UNIVERSITIES IN KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER IN LATVIA
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Since the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, the topicality of knowledge transfer research is associated with the promotion of long-term social and economic prosperity during which universities carry out not only their role of educating and research but also they must become important agents in the collaboration with wider community for social and economic development. Similarly as other countries of European Union, the changes in higher education and research that Latvia faces in the last decade are related to the introduction of the goals of Lisbon strategy. The goals anticipate the development of knowledge society in close relation with an effective national economy where knowledge takes up the leading role. Research in social sciences indicates that the collaboration between researchers and users depends on the model of knowledge transfer which is applied in the process such transfer. The interest on knowledge transfer between universities and businesses, policy makers and wider community increases in Latvia, too. Results of the research of doctoral thesis has been presented and analysed in the article. The goal is to study the university’s collaboration with other social agents in knowledge transfer in Latvia by evaluating different models of knowledge transfer. The theoretical framework is based on theories (Triple Helix, Mode 2, innovation, collaboration) which reveal collaboration between social agents in the process of knowledge transfer. In the research, qualitative approach and method of case analysis has been used in the analysis of two universities - Latvia University of Agriculture and Ventspils University College. The results of the research show that the knowledge transfer in universities is provided through scientific (linear), demand-driven (two-way) and Triple Helix models. Knowledge transfer is promoted by purposeful process management and informal contacts. The obstacles of collaboration in knowledge transfer create social agents’ different understanding of one another and the lack of collaboration incentives (organizational, financial, time factor, etc.).
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