“The Role of the University in Regional Innovation Ecosystems” offers an in-depth qualitative analysis of innovation processes in nine European regions. The study focuses on the nature and changing quality of the interactions between universities, companies, governmental agencies and other public organisations. It focuses on the multi-actor orchestration of innovation, its new interfaces and organisational forms, changing collaborative formats and spaces, as well as the transformation of the key actors’ roles.
The central role of knowledge creation in post-industrial economies and societies has given universities a pivotal role in society. In the regional quest for increased connectivity to fuel innovation dynamics, the university’s new centrality becomes inextricably intertwined with its role of orchestrating multi-actor innovation networks. Businesses and governments see the university and its members as ideally suited to “connect the dots” because they are impartial, driven by curiosity and long-term perspectives, rather than by commercial interests and short-term goals. To connect the dots effectively, the university has to be highly responsive, adaptable, strategically directed, autonomously governed, and densely interlinked with its regional partners as well as an international network.