One Way Out of the Crisis through Higher Education and Research Policies for Growth

    • IMG_3649
    • Presentation speakers
      • Diana Adela Martin, University of Groningen/LEAP-Link Education and Practice


    The crisis faced by EU countries is a good context to rethink the foundations of economic, political and educational policies, in order to build an approach prone to growth and more in tune with values such as sustainability and innovation. In my paper I will focus on the role of higher education and research policies in acting as a driving force for economic recovery, by addressing the following questions both from a researcher and practitioner’s perspective:
    (I) how should educational processes be designed to reduce youth unemployment and job precariousness among the young? The lack of relevance of university studies to the demands of the labor market doubled by a lack of cooperation between academia and the private sector have lead in recent years to what is one of the worst crisis faced by Europe’s youth: unemployment, continuous series of unpaid internships and precarious jobs. After a brief overview of the situation of youth (un)employment across Europe, I will turn to initiatives such as that of the University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg, Austria, of introducing starting this September a joint academia-private sector bachelor programme or the one of the Alternative University in Bucharest to have practitioners interacting closely with students.
    (ii) How can research oriented policies have a transformational impact on the labour market? Supporting SMEs to commercialize the findings of their research and private sector academia research partnerships are pivotal in generating growth through new products placed on the market and creation of jobs. In this section I will further explore the role of research ecosystems based on Elias Carayannis and David Campbell’s work on innovation and academic firms. In the course of this exposition, Portugal’s research landscape will be highlighted as having significant potential for imposing a leading knowledge economy
    (iii) how can the private sector incorporate research findings for a sustainable approach and as such look ahead and prevent a future crisis The last section will be dedicated to the role of a green economy, focused on bioenergy and plant intelligence, in promoting economic and sustainable growth. In this context I will stop at two examples of good practices, of the Laboratorio Internazionale di Neurobiologia Vegetale in Firenze and the German interdisciplinary initiative Julich, to analyze in a concrete manner how research can generate findings that can be further adopted by companies and the economic benefits to which it can lead.