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Title: Modelling the Role of University-Industry Collaboration in the Iranian National System of Innovation: Generating Transition Policy Scenarios
Authors: Kharazmi, Omid Ali
Supervisor(s): Edgar, Gerry
Issue Date: Mar-2011
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: In a knowledge-based economy the collaboration between university, industry and government is vital for growth and innovation (Etzkowitz, 2008). A conceptual model of the relevant macro and micro environment was developed using the theoretical constructs from the literature on systems of innovation theories including, National Systems of Innovation, Porter’s ‘Cluster’ or ‘Diamond’ model, and the ‘Triple-Helix Model’ of university–industry-government interactions. The role of culture and trust in different systems of innovation theories was examined, and the role these elements play in UIC activities was found to be particularly important, though vague on the processes. A generic model of university-industry-government interrelations was developed to aid a systemic understanding of the mechanisms (primary barriers and drivers) for productive collaboration. This systems model was used in the formation of policy instruments designed to improve university-industry collaboration (UIC), and thereby the means of regional economic development. These policy experiments are applied to the case of Iran. However, since the future of Iran in this context is highly uncertain due to cultural, political and economic factors there are few assumptions which can be relied upon as a basis for traditional innovation management practice. Instead, it is intended to use the systems model in a series of scenario-based analyses of the effectiveness of policy instruments on the UIC associated with two Iranian cluster industries. A questionnaire survey and a series of semi-structured stakeholder interview methodology were used to build a basis for these scenario techniques. The method of systems modelling to generate policy change scenarios for UIC is a novel feature of this research. Analysis of the causal relationships of UIC activities in Iran found many were biased to create an established behaviour pattern (culture) which is overwhelmingly negative. This negative behaviour is manifest as a significant lack of trust at all interfaces between the primary actors in the system. According to the results of this research, trust is influenced by many factors including government activities, institutional structure, institutional culture, and also national culture of the country. The systems model is a complex interaction of reinforcing loops that emphasizes the scale of challenge policy-makers face in creating effective innovation systems, and may explain why few developing countries have been successful in achieving economic transition. This research shows how a policy development framework was formed using the UIC systems model to understand the structural problems facing Iran. A set of evolved states (exploratory and future-backward scenarios) served to illustrate the effect of these policy choices, and therefore to inform an improvement agenda for UIC activities in Iran.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: Stirling Management School
Management Education Centre

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