Smart path – co-operation of universities and enterprises
I research the innovation system of Észak-Alföld region, which is one of the less-developed areas in the European Union. Extensive relationships were mapped between academic and for-profit spheres. University of Debrecen acts as a co-ordinator, enterprises consider it as a bridge institute which connects different actors. In more thematic clusters university and special firms, corporations develop new products together. More than ten little spin-off firms were established by the university and its researchers to provide opportunity for knowledge spill over to the region
Thanks to close co-operations between universities and enterprises, innovation process is becoming more simple. These connections can easily be used as models during intensifying of the regional economy. In the less-developed regions it is much more difficult to reach critical mass, for example because of the lack of capital. Due to these facts, interdependence of universities and enterprises is also major. That is why specialisations were formed, which is mainly characterized by the division of labour. In addition to research, universities are more active in some other fields, for example networking, international market presence or project generation. Enterprises rather finance researches, bring market demand and participate in tenders.
Adaptations of triple- and quadruple helix models were started in the past few years, but special factors of the region are underused, formal and informal channels operate much less. In order to strengthen efficiency of competitiveness of regional economy innovative environments, production factors were created. In the next steps more involvement of regional policy is needed.