Toward becoming an entrepreneurial university

There is no one definition of what an entrepreneurial university is; yet, there are increasing community, industry, and government pressures for universities to be more entrepreneurial and relevant. Not only do they need to demonstrate that their research meets or exceeds world’s best practice, that they are good educators and can effectively disseminate their research findings through the educational programs that they deliver, they also need to be able to commercialise their research effectively and, increasingly, be able to demonstrate social impact, entrepreneurial ability, outreach, and engagement as these pertain to the development of the broader community including industry, government, and the public. This case provides insights into the initiatives undertaken and lessons learned at the University of Adelaide, a research intensive university, as it strives to develop its entrepreneurial capabilities and become a more entrepreneurial university.

Noel Lindsay
The University of Adelaide

LinkedIn profile

Wendy Lindsay
The University of Adelaide

Gary Hancock
The University of Adelaide

Zrinka Tokic
The University of Adelaide

Outcomes and impact of the case
This section provides an overview of the outcomes and impact of the strategies and initiatives undertaken.

Outcomes/Deliverables: There have been a range of outcomes including …

• Greater awareness of the need for entrepreneurship from senior management within the University with the appointment of a Pro Vice Chancellor (Entrepreneurship) to oversee the diffusion of entrepreneurship across the University

• Greater awareness from researchers of the need to develop their understanding of entrepreneurship to facilitate the commercialization of their research innovations

• All higher degree by research students required to complete at least one course on entrepreneurship during their candidature

• Opportunities for coursework students to undertake entrepreneurial internships in local, regional, and international communities.

• Greater profile of the University in domestic and overseas communities where activities are undertaken

• Increased/enhanced distribution channels for students, staff, alumni, and others to access a wide range of markets to facilitate entering those markets in a supportive manner

• Enhanced entrepreneurship educational opportunities to reach out to potential students in various communities

• Enhanced research opportunities through the partnerships developed in domestic, regional, and international communities

• Enhanced funding opportunities for those ventures seeking funding

• Greater interaction with and access to the University by government, industry, and the public in different communities

Impact of the Program of Activities: As a result of the initiatives undertaken, there is an improved emerging acceptance in the community of the entrepreneurial relevance of the University to industry, government, and the public.