Comparative View of the EU Regions by Their Potential of University-Industry Cooperation

  • Alo Lilles
  • Kärt Rõigas
  • Urmas Varblane


This article evaluates and compares the potential of different European Union regions to support university-industry cooperation as an important precondition for the implementation of the smart specialisation strategy. By using exploratory factor analysis, we found three independent dimensions describing the potential of regions to support university-industry cooperation. Research revealed a strong East-West divide between EU regions in all three dimensions. The findings indicate that many regions in Central Eastern European countries but also some regions in Southern Europe do not seem to have enough supportive strength to be able to benefit from the smart specialisation policy of EU. In order to benefit from the smart specialisation strategy, more attention should be given to the region-specific approach. In the universities from the lagging regions, knowledge translation capabilities must be developed. Core region universities need to be more motivated to cooperate with universities from the lagging regions. Regional level governance motivation and their capabilities toward the support of university and industry interactions should be developed and supported. The creation of linkages between core and weaker regions should be encouraged over the capacity building inside the weaker regions.


University-industry cooperation National innovation system Competitiveness Technological change External sources of knowledge Regional innovation scoreboard 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TartuTartuEstonia

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