How can universities respond to these major challenges, become more entrepreneurial, stimulate innovation, produce and transfer knowledge to society, and contribute to local and regional socio-economic growth while at the same time be competitive at the global level. Can some respond more easily than others? How can they work in partnership with private companies and other HEIs to reinforce their strengths in intensive networks to ensure better dissemination and exploitation of new knowledge in the economy and society at large, be it for commercial applications, to take part in public debates or advise governments at policy level. How are venture capitalists persuaded to take the risk of supporting the exploitation of research. What effect has the pressure for research excellence and productivity on the traditional mission of universities? How can newer HEIs with less intensive research compete? What internal organizational structures work best to support the research and enterprise effort and what internal cultural changes are required?
The conference will examine these questions in much detail, focusing more specifically on their impact on strategies needed at the faculty level in European universities.