The UK’s government department for innovation, universities and skills (DIUS) is working on developing a framework for higher education in the UK for the next ten to fifteen years to strive towards maintaining a world class education system in 2020. One of the big questions in the DIUS consultation is around intellectual property (IP). In fact the precise questions is “How should Universities manage IP by 2020, for their own benefit and for the wider economy”?
One hypothesis that underpins some of our work is that we need more outwardly facing academic communities, embodied perhaps by ‘public intellectuals’ who regularly engage with businesses, policy issues, current affairs, global challenges, or with experts in other disciplines. A couple of stories fresh in my mind from events in the last couple of weeks come to mind that I think are relevant.
Neither of these examples come from Universities, but what can we take from them to answer the DIUS question? Will universities shift their own perception of themselves as Lego did? How can we learn the lessons of the challenge faced by CERN in the late 1980’s when Tim Berners Lee created the web? Interested, as always, in any views.