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...Curt Karlsson

…University Director who will take on the role of government investigator during the final months prior to his retirement from Linköping University. What will be investigated?

Cirt Karlsson, porträtt

“How, and in which forms, operations that support innovation are being conducted at universities and colleges, and how do higher education institutions manage intellectual property, and finally how do they produce proposals for measures that can improve the management of both innovation and intellectual property.”

Why does this need to be investigated?

“Partly because we lack a national perception of its present state and the results achieved, and partly because it appears employers doubt whether the operations in question are effective. The investigation is intended to constitute one of several foundations for propositions on research and innovation policy that the government has declared that it wants to set forth before the Swedish Parliament (Riksdag) autumn 2012.”

There’s an exception for teachers currently being discussed. Will this be addressed?

“No, my proposals will remain in line with the current regulations, and exceptions for teachers was inserted into the 1949 law on the right to employees’ inventions. I think the advantages and disadvantages of the exception are well known so any further investigation will not contribute much more to the discussion. Ultimately changing the law or not is more of a political issue than a technocratic one."

When will the investigation be complete and what will happen to it following its completion?

“The directive states that May 1 is the final date, however I have an agreement with the with the Government Offices that I will be afforded another month. A basic interim report will probably be completed and submitted to the department around Easter.
According to the mandate, the final report will be referred to, among others, universities and colleges, but that’s something I don’t agree with at all.”

A government mandate; that sounds posh. Why you, in particular?

“Well, I know it’s not more posh than anything else...As far as I know it’s never an issue of any open application process, rather that you’re contacted informally and asked if you’re interested in assuming the role. In this particular case it was Peter Honeth, the State Secretary, who initiated contact, and he has known me quite well considering the fact that we were both fellow university directors from 1993 to 2006 (he in Lund, I in Linköping) and thanks to the university director network we met perhaps 8-10 times per year.

Is it possible that you will be able to continue as university director?“Yes, half-time during the investigation and following that my employment at LiU will cease.

Footnote: LiU’s Chief Legal Advisor, Göran Hessling, will also be involved in the investigation.
Photo: Peter Modin

Gunilla Pravitz 2012-01-30

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Last updated: 2017-02-13