Background information

HERE Study Visit

Research based teaching: Universities, Entrepreneurship and the Knowledge Triangle

30-31 May 2017, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy


Universities often have difficulty developing the synergy between their different missions. The relationship between research and teaching is particularly challenging. Most universities aspire to excellence in both, but creating the conditions in which each reinforces the other is not easy. Differences in funding systems, perceptions of professional prestige, lack of compatibility of outcomes and timeframes – these are some of the factors which can pose problems. Moreover, in Europe and in most HERE countries, universities are struggling with the demands placed upon them by public policy makers: how to train graduates and researchers to become more entrepreneurial and to engage more directly with economic development and innovation; how to raise the level of collaboration with business and industry.   

While primarily focusing on the University of Milan, this study visit will examine how the dots of the knowledge triangle are connected in the Milan environment. It will learn how universities can work with industry and how teaching and research can be productively articulated. Important lessons in theory and practice will be presented for the HERE to take back to their home countries and institutions.

Study visit objectives:

  • Appreciate the importance of having a strategic framework, within which to articulate research and teaching
  • Collect good practice and concrete examples of how research can inform teaching and learning
  • Assess the dual role of professors as researchers and teachers and understand better how to support them
  • Understand the challenges, the benefits and the means of engaging industry in research as well as in the teaching process (partnerships)
  • Obtain a better understanding of entrepreneurship and how it can be integrated into the teaching and programme design
  • Consider the European policy framework for university-business cooperation and for entrepreneurship in higher education


The SPHERE Team has selected a few suggestions that should help participants to prepare for the topics which the seminar addresses. Please find bellow a list of suggested documents: 

Other documents: