant success factor for internal communica- however, it should also be noted that the one of the primary functions (and raison ternal review of research proposals creates tion across organisational boundaries seems two strongly decentralised institutions d’être) of academic leadership consisted in a process for observing and testing for the to be the quality of informal communica- which did not emphasise the creation and the ability and responsibility to identify and first time new ideas emerging bottom-up. tion channels, especially between profes- fostering of cross-unit links and instruments address weaknesses and promote strengths. As members of the Research council in sors and deans, but also between the insti- in order to promote cooperation within the this was seen to be the main reason why bremen emphasise: tutional leadership and professors. Some institution, also admitted to difficulties in department heads and deans should not Rectorates and deans were particularly at- defining and implementing strategic goals only have managerial and leadership skills, “To identify and justify strategic thematic pri- tentive to these informal channels, which at institutional level in the face of obstacles but should also be respected in terms of orities one has to identify strong areas or were judged to be better for the transfer of at faculty level. initiatives which required their own research excellence. Under such emerging initiatives internally with the sup- ideas than the official lines of communica - resources from faculty budgets had espe- conditions, researchers felt that they could port of competitive, externally reviewed tion which exist within the institution, by cially low chances of success according to have confidence in the fairness of financial mechanisms. This ensures that quality re- organising meetings around common sci- most of the groups interviewed. Faculty redistribution. As long as research quality mains the guiding principle for selecting initi- entific goals. An example of this can be borders were seen as standing in the way of was viewed as the decisive factor in any atives for institutional support. Otherwise you seen in the idea-based lunches with junior common professorship and the common strategic decision and the criteria were lose the trust of the scientists.” (Vice rector and senior researchers from different facul- attribution of space or the relinquishing of found to be fair and transparent, the conse- and a member of the Research Council at the ties organised by the rector of the Univer- space for a common cause, although of quent decision was seen as more accepta- University pf Bremen) sity of copenhagen. thus at the University course a few successful cross-faculty initia- ble to the academic community than by of copenhagen, which is a strongly decen - tives could also be found. using any other justification. of course, for Quantitative measures were said to be tralised institution, cross-faculty initiatives all these decisions, no matter how transpar- quite helpful as a first step but to be insuf - and the pooling of resources for new initia- in order to be able to prioritise, all institu- ent the criteria, intellectual judgements ficient as a tool for identifying emerging tives were not regarded as particularly dif- tions emphasised the importance of finding have had to be made, which again empha- quality. As mentioned previously, the qual- ficult, either by deans or by researchers reliable ways of identifying excellence. sises the importance of academic leader- ity of academic leadership tended to be themselves. Appointments across faculty even institutions which are relatively reluc- ship and the overall process (for example, if seen as consisting in the ability to exercise boundaries, a recent biocampus initiative tant to introduce institutional steering, feel a research commission is used). For exam- sound judgement in the identification and or the establishment of a centre of nano- that the “normal” leadership decisions on ple, in copenhagen the criteria for the se - promotion of good initiatives. science, as a joint venture between the negotiating recruitment packages and sup- lection of prioritised funding in the Faculty natural sciences and health sciences, were porting larger initiatives presumes a judge- of health Sciences included the quality of 4  5

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