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In Irish higher education, there is strong awareness of the potential for, and of, collaboration between higher education, enterprise and communities to contribute to economic renewal and social innovation but this is accompanied by a recognition that ‘higher education institutions could be more dynamic and coherent in their approach to collaboration’ (Department of Education and Skills, 2011, p. 75). This view is echoed by Healy, et al., (2014, p. 6) who assert that … ‘despite the resurgence in business-university collaboration, research reports consistently find that cooperation practices are highly fragmented and uncoordinated’. The role of an engaged, entrepreneurial university is to act as a co-creator of knowledge, informed by, and in collaboration with, external organisations, and to ensure that graduates emerge with the academic excellence, practitioner knowledge and entrepreneurial skills and capabilities which ensure that they are well-placed to identify or create employment opportunities for themselves and to maintain employability. The entrepreneurial orientation of the institution and its graduates, the application of research and innovation toward challenges in society and the prioritisation of output measures such as patent applications, spinoffs and job creation are important elements in ensuring that universities optimise their contribution to society. Guerrero, et al., (2012) emphasise the importance of the entrepreneurial university as incubator to support the translation of ideas and knowledge into valuable and measurable economic initiatives as well as the importance of partnerships with society and industry in informing and supporting the development of knowledge-based entrepreneurship in higher education. Responding to these challenges and building on the outputs and outcomes of the Roadmap for Employment-Academic Partnership project (REAP, 2009), Cork Institute of Technology has established the CIT Extended Campus in order to join up and maximize the benefits of an already actively-engaged institution so that interactions are sought and stimulated, and business intelligence is collected to support the organisation to act entrepreneurially and to build better-informed, broader, mutually beneficial relationships.
Sheridan, I. & Fallon, D. (2015). An Exploration of a Higher Education Institution's Response to the Need for Enhanced Engagement with Enterprise. Higher Education in Transformation Conference, Dublin, Ireland, 2015, pp.349-357.