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Agneta Erfors

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    As the knowledge society and the new economy are given an increasingly dominant role in the societal and welfare development, interest and hopes are directed towards an intensification of the co-operation between industry and universities/university colleges. Among other things, this is manifested by the fact the universities and university colleges are bound by law to serve as a resource for society at large. Furthermore, special organisations have been created to stimulate and facilitate cooperation between industry and the academic sector. The creation of technology villages and research parks closely attached to universities and university colleges is an example of how various authorities and societal actors are trying to create environments or infrastructural arenas that will facilitate and promote such cooperation.

    During the last 30 years Sweden has had a relatively weak economic development (Sörlin & Törnqvist, 2000), while at the same one may note that Sweden is one of the countries within the OECD (measured in shares of GNP) that has invested the most in research and development). In spite of investments in infrastructural support systems as well as a relatively good supply of research resources Sweden is thus on the whole losing in competitive power. Besides, the share of knowledge intensive production is relatively low (Edquist & McKelvey, 1996).

    Do we have sufficient knowledge of the processes of interaction between industry and the academic sector? The conditions mentioned above and my analyses of about thirty interviews with actors connected with nine different technology villages/research parks in the country show that this is not the case. I can observe that the industrial environment and the academic environment differ in several, for their interaction significant, respects. The knowledge of the arena's physical and infrastructural roles is also vague. My research therefore focuses on developing knowledge of interorganisational processes with a connection to a consciously planned and constructed arena environment where the interacting partners belong to institutions with different rule and norm structures. Theories of interorganisational relations and networks constitute the theoretical frame of reference for this research project.


    Earlier on I have been involved as a teacher of programme courses, non-programme courses, and contract courses. My broad interest in business administration has led me to teach many different courses such as the introductory course of business administration, financing, calculation, marketing, industrial marketing, business control, theory of science, and ecological enterprising.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth


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