Will the Center Hold? What Research Centers Do to Universities and to Societal Challenges

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Research centers represent a specific organizational format for linking the traditional university organization with external actors, goals, and processes in time-limited, concentrated efforts of research and collaboration. Yet, the center format contains large variations, and centers act as interfaces between university organizations, societal actors, and research funders in multifaceted ways. In this chapter, we focus analytically on the organizational structuration of universities and the influence of external funding on the steering of work modes and orientations of academic research. We ask what centers do, how they affect universities’ operations, and why some centers are more successful than others in their missions. We address these questions through an analysis of six centers within the 10-year Vinn Excellence and Berzelii center schemes run by the Swedish innovation Agency Vinnova, drawing on interviews, evaluation reports, and a broad range of archival data. We highlight great variations in how universities are influenced by center funding, which is most effective when aligned with internal university strategies. Center success depends on the fit and integration of internal and external ambitions, university strategies, and partner orientations. However, such alignment is merely reinforced, rather than altered, by external center support.

Titel på värdpublikationMaking Universities Matter
RedaktörerP. Mattsson, E. Perez Vico, L. Salö
FörlagSpringer Gabler
Antal sidor18
ISBN (elektroniskt)978-3-031-48799-6
ISBN (tryckt)978-3-031-48798-9
StatusPublished - 2024


NamnInnovation, Technology and Knowledge Management
VolymPart F2013
ISSN (tryckt)2197-5698
ISSN (elektroniskt)2197-5701

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Tvärvetenskapliga studier


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