University of Oulu

Vehmas, Kati & Saarela, Martti (2018) University–Company Collaboration in the National Innovation System from the Perspectives of Micro-Entrepreneurs. In: Costa et al. eds. Proceedings of the 13th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship ECIE 2018, Aveiro, Portugal, 20-21 September 2018, 846-856.

University–company collaboration in the national innovation system from the perspectives of micro-entrepreneurs

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Author: Vehmas, Kati1; Saarela, Martti1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Academic Conferences and Publishing International, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-11-23


The way we view collaborative projects influences how project practices are built. According to the National Innovation System (NIS), the innovative process is organized into projects. In most research, collaboration has been approached and analyzed by examining, for example, the innovations, interactions, and actions of the collaborators. However, prior to the present study, university–company collaboration has not been examined through the lens of project management in the NIS. The perspectives of companies and especially micro-enterprises in the NIS are under researched.

The role of micro-enterprises in university–company collaboration is growing, although there are many challenges. National systems of innovation tend to be rigid and bureaucratic, especially for the agile innovations of micro-enterprises. The background is influenced by different projects approaches whose significance for practices and innovation is not recognized.

This empirical study approaches university–company collaboration from the perspectives of companies, focusing on micro-entrepreneurs that are willing to grow and develop. Data was gathered through interviews with big companies and micro-entrepreneurs who have participated in university-company collaboration project in Finland. Data has been analyzed by using content analysis. The framework for the micro-enterprises data analysis derives from an earlier study on companies’ point of and project approach in NIS.

A strong understanding of project management is essential for organizations engaging in collaborative projects, as it will help them develop the innovative processes in their projects and at the micro-enterprise level.

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Series: Proceedings of the European Conference on Entrepreneurship and Innovation
ISSN: 2049-1050
ISSN-E: 2049-1069
ISSN-L: 2049-1050
ISBN: 978-1-911218-98-2
ISBN Print: 978-1-911218-97-5
Pages: 846 - 856
Host publication: Proceedings of the 13th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship ECIE 2018, Aveiro, Portugal, 20-21 September 2018
Host publication editor: Costa, Carlos
Au-Yong-Oliveira, Manuel
Castro Amorim, Marlene Paula
Conference: European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 520 Other social sciences
Copyright information: © The Authors, 2018. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission may be made without written permission from the individual authors.