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The transformative role of universities in regional innovation systems

Jos van den Broek, Franziska Eckardt and Paul Benneworth

No 201705, CHEPS Working Papers from University of Twente, Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS)

Abstract: Universities play many important roles in the knowledge-based economy, providing innovation support services directly, but also changing the way that innovation is organised in their regions, and building new economic development pathways. Their roles can be particularly important in less successful regions that lack a critical mass of other knowledge actors who have the skills to organise regional innovation structures and processes. This working paper seeks to explore the roles that universities can play in one very specific type of peripheral region namely cross-border regions, where national borders hinder interactions, network-formation and institutionalisation between innovation actors that might geographically be proximate. Our research question is: what roles do universities play in cross-border regions and how can we understand these roles through a conceptual typology? We propose a conceptual typology for how universities may build up elements of university innovation activities in cross-border regions using their teaching, research, management and administrative processes. We explore this in six border regions: Bothnian Arc, Hedmark - Dalarna, Helsinki – Tallinn, Ireland – Northern Ireland, TTR-ELAt and Öresund to reflect more widely on universities’ wider roles in building up regional innovation systems.

Keywords: border regions; cross-border regional innovation; university internationalisation university regional engagement; university third mission (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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