As modern universities are taking on new roles promoting innovation, economic growth and regional development, valorisation becomes increasingly relevant in the academic sphere. The term “valorisation” has been used to describe a variety of different activities and is often treated as a synonym related to concepts such as third mission, university business collaboration, commercialization and academic entrepreneurship. Despite this single view, there are generally two approaches to valorisation in current academic circles – one approach emphasising economic value, and the other viewing valorisation as a broader process of knowledge development. More and more researchers are focusing on this second view, where valorisation requires collaboration and interaction throughout the research process, envisioning wider contributions to society, or enhancing societal impact.
Examples of valorisation
In the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) research, the means of valorisation may take many forms including commercialisation, entrepreneurship, knowledge dissemination and educational activities. As the STEM_Valorise consortium, we conducted our own search for examples of valorisation in STEM fields and came across numerous examples of these types of research valorisation. These outputs of research in STEM fields go beyond solely creating economic value or publishing of papers, and clearly generate societal and social advantages. It is also clear in many of these examples, that collaboration with external stakeholders, entrepreneurial universities and technology and knowledge transfer play a critical role in the valorisation of research.
Potential barriers to valorisation
Many researchers may fail to see the relevance of their work in the achievement of larger societal goals, however many merely lack the ability to take that research and create something valuable from it. Potential barriers that prevent researchers from seeing the valorisation potential and successfully valorising their research may be attributed to lack of: entrepreneurial skills; awareness of commercialisation possibilities, cooperation between universities and external stakeholders; and lack of awareness about valorisation engagement activities beyond research commercialisation.
How does the STEM Valorise project contribute to valorisation?
The STEM_Valorise Project aims to ensure that researchers have the appropriate valorisation skills and knowledge, as well as provide appropriate training for them to acquire such skills. The project hopes to contribute to a new generation of STEM researchers that can be self-sufficient in their valorisation capabilities and apply their work to solving societal challenges.
Sánchez- Barrioluengo & Benneworth, 2019
Hewitt-Dundas, Gkypali, & Roper, 2019; Orazbayeva, Plewa, Davey, & Muros, 2019
Hayden, Weiß, Pechriggl, & Wutti, 2018; Wutti & Hayden, 2017
Muhonen, Benneworth, & Olmos-Peñuela, 2020; Siegel & Wright, 2015; Wadhwani, Galvez-Behar, Mercelis, & Guagnini, 2017
IXA, 2014; Olmos-Peñuela, Castro-Martínez, & D’Este, 2014; Van De Burgwal, Dias, & Claassen, 2019
Featured image by Rodolfo Clix from Pexels.