Universities need a new social contract

To reconcile solution-driven research and blue-skies thinking, academic institutions urgently need innovative collaborations and new funding models (…) Over the past year, academic leaders from around the world have met to contemplate the future of higher education and university research, against the backdrop of global financial upheaval (…) It is time to construct a new social contract between research universities and their public and private partners: one that both promotes the pursuit of basic research and encourages solution-driven work. (…) the academic leaders and universities, should embrace this new relationship, establishing a funding mechanism to fit. We should devise new ways to measure success, and actively copy the organizations that work best. If we can do all that, we stand a better chance of solving the world’s problems — now and in future. (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v462/n7270/full/462160a.html)