Chapter 5 Regional orientation, strategic development and knowledge infrastructure
Open access

Chapter 5 examines how universities form part of regional innovation ecosystems. Our case studies show a variety of roles, from ‘orchestrator’ and leader to technical partner. Importantly, the discussion sheds light on the crucial factor of relationships and connections within the ecosystem that generates innovation. One is increasingly relevant, namely cooperation with local and regional authorities that manage Smart Specialisation Strategies, which is a key EU policy area on regional economic development. This new form of place-based innovation policy relies more than ever on the knowledge and human capital produced by universities. Finally, inter-regional cooperation involving the case study universities increases the knowledge connectivity of their host regions and helps to harness global knowledge to address local challenges