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A new direction for regional university campuses: catalyzing innovation in place

  • Year: 2008
  • Author: Allison, Janelle; Eversole, Robyn
  • Journal Name: Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research
  • Journal Number: Vol. 21, No. 2
  • Country: Australia

Ideas about the importance of knowledge and innovation in the global economy have
implications for the changing role of universities but so too do ideas about the role of
place-based knowledge in generating competitive advantage and innovation at the regional
scale. As the concern to structure effective innovation systems intersects with the
growing interest in distinctive, place-based knowledge, an opportunity emerges to
reconsider the role of universities in regions. As institutions specialized in knowledge
creation and knowledge transfer, regional university campuses are in a key position to
catalyze regional development outcomes by bringing together different forms of knowledge,
including place-based knowledge, in new ways. In line with current thinking about open and
user-generated innovation, it is arguable that this kind of approach to co-creating
knowledge in place can catalyze regional development outcomes. Yet for university campuses
to take on this catalyst role, they must move beyond the limitations of their current
"engagement" approaches. This paper explores some of the limitations and conflicts in
current regional engagement approaches, then considers how the meeting-point between
universities and complex regions may be operationalized in practice.

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