| Iryna Lendel
- Program Manager
- Center for Economic Development
- Cleveland State University
- United States
Dr. Lendel is a Program Manager in the Economic Development Center at Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, where she manages the technology-based economic development program and writes on the role of universities in technology-based economic development and state technology-based economic development policies. Iryna also serves as Project Manager of the NSF-funded project “State Science Policies: Modeling Their Origins, Nature, Fit and Effects on Local Universities.” Dr. Lendel received a Ph.D. in Economics (Doctor of Economics) from Lviv Regional Institute of the National Science Academy of Ukraine in 1995 and a Ph.D. in Urban Studies and Public Affairs from Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs in 2008. She received a Diploma of Higher Education in Economics with Honors (Master’s degree) from the Ivano-Frankivsk Institute of Oil and Gas (Ukraine). Iryna was presented with the 2007 Russel Kashian and Susan Oneson Award for a peer-reviewed published article and the Maxine Goodman Levin Discretionary Fund Award in 2005. While she was an assoc ate professor in Ukraine, Iryna received the Fulbright Research Scholar Award for conducting regional economic development research at Cleveland State University in 1997-1998.
Dr. Lendel has an active research agenda. Her work explores three major research areas: the impact of state science and innovation policies on economic development and their relationship to universities, emerging technologies and building related industrial clusters, and universities as multi-product companies and their role in technology-based regional economic development. Her research experience includes studying regional economies and economic clusters, economic impact studies, and analysis of knowledge flows and high technology industries.
The Role of Universities in Creating Emerging Technologies and Building Innovative Clusters
“In the era of romanticism the university is not only a source of knowledge, but also enlightenment,
general education, culture, nationalism, and an emancipated future society. It is not only the power
of knowledge - in its programme it declares much more: the power of knowledge spreading its
influence consciously into the external world on behalf of its mission.”
(Source: Pavel Zgaga (2008). Knowledge and Power: University, Transition and Democracy. [discussing Habermas,
(1987)] p.9, http://www.see-educoop.net/education_in/pdf/knowledge-and-power-slo-enl-t07.pdf)
Many public policies are based on a popular assumption that investment in universities advances
the technological base of a region’s economy, leads to the creation of new companies and industries, and
ultimately benefits all taxpayers by increasing regional wealth. Universities are seen as a core element
of a region’s intellectual infrastructure in the emerging knowledge economy.
The objective of this study is to advance the knowledge about the impact of universities on
regional, national, and global economies, and ultimately on the well-being of all people of the world.
This research will collect, analyze, and disseminate the best of American and European experiences
regarding the role of universities in stimulating creativity for emerging technology and building
innovative regional and global industrial clusters.
The proposed research has two parts. The first part of the research will use the two concepts of
university products and the factors necessary for technology-based economic development. These
concepts underlie the methodology of qualitative research of the university impact on economic
development. This phase of the project will deliver case studies based on interviews conducted at the host
universities and utilize prior knowledge of other universities in the field. The second part of the research
is an in-depth study on the impact of research-related products on creating and commercializing new
technology, supporting formation of emerging science industries, and building innovative industrial
clusters on a regional, national, and global scale. The example of optics (also called photonics or optoelectronics)
as an emerging and constantly evolving science industry will be employed to conduct
quantitative research and potentially to generalize the results of the study to any emerging industry.
As a scholar, I have first-hand experience with two different systems of higher education. I earned
a Ph.D. in Economics from the Institute of Regional Science, the National Academy of Science of
Ukraine, and a Ph.D. in Urban Studies (concentration – Economic Development) from the Maxine
Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University. My latest dissertation research,
The Influence of Research Universities on Technology-Based Regional Economic Development, became
my career and my passion. In the last two years I have conducted research on the impact of university
products on economic development and in-depth studies on the optical science industry. Combined with
my work on the NSF-funded project regarding university-related state science and innovation policies,
this research has equipped me with the theoretical background and practical skills required for the
proposed project, along with a network of venues for disseminating the project results on the national
level (e.g. NASULGC, SSTI, NGA).
Two visits to select host universities are essential for successful completion; the two universities
have specific expertise in two fields that are integral parts of the project. The Free University of Berlin
(Professor Dr. Jorg Sydow, Dean of the School of Business and Economics, and Frank Lerch) developed
an expertise in studying the German optics industry and comparing German optics industrial clusters to
Arizona optical clusters, as well as to the optical clusters globally. The Netherlands’ Utrecht University
was rated the 9th best university in Europe (Professor Dr. Ron Boschma, world-respected expert in
industrial clusters research and Director of the Urban and Research Center) participates in the “Task
Force Innovation of the Utrecht Region” which makes it a perfect model for studying the impact of
universities on the regional economy, emerging industries, and building an industrial cluster.