Projects: HE research

Forschungsprojekt im 4.Rahmenprogramm (TSER): SESI (Systemes d´Enseignement Superieur et Innovation, Higher Education Systems and Innovation)

This three-year research (January 1998/February 2001) deals with the question of how higher education institutions influence private sector firms innovation activities as the basis for competitiveness and societal wealth generation.
The objective of the research is to gather empirical evidence about superior ways of organizing the linkages and interfaces between higher education institutions (including research units) and private sector firms in order to optimize the flow of knowledge and information between them and thereby spur industrial innovation. As such the project addresses important concerns of public policy makers, educators, university administrators and the business community alike.

The project is designed as a cross-country comparative study, including data collection and expert interviews in six highly industrialized countries with different higher education systems and industrial specialization patterns: five state members of the EC (Austria, France, Germany, Portugal and the United Kingdom) and the United States (to some extent, the project will concern Japan). The industries selected for case study research include telecommunications, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry (including bio-technology), and the computer industry (hard- and software). For each country and industry, the chosen qualitative case study approach will concern one multinational corporation (foreign origin), one large national corporation and one medium-sized firm. On the basis of country-reports, the comparisons provide the empirical foundation for elaborating development scenarios of one or more European models for ensuring a better alignment of higher education institutions with the requirements of industrial innovation..

Project team

Kurt Mayer, Martin Unger, Lorenz Lassnigg


01.1998–01.2001 (finished)


European Commission


CRIS (International Center for research on innovation and society, Berlin-Santa Barbara), LIRHE (Laboratoire interdisciplinaire de recherche sur les Ressources Humaines et l´Emploi, Université de Toulouse), University of Kent (Canterbury), DINAMIA (Centro de estudo sobre a mudanca socioeconomica, Lissabon)


Generalauftragnehmer: LEST-CNRS (Laboratoire d économie et de sociologie du travail, Aix en Provence.

Project documentation

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Short Report PDF, 446 KB