Boosting European Union's higher education institutions business collaboration and regional engagement

 

Peter Baur, Directorate General for Education and Culture, European Commission

 

Europe’s future is dependent on its innovation capacity, its capacity to create an environment that stimulates the generation of new ideas and the ability to implement them. Education and training systems have to provide learning environments that stimulate creativity and innovation, entrepreneurial thinking and activity. Higher education, being at the heart of the knowledge triangle, plays a vital role in the development of innovation. An important aspect to stimulating innovation is dialogue and closer co-operation between the different actors, in particular between higher education institutions (HEI) and companies. Better and more co-operation stimulates the exchange and sharing of knowledge and its application in both the business and the academic context and increases the innovation capacity on both sides. Higher education in the EU is very diverse and the level of co-operation between the various stakeholders differs substantially between EU countries and regions. Therefore, the Commission has launched a European platform for a structured dialogue between the stakeholders, for the exchange of good practices and mutual learning: The University-Business Forum. Knowledge alliances and other operational activities will complement the Forum’s activities to drive implementation at local, regional, national and European level.