1 University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Economics in Subotica (SERBIA)
2 Economic High School in Subotica (SERBIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 6012-6019
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Knowledge-based society, also referred to as the post-industrial society, has placed reconsideration of the relationship between development and education into the focus of interest. Reforms of education are essential and necessary for building an educational system for sustainable development. Education can nowadays be regarded as a factor of sustainable economic and social development. Owing to their ability to generate new knowledge and skills, modern-day universities are increasingly seen as a key factor in strengthening the competitiveness of economy on a worldwide scale.

This article is an attempt to present and study innovation, as a highly complex phenomenon, from multiple perspectives. It considers concepts such as innovation systems and innovation networks, innovation management, the university-industry-government triad and, finally, the prominent role of universities and higher education in innovation development. Although we know much less how innovations come about than where they lead, the main finding in the literature on innovation is that organisations innovate in broad interaction with its environment rather than in isolation, so that terms such as “system” and “network” have been introduced in order to understand innovation.

In the modern-day “institutionalisation of innovation”, the degree to which the innovation process depends on the availability of new and excellent scientific knowledge is higher than ever before. Innovation is – and will be – not only based on science, but also the outcome of the contribution of various scientific disciplines. Hybrid technologies and the convergence of nano-technologies, biotechnologies, information and communication technology and cogno-technologies consolidate the central role of universities.

The modern-day practice of knowledge acquisition and development requires a radical redesign of the learning and education processes, in keeping with the new technological, economic and cultural patterns of earning and living, but primarily in the direction of sustainability of the model known as knowledge-based economy. Higher education, in coordination with research and development, should play the essential role in personal development and sustainable development of society, as well as promoting innovation, as it should provide, first and foremost, qualified and competent human resources. At the same time, it should imply the need to create new jobs.

EU’s experience shows that national higher education systems in EU countries must effectively adapt to the requirements of knowledge-based economy, lest the country lose global competitiveness in education, research and development.

The significant innovation drivers can be classified into four groups, serving as the education system’s powerhouse for creating favourable conditions for innovative changes:
(1) scientific research,
(2) horizontal linkage between those who create and those who use knowledge and scientific achievement (users and practical applicability), modularisation, holistic approach to model integration (modular structure), and
(3) information and communication technologies and their.

Higher education institutions should become regional knowledge centres, entrusted with research and development.
The key conclusion of the analysis given in this paper is the inevitability of development, and developing higher education and universities so as to attain beneficial conditions for innovative changes.
Creation of knowledge, innovation driver, innovation management, sustainable development of society.