Higher Education in Regional and City Development: Bío Bío Region, Chile 2010

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The Bío Bío Region has pioneered regional development in Chile. It has a high concentration of higher education and research activity. Its universities and other higher education institutions have made significant progress in widening access to education. But challenges remain: the Bío Bío Region continues to suffer from brain drain as well as higher than average unemployment and poverty rates.

How can the Bío Bío Region promote new business formation and the development of the existing small and medium-sized companies? What incentives are needed to improve higher education institutions’ regional and local orientation? How can higher education institutions move from knowledge generation towards knowledge transfer?

This joint OECD and World Bank review explores a range of helpful policy measures and institutional reforms to mobilise higher education for the development of the Bío Bío Region. It is part of the series of the OECD reviews of Higher Education in Regional and City Development. These reviews help mobilise higher education institutions for economic, social and cultural development of cities and regions. They analyse how the higher education system impacts upon regional and local development and bring together universities, other higher education institutions and public and private agencies to identify strategic goals and to work towards them.

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Contribution of research to regional innovation in the Bío Bío Region

Institutional Management in Higher Education

Innovation and the commercialisation of research are considered increasingly important drivers of long-term economic growth. As such they receive considerable policy attention. This chapter will examine the effectiveness of innovation policy in the Bío Bío Region and role of research conducted by the region’s higher education institutions. The chapter will first consider the strengths of Bío Bío innovation policy and efforts made by the regional government, regional development agencies and higher education institutions. It will then examine where the policies and practices can be improved identifying four key issues: i) review of the public sector role in innovation; ii) continuous improvement of empirical inputs into policy; iii) building of the central focus for regional innovation; and iv) alignment of incentives in the higher education institutions. The chapter concludes with specific recommendations to improve the regional innovation.


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