Press about RVC

Universities 3.0 in the Knowledge Economy

Source: Izvestia
Universities 3.0 in the Knowledge Economy

Today, the world economy is going through a transformation of the system, which fundamentally changes the pattern of growth and development, and attitude to the evaluation and the use of basic resources. "Knowledge Economy" is a not new concept, but for many people, especially in our country, it is still a concept of a hypothetical future. In fact, this future has already arrived. The economic dominance of the industrial production sector is rooted in the past. The main driver of growth right now is the ability of the economy to the production and management of intellectual property, and the key element of this new reality are the universities. They became the platform of the knowledge economy.

This is a new concept for the development of universities, which is very different from our traditional ideas about their functions. In the original version, they were focused on education and a search for talents. Then, in the "Version 2.0", the tasks were expanded by the research of competencies and expertise demanded by the economy. But now it is not enough to be scientific and educational institutions only.

The concept of "University 3.0" involves the creation of university-based integrated business ecosystem in which they are key suppliers of innovation. This means a transition to a proactive generation technology model, as well as talent, markets and market services, in which the universities are transformed into city-forming economic centres of the clusters. In fact, they begin to act as economic agents, large companies that are able to control the results of intellectual activity and are well aware of the principles of operation of new markets.

But if the world universities combined the flows of human and financial capital, they assume the role of system integrators of the main processes of technological innovation within the ecosystem of entrepreneurship, in Russia, this process is still at a very early stage.

Our universities continue to evolve in the 50-year-old paradigm, seeing themselves only as suppliers of personnel and technology onto some conventional "external" markets. They declare the training of highly qualified specialists, but completely devoid of modern market competencies. Meanwhile, the world university centres are more and more focused on the preparation of a new class of players for today's technology markets - technology entrepreneurs.

Today, national universities are gradually switching to the idea of using the new tools of the educational process that make it possible to convert the information and knowledge into competencies needed for professionals working in innovative companies. However, these are only the first tentative steps towards the future. To switch to the 3.0 University model, we need to turn the Russian universities into centres for formation of new development models, to transform them into participants of the global innovation market, making them attractive to young talents.

Naturally, the program of development of systemic transformation of Russian Universities requires the creation of new infrastructure models that can be the basis of this process. In the past year, we, together with the business incubator "Ingria", developed a model of technology transfer and marketing innovation centres — units for the development of innovation ecosystems in the leading universities of the country. Their main task should be to combine the innovations of universities with the requests and needs of industrial companies and venture capital investors.

Our universities are critically in need of changing the system of goal setting and development, switching to the assessment of their own effectiveness according to the growth of their real contribution to the development of the new economy and the ability to create new industries. Only such an approach will make it possible to include them in the development of a modern system of innovative industry through the receipt of orders, actually demanded by today's market.

On the campuses of leading universities in the US, UK, and China, there have been formed the economic environment, outstripping the surrounding reality for 5-10 years. This is the place where companies come from which over the next 5-10 years will be the flagships of the global businesses in new industries. To repeat this experience, we have an excellent starting base and understanding of how to help Russian universities to become development centres for the knowledge economy, for students to become globally competitive, and for companies emerged in universities — to become the leaders on new markets.

About the support and development of university ecosystems (transformation of the existing university centres in the core of the ecosystem of innovative business models and the creation of inter-university networks and hubs for the effective exchange of competences and ensure technology transfer).

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