Innovation and universities may sound irrelevant at the first sight but they have a strong relation like change or improvement in one would influence other immediately. After industrial revolution, people had needed more due to changing circumstances. In those days we can say that innovation and invention rate were so high because numerous new ideas were created, and existing ones were upgraded. Since that day, innovation has more value and meaning for human beings.
To begin with, innovation needs resources to be able to give out a good product or idea. The quality of resources would have an impact on the innovation and it may determine the quality of innovation itself. The resources of innovation could be listed as a recognized need, competent people with relevant technology, and financial support.
Universities are one of the most essential building blocks for innovation because universities are like an advisor for the innovative people and companies. Thus, they depend on each other in order to create a service or good among themselves because they are like the rings of the chain. A recognized need is a starting point for innovation because if there exists a problem or a new need, creativity takes place and innovation occurs. Another resource is competent people with relevant technology. In this case, high knowledge, open minded, interrogative personality and analytical thinking are required for innovative person. The mentioned qualities are mostly found in high-educated or academic people who taught at universities because they interfere with young people all the time and as a part of their job, they have to follow every single improvement in their working area that makes them innovative. So, it is appropriate to say that universities are a resource of innovation.
21stcentury has some outcomes for human being personality, which are always be creative and open-minded because people became timid. They expect dreams to came true and they want more and more technological, mechanical devices or services that makes their lives easier. Children may be more innovative than adults because they are more creative at young ages where adults are more like robots because of daily life routine. In order not to lose student’s innovative sense and creativity, some universities create a place for them to show their creativity and produce a thing once they were dreaming when they were a child. Nowadays those places are called “innovation centres” which are important for universities to be able to raise a good generation and to accomplish this there exist some examples of universities with well-known and efficient innovation centres. For example, Stanford University has built up Silicon Valley, for its’ students (which is world’s biggest innovation centre and entrepreneurship centre including offices of biggest companies) to make them able to follow the studies and encourage them.
Due to the fact that most of innovations are performed by a group of people it is good to have the skill of group working and be able to lead the team. These qualities are gained from schools at a very young age, but it gets the final shape at university because university is the place that your personality fits and it is the final step before work life. Additionally, as mentioned before universities are like an advisor or consulting for a company in terms of theoretical things because universities include very valuable teachers inside who are the expert and authority of their field.
When a company asks for help to fix the problem during the design and production process, they directly find an appropriate university to lead the right for a smooth innovative process. The collaboration generally results with efficient final product that would make a lot more money for the company rather than working alone because they get interns for themselves which is a benefit for company in terms of financial and technical aspects. The financial aspect is, company pays lower salary for an intern compared to an official worker. The technical aspect is that the interns’ knowledge is fresh, and they are raised by the last technology that covers new theoretical details.
From another perspective, the university and innovation relationship would add contribution to nation’s economy because there may be some economic agreements among government –university or university-company that would earn money for the benefit of both sides and at the end increase the GDP of the country. Licensing and patenting the innovations are some examples of possible economic opportunities for universities. For example, when a company and university work together to serve something new to the market, they somehow merge their powers and facilities that may decrease the cost but end up with high profits. So, in the end the economy grows, and new job opportunities may occur.
On the other hand, the collaboration is a benefit for university because the more their students have right work experience, the more the university becomes popular and becomes “a good educative and innovative university”. Everyday new methods and developments occur, and companies need to follow them. In this case, the university-industry collaboration sounds effective in order to decrease company’s responsibility as following the new trends. Universities have been already following the developments or in some cases they are the founders of the developments. So, universities can inform the company about new technologies and may organize training for the responsible research team of the company and then continue working.
All in all, different innovation centres in different countries have similar aims with different paths but they wish for a better future and raise a more innovative, creative generation to leave a better world for the new comers and inspire them. So, universities provide academic supply for innovative companies and they may occur in the design and develop steps of innovation process. If the companies and universities work together, efficient and powerful innovations would have occurred.