Aims of the Project

In this project, through the comparative approach, it is possible to analyse the international orientation and connections of scientists and scholars. Education, human capital and trained labour have become central competitive factors between cities; thus the role of universities has been strengthened even further.

Human capital or know-how resources can be increased among other things through:

  • Education and learning
  • Increasing networking and construction of innovative communities
  • Transferring information

In promoting human and social capital, cities have played a key role. Universities, research institutes, and today also science parks are significant factors in the competition between cities, and on the individual level they are excellent learning environments.

The project explores the mobility of researchers and their way to the top, the birth of prominent research groups and centres of excellence. The focus is on the role of research activities in different cities during different time periods. What kinds of economic and political factors have promoted or obstructed the orientation and mobility of scholars abroad? What kinds of communities and networks did the researchers enter into in their new countries of residence?

The project will carry out a long-term analysis of centres for research and innovative environments in European and American cities. What has been the interaction between cities and universities and what has been the role of public funding? To which extent the creation of innovative centres and the careers of individual scholars have been connected to private sources of funding? What has been the multiplier effect of researchers and universities on cities and regions?

Findings and Results

Universities are expected to have a more immediate effect on the growth and prosperity of regions and the nation alike. The project has formulated a multi-layered comparative analysis of phenomena that is combined with a long time period analysis. The results can be used in the development of systems related to growth, livelihood and regional policy, in which universities generate employment and growth; centres of excellence are an example of this. In addition, the research findings can be used and applied to practice directly in the further development of the centre of excellence -type systems.