Module 4 – Innovative Science Parks and Research/Industry Collaborations

Module 4 – Innovative Science Parks and Research/Industry Collaborations

8 July – 20 July 2018

This module aims at discussing the relationships among higher education institutions, research centers and the socio-economic landscape in which they operate. This topic is crucial for the sustainable development of economies and societies. Fruitful collaboration among these stakeholders investing in the human capital and research can emerge, in the form of science parks, innovation districts and structural partnerships.
Starting from the traditional models of collaboration between the key actors, as the “triple helix” framework (university-industry-government relationships), the analysis will move towards most recent and innovative experiences where the role of public policies is intertwined with purposeful actions taken by higher education institutions and research centers.
Milan is a wonderful eco-system where the strategy of geographically locating universities, government and private research centres became reality; in particular, Politecnico di Milano is at the heart of this development and plays a pivotal role in the design of structural, long-term partnerships with public and private institutions.
The course wants to provide participants examples of wider collaborations between local governments, research centers, universities and the context around them, so that they can evaluate whether and how some of these experiences can be replicated in their contexts.
The lectures will cover three major topics, namely Politecnico di Milano and its policies, the relations between universities and communities, and the Milan eco-system. The examples about the specific activities implemented by Politecnico di Milano represent a concrete way of demonstrating public/private partnerships in action. Then, the trainer will investigate the role of universities and the theoretical and practical reasons why universities should be interested in establishing good relations with their communities. Eventually, the trainer will take into account the Milan eco-system as an extraordinary example of the realization of the theoretical aspects.
The module includes discussion of experiences, illustration of theoretical models and their managerial implications, in-site visits to specific realities where positive interactions between research, academia and society happen. Relevant examples are deeply analyzed, and specific contents deal with the reality of the Milan Area, where HEIs, public institutions and private businesses are extensively collaborating for promoting social, economic and cultural development of the territory. In this specific light, the examples about the specific activities implemented by Politecnico di Milano (the incubator of startups, Polihub, the Campus in the Lecco area, the establishment of a Foundation for coordinating applied research projects, etc.) represent a concrete way of demonstrating public/private partnerships in action. Similar examples are discussed and visited in another vibrant area of innovations, that is the city of Trieste – where Elettra Sincrotrone, Sissa and OGS are established.
The students will acquire further and in-deep elements of knowledge; furthermore, they will have the opportunity to develop direct contacts with the Italian actors involved in realizing opportunities for innovation and investments in research and human capital, in view also of valorization of the Italian expertise at the Chinese Institutions.