Title: Universities, innovation and competitiveness in regional economies

Authors: Martin Gjelsvik

Addresses: International Research Institute of Stavanger (IRIS), P.O. Box 8046, N-4068 Stavanger, Norway

Abstract: The paper examines how university strategies and regional development paths co-evolve. The aim is to contribute to the discussion on how regions in a path dependent way transform over time, and how local universities may take on differentiated roles in those processes. Although regional development is path dependent, I discuss how regions may overcome such intertie, by illustrating how universities contribute to create new, transform established, or extend existing economic regional development paths through collaboration with the regional industry. The study confirms that universities take differentiated roles depending on what kind of industrial transformation is taking place in the respective regional economies. Four different regional development paths emerge: new path creation, paths new to the region through transplantation from elsewhere, path renewal through diversification into related industries, and path extension through upgrading of existing industries. The findings draw on studies of universities and regional firms in three regions in Norway.

Keywords: innovation; industry-university collaboration; path creation; path transplantation; path diversification; path extension; university strategies; regional innovation system; RIS; regional development; smart specialisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2018.088704

International Journal of Technology Management, 2018 Vol.76 No.1/2, pp.10 - 31

Received: 16 Feb 2015
Accepted: 02 Mar 2016

Published online: 15 Dec 2017 *

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