Larsen, Kurt

Global Practice on Education
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Higher education, Science, innovation and technology policies
Global Practice on Education
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Kurt Larsen (MPA, École Nationale d’Administration, Paris, and MSc, Aarhus University, Denmark) has worked for the World Bank since 2005 as a senior education specialist. He joined the South Asia Education Team in 2011 and works on higher education projects in India, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan. Previously he led the Knowledge for Development Program at the World Bank Institute. Before joining the Bank, he was a senior analyst in the Education Directorate of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), where he conducted policy research on education and science and technology development. He worked for more than 10 years in the Danish Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science and Technology, and Prime Minister’s Office. He is the author of several books and reports on higher education, innovation, and the knowledge economy. 

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Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
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    Agribusiness and Innovation Systems in Africa
    (World Bank, 2009) Larsen, Kurt ; Kim, Ronald ; Theus, Florian
    The role of agriculture in sustainable development and poverty reduction for the vast majority of developing countries cannot be overemphasized. Forty-five percent of the developing world's population lives in households involved in agriculture, and twenty-seven percent in smallholder households, and most depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. The agricultural sector generates on average twenty-nine percent of gross domestic product (GDP), employs sixty-five percent of the labor force in agriculture-based countries, and is a key to generating overall growth. This book attempts to address these questions and challenges, by examining how agricultural innovation arises in four African countries, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, through agribusiness, public policies, and specific value chains for food staples, high value products, and livestock. Determinants of innovation are not viewed individually but within the context of a complex agricultural innovation system (AIS) involving many actors and interactions. The country reports are based on qualitative interviews with agribusiness representatives about their experiences in this area. The synthesis chapter preceding the country reports presents the main findings of the country reports, links common themes, and distills lessons learned.
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    Promoting University-Industry Collaboration in Sri Lanka: Status, Case Studies, and Policy Options
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2016-06-14) Larsen, Kurt ; Bandara, Deepthi C. ; Esham, Mohamed ; Unantenne, Ranmini
    Strong science, technology, and innovation links between universities and industry are of critical importance to Sri Lanka as it strives to become an upper-middle-income country. This report presents an overview of current U-I collaboration in Sri Lanka by analyzing responses to a survey of companies and university departments in 2015. Data from the 2015 survey are compared with data from a similar survey in 2007 to identify trends over time. The study examines current policies to promote U-I collaboration in Sri Lanka, highlights some good practices in other countries, and suggests possible ways that Sri Lanka may be able to strengthen U-I collaboration. The report is intended primarily for policy makers in the fields of higher education, research, and innovation, as well as for researchers in companies, universities, and research institutes who are already collaborating in public-private partnerships or are planning to do so. The responses show that the majority of existing links between Sri Lankan universities and companies are short-term, informal interactions with low direct transfer of knowledge and innovation. However, the survey findings also show a growing emphasis on deeper and more demanding types of collaboration, such as joint Research and Development activities, prototype testing, and spin-offs, even though these remain relatively uncommon.