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Spaces of knowledge: University-industry interaction in Wales. / Tamsin Elizabeth Cathan Davies
Swansea University Author: Tamsin Elizabeth Cathan Davies
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This thesis focuses on interaction between universities and industry in Wales and how it is affected by different spaces of knowledge. The subject of university-industry collaboration is topical in both recent research and policy. Previous research into university-industry interaction has suggested...
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This thesis focuses on interaction between universities and industry in Wales and how it is affected by different spaces of knowledge. The subject of university-industry collaboration is topical in both recent research and policy. Previous research into university-industry interaction has suggested that reintegrating the scientific research performed in industrial R&D and academia can lead to increased innovative activity and thence to economic growth, a goal for economically peripheral regions such as Wales. It has also drawn attention to the importance of social processes in the establishment and success of links between the two types of organisation. However, this research has not addressed in detail the functioning of these social processes through which knowledge is transferred, transformed and translated from academic science to industry (or vice versa). Focussing on five industries identified as having past, present or future importance to the Welsh economy---aerospace, life sciences, opto-electronics, steel and sustainable energy---the processes through which knowledge passes from academic science to industry are explored using a mixed methods approach. This approach consisted of semi-structured interviews with the academic and industrial participants in individual instances of university - industry interaction plus a number of policy makers and implementers and a questionnaire survey of the selected sectors. Significant levels of interaction between industry and academia were found in all sectors, particularly the steel industry. However, a number of impediments to interaction were also revealed concerning differences between academic and industrial practice. Processes of converting bonding to bridging social capital and vice versa are shown to be important in forging and maintaining links. Embodied conceptions of knowledge are revealed to be important for understanding knowledge flows and their success or failure. In the light of these findings, Welsh policy aimed at promoting interaction is evaluated and a number of recommendations made.
Higher education.;Labor relations.
Faculty of Science and Engineering