Policy-driven university – industry linkages and regional innovation networks in Korea
Jeong Hyop Lee
In this paper we examine the role of the Korean government in creating university – industry linkages and in promoting the role of universities as knowledge providers in regional innovation systems. We investigate the different types of universities’ roles in the capital region of Seoul and in the noncapital regions. We argue that government policy is the main determinant that drives Korean universities to play the role of knowledge provider for industrial innovation. This policy has also brought about regional differences in the way universities participate in innovation activities in the capital region and outside the capital region. In the Korean context, universities in noncapital regions act as a backbone for creating and managing regional innovation networks as well as a close and easily accessible knowledge provider to local industry. However, universities in the capital region play the role of a close knowledge provider only to local industry, while corporate research and development centres are the key players in developing and managing innovation networks in the capital region. To arrive at our conclusions we use social networks analysis and government document analysis to demonstrate the structure of innovation networks and to analyze two types of universities’ roles in the regional innovation networks of four Korean industrial clusters.
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