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Engineering-Business: The Co-production of Institutions, Skills and Engineering Challenges

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The Engineering-Business Nexus

Part of the book series: Philosophy of Engineering and Technology ((POET,volume 32))

Abstract

The long-lived and widely held political imagination surrounding innovation is that of a process by which new developments in science and technology are transformed into new business applications. As a result higher education and professions are eager to impose their expertises onto, and claim authority within, the domain of innovation. In recent decades, universities and other engineering institutions that are typically associated with technology development, or ‘technology push’, have expanded their research and teaching activities toward the business end of innovation – also known as the ‘demand’ or ‘pull’ side. The chapter investigates the new emergent trend in academic institution building where business or demand-oriented competencies are incorporated to engineering curricula. Drawing on the theoretical frameworks of co-production and sociotechnical imaginaries developed by Sheila Jasanoff and others, we analyze how social scientists at the Technical University of Denmark, in response to new demands for autonomous economy within Danish universities, invented the ‘Design and Innovation’ engineering program. Despite its controversial curricular composition, Design and Innovation entailed a revised status for engineering that brought together: creativity; social awareness; and product innovation. The successful implementation of Design & Innovation can be seen as a result of its unique capacity to bring together emphasis on application with new ‘holistic’ visions for higher education. The chapter contributes to contemporary discussions of transformations within the university system and implies that we should look more closely at the interplay between engineering, business and the surrounding society, and how engineering and business are valued, in order to understand the meaning of the engineering-business nexus.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Det teknisk-videnskabelige forskningsråd. Source: http://www.statensnet.dk/pligtarkiv/fremvis.pl?vaerkid=807&reprid=0&filid=12&iarkiv=1

  2. 2.

    “Uddannelses Støtte” translates into “Educational Support”.

  3. 3.

    Ref: https://da.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statens_Uddannelsesstøtte

  4. 4.

    The Lisbon Strategy 2000–2001 An analysis and evaluation of the methods used and results achieved. Ref: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/document/activities/cont/201107/20110718ATT24270/20110718ATT24270EN.pdf

  5. 5.

    Bengt-Åke Lundvall and Richard Nelson were among the main authors of the Lisbon Strategy.

  6. 6.

    Danmarks nationale reformprogram, Første fremskridtsrapport, Regeringen 2006.

  7. 7.

    Jasanoff, “Designs on Nature,” (2011).

  8. 8.

    http://ufm.dk/uddannelse-og-institutioner/statistik-og-analyser/sogning-og-optag-pa-videregaende-uddannelser/grundtal-om-sogning-og-optag/kot-hovedtal/hovedtal2012.pdf

  9. 9.

    http://www.information.dk/470336

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Juhl, J., Buch, A. (2019). Engineering-Business: The Co-production of Institutions, Skills and Engineering Challenges. In: Christensen, S.H., Delahousse, B., Didier, C., Meganck, M., Murphy, M. (eds) The Engineering-Business Nexus. Philosophy of Engineering and Technology, vol 32. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-99636-3_20

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-99636-3_20

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