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Paper info: Networks for universities’ third mission and research activities


Networks for universities’ third mission and research activities


Matilde Milanesi and
Simone Guercini
Universitŕ degli Studi di Firenze
Simone Guercini

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 35th IMP-conference in Paris, France in 2019.


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This paper deals with the public-private interaction with a focus on higher education and research. More specifically, the paper aims at understanding the interaction between Italian universities and other public and private actors and the underlying complex processes that guide the planning of research activities and the universities’ third mission. Universities are not only responsible for qualifying human capital (education – the first mission) and for producing new knowledge (research – the second mission): universities must engage with societal needs and market demands by linking the university’s activity with its own socio-economic context and related actors. The third mission has two major priorities: the targeted use and transfer of academic knowledge to help resolve societal challenges, and the transfer of technologies and innovations in the form of cooperation with other public and private companies, also as part of a “system of innovation”.