Entrepreneurial Universities


Cai photoYuzhuo Cai, *email address protected* ,  FINLAND

Yuzhuo Cai is a senior lecturer and adjunct professor at the Higher Education Group (HEG), School of Management, University of Tampere, Finland, and was the acting professor of HEG during August 2013-July 2014. He is currently a guest professor at the Institute of International and Comparative Education, Beijing Normal University, China. His main teaching and research areas are organisation theory, higher education administration, transformation of universities in innovation systems, and internationalisation of higher education, with extensive publications in the fields.

Karen linkedin Karen Barranon, *email address protected* , MEXICO
Karen Barranon was the former Director of the Centre of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Campus Veracruz. Her teaching areas include business, entrepreneurship, innovation and marketing. Her research areas are entrepreneurial universities and ecosystems.   She is planning to apply to a PhD program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.


If you want to engage in informal discussions with members of the group and to engage with the activities of the group, join the TRG LinkedIn Group!

If you would like to join this Thematic Research Group in its collaboration activities, please e-mail a request to both *email address protected* and *email address protected*

Agenda and Vision

The vision of the Thematic Research Group on Entrepreneurial Universities is to enhance both studies and entrepreneurial practices of universities around the world though promoting inter/multi-disciplinary scholarly research and collaboration between scholars and practitioners in the field. The group will focus on identifying major challenges/gaps in entrepreneurial university practice and research, and then will strive to address these challenges and to bridge the gaps with enhanced research and practice. We aim to address a broad range of questions among which are:

  • Is the theory of entrepreneurial university in adolescence or childhood?
  • What are the divergent theoretical perspectives on entrepreneurial university?
  • Can all universities be entrepreneurial?
  • What are the lead practices of entrepreneurship in and out of the universities around the world?
  • Are we in an era that all university reforms aim at building entrepreneurial university?
  • What are the dangers of misuse of the entrepreneurial university concept in university reforms?
  • What is the role of entrepreneurial university beyond its contribution to technology transfer and regional engagement and development?
  • Can an entrepreneurial university lead regional Triple Helix?
  • What is the nature of the academic work in an entrepreneurial university?
  • What are the foundations for achieving entrepreneurial university?

The group will enhance discussion, debate and cross-fertilization of ideas and will contribute to the development of excellence in the field of entrepreneurial universities through collaborative research publications, special events, workshops and webinars. We aspire to foster theoretical developments and practical achievements by means of research projects and implementation practice – as an open multidisciplinary professional society.


Action plan 2019-2020

  • Conducting literature research and organise a workshop on social responsible entrepreneurial university in the HEX4EU project.
  • Publish a special issue on  Industry & Higher Education in Innovation Eco-system for Sustainability
  • Participating in various funding applications
  • Organising a special session on the role of university in innovation eco-system at the upcoming THC2020

Latest activities

Special sessions/workshops


Conference presentations

  • Cai, Y., Mudde, H., Reyes, C., & Weng, M. (2018, 5-8 September). Re-conceptualizing entrepreneurial university: A synthesis of existing literature on entrepreneurial university. Paper presented at the XVI International Triple Helix Conference Manchester.
  • Cai, Y., Mudde, H., Reyes, C., & Weng, M. (2017, 28-30 August). Towards a comprehensive framework to understand entrepreneurial university: A synthesis of existing literature on entrepreneurial university. Paper presented at the 30th CHER Conference Jyväskylä.



  • Cai, Y. (2018). Towards a socially responsible entrepreneurial university: Conceptual and analytical framework building SPIRAL, 2018(1), 1-4.
  • Contributing to Etzkowitz, H., Bikkulov, A., Kovaleinen, A., Leitner, K. H., Poutanen, S., Grey, D., et al. (2017). Metrics for the entrepreneurial university. Triple Helix Working Papers, 1.