June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.28.1 - 23.28.31
A Comparative Analysis of Technology Innovation Centers Across the World: Characteristics, Services and OpportunitiesAbstract: With increasing competitive pressures world-wide, unioversities are expected to play asignificant role in evolving positive ways forward. This is particularly true for technology-oriented universities because they are being perceived as engines for economic growth. Tofacilitate this role, many universities have evolved centers variously called Innovation Centers,Technology Centers, Research Parks, and the like. But, free-standing centers have halso beenestablished. Both types of such centers are the focus of this paper which proposes to present acomparative analysis of technology innovation centers across the world and their characteristics,services and opportunities. The variety of goals that technology innovation centers address will be compiled andcategorized as will be the work of these agencies as they seek to gain international competitiveadvantage, champion a leadership role for global economic and technological development, andadvise or establish policy. Complicating what was once simply called R&D, the exponential factoring of knowledgedue to scientific and technological advances, the process of innovating (i.e., solving complexglobal problems) will require a different way of thinking than what was used to create them. Nolonger are solutions bound within a domain, science or technology. Instead solutions require ahighly integrated approach across many domains, sciences, or technologies. Thus, it is necessary for technology innovation centers to create unique niches thatdifferentiate them from other technology-oriented universities focusing on the most significantproblems facing our global society. This competitive focus emphasizes the intersection betweeninnovation, technology, production, and the creation and diffusion of knowledge. It embraceshow technology centers of excellence shape emerging methodology and contextual environmentfor maximizing their capability to innovate. Coupled with this reality, is the pressure for technology-oriented universities to meet theABET and/or equivalent standards for accreditation. Innovation Centers, Technology Centers,Research Parks, and the like provide an excellence vehicle for providing a value-addedcomponent for technology-oriented universities to extend the curriculum experience byproviding students an undergraduate research experience of real-world applications. The authors of this paper present a comparative analysis of technology-orienteduniversity centers of excellence. The selection methodology and validation process, used by theauthors for this study was based on criteria and methodology established by the AmericanInstitute for Innovation Excellence, under their license agreement. To gain an understanding ofcharacteristics, services and opportunities for Innovation Centers, Technology Centers, ResearchParks and the like, the authors focused on worldwide recognized technology centers ofexcellence to examine their leadership, operation and management, processes and practices,services and support, and people. Based on this comparative analysis, the authors developed aninnovation model for technology-oriented university technology innovation centers forchampioning a leadership role for global economic development. Through this presentation the authors present a study that has wide application for allfacets of engineering and technology education as an integral component of continuous programimprovement.
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