David C. Mowery and Bhaven N. Sampat
This article examines the roles of universities in industrial-economy national innovation systems, the complex institutional landscapes that influence the creation, development, and dissemination of innovations. The inclusion of a article on university research in a volume on innovation is itself an innovation—it is likely that a similar handbook published two decades ago would have devoted far less attention to the role of universities in industrial innovation. But scholarship on the role of universities in the innovation process, as opposed to their role in basic research, has grown rapidly since 1970. One important theme in this research is the reconceptualization of universities as important institutional actors in national and regional systems of innovation. Rather than “ivory towers” devoted to the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, a growing number of industrial-economy and developing-economy governments seek to use universities as instruments for knowledge-based economic development and change.