Uni debate focuses on business potential

October 29, 1999

Heriot-Watt and Glasgow universities are hosting an "Open Space" debate this week in an attempt to discover what barriers still exist between higher education and industry.

Kevin Cullen, operations manager of research and enterprise at Glasgow University, said institutions had won significant support to boost commercialisation through initiatives such as University Challenge and the Science Enterprise Challenge.

But he said: "We want to make sure that, as we get these resources, we know what we need to be spending them on. We have to understand the question before we start spending millions of pounds producing the answer."

It has often been said that academics only want to publish, that they do not understand the commercial world and that they react too slowly, Dr Cullen said.

"I want to test that assumption and challenge it," he said.

Dr Cullen suspects that the problems differ from the common perceptions. In information technology and computer science, for example, publishing research and the speed of development was not an issue, he said. Many researchers were writing codes that were effectively a product, rather than publishing findings.

Dr Cullen emphasised that the Open Space organisers had not fixed an agenda.

"We want to understand how the university/enterprise interface is viewed by all the players. The ethos is to leave the agenda and solutions to be created within the open space."

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns