There is an increasing need for universities to find revenue through commercialisation of knowledge, IP, R & D contracts, licensing…. I think going forward the universities need to put as much emphasis on identifying those academics with a burning desire to get out into the market place as they do on the idea itself. All to often I see academics being cajoled into becoming entrepreneurial with their ideas or enterprise units of HE trying to make business people out of individuals who just have not got it. Whilst I believe entrepreneurs are made not born – some are harder to make than others! – fundamentally if someone does not want to do something or you cut across their fundamental beliefs then change is extremely difficult!
I would like to see HE spending more time on the person and not just focus on the “commercial idea” – scouring the faculties and departments for individuals with the drive and ambition to generate revenue needs more time, effort and energy. At least HE are then pushing against an open door! As I have said before lets look at humanties, social sciences and other non scientific departments for ideas as well!