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Jos van den Broek, Franziska Eckardt and Paul Benneworth

Universities play an important role in the knowledge based economy, and are key regional actors, providing knowledge, resources and human capital. Border regions are a specific type of peripheral region, often peripheral in terms of distance to the centre and national governments. But even in centrally located border regions developing integrated cross-border region is mostly often deemed less important than regional and national issues. Many most border regions may benefit from building-up cross-border connections and developing systemic interactions between actors over the border. Universities can play an important role in shaping regional innovation systems, and cross-border regions are interesting because of this inherent fragmentation. We explore universities’ role that universities can play in cross-border regions, in terms of developing linkages to other sectors (business, public sector) and linkages over the border. On this basis we develop a conceptual typology for university involvement in cross-border regions.