Entrepreneurial transformations in the Swedish University system: The case of Chalmers University of Technology

  • Jacob M
  • Lundqvist M
  • Hellsmark H
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Since the beginning of the 1990s, Sweden has been transforming its national research policy into policy for innovation. One of the bottom up responses to this top d initiative has been an attempt on the part of some Swedish universities to transform themselves into entrepreneurial institutions. This paper uses a case study of one particular Swedish University; Chalmers University of Technology's transformation process to reflect on the new research policy. Chalmers' journey is examined against the backdrop of the changing national climate for universities as well as local factors within the university itself. The case confirms existing knowledge in that it shows that creating an entrepreneurial university takes several years as both infrastructural and cultural changes are necessary to achieve success. The case also shows that despite the long history of public-private in Sweden, the new emphasis on commercialisation and commodification of knowledge creates some degree of role uncertainty for universities. The paper concludes that one of the elements required for Swedish innovation policy is macro (policy vision and implementation) and micro (university organisation) level flexibility and diversity. © 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Chalmers
  • Commercialisation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Public-private
  • Third task

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  • Merle Jacob

  • Mats Lundqvist

  • Hans Hellsmark

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