Indexed on: 19 Nov '15Published on: 19 Nov '15Published in: Journal of the Knowledge Economy
The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the relationship between the entrepreneurial universities activities and the local economic growth through an empirical analysis. In order to assess how entrepreneurial universities could play a primary role in creating an entrepreneurial culture, three-pillar activities of Italian higher institutions have been measured and correlated to specific economic variables at the local level. Starting from the concept of a learning region and using findings of the research, the final aim of the study was to introduce the concept of local intellectual capital and, in this perspective, to appreciate the function of entrepreneurial universities in fostering and enhancing the intangible resources of a territory. Therefore, through the analysis of research findings, entrepreneurial universities are considered as acquiring a crucial function as intermediaries that are able to manage and enhance local intellectual capital and to make possible the learning region growth. University managers have to comprehend the relevance of the surrounding environment and of developing an entrepreneurial mindset for the outliving of their institution; at the same time, governments need to design focused policies giving higher priority to nurturing local entrepreneurs, promoting successful entrepreneurial role models and removing bureaucratic impediments to start-ups and business-like initiatives.