Innovation U 2.0 Reinventing University Roles in a Knowledge Economy.

Author:Waugaman, Paul G.
Position:Book review

Innovation U 2.0 Reinventing University Roles in a Knowledge Economy by Tornatzky, L.G. and Rideout, E.C. 2014, Louis G. Tornatzky. 258pp.

Innovation U 2.0 is a sequel to an earlier study also called Innovation U published in 2002 by the Southern Growth Policies Board; with some important improvements and updates. The 2002 version was the final work in a multi-year program of policy and practice benchmarking studies involved in linking universities to the knowledge economy at national, state and community levels. Version 2.0 has brought the toolbox of good practices at exemplary institutions up to date in a systematic and thorough way.

The twelve years since the 2002 version was published have seen the good practices and policies identified become more the accepted ways of doing business than the exceptions. Business-university research collaborations, the licensing of university intellectual property, and the participation of educational institutions in new business start-ups have become more commonplace; and--as the case studies in version 2.0 illustrate--may have become more broadly distributed in the community of universities performing research.

The institutions studied in version 2.0 differ to some extent from the institutions studied in the 2002 version. Each version covers 12 institutions, but six of those included in the 2002 version are missing, six are included in both versions, and six new institutions were added in version 2.0. The authors of version 2.0 developed a well-thought--out protocol for selecting their case-study institutions that included more objective criteria than was used in the 2002 version. Although it may be fair to argue that if some exemplary institutions were left out of version 2.0; those included provide a strong sample of best practices and best practitioners for use by organizational innovators at other institutions trying to up their games.

In the introduction, the authors identify four audiences with a stake in universities' success at becoming and remaining active "innovation U's:"

* University leaders; CEOs, vice presidents, and governing board members,

* Change-oriented faculty members and leaders,

* Leaders in technology-based businesses, and

* Public officials who oversee expenditures of public funds for universities.

Research managers and administrators will have opportunities to relate to people in each of these classes, and should find the concepts and practices identified useful in promoting...

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