This study, by Sybille Reichert of the European University Association, examines the role of universities in the emergence of "knowledge regions" and their relationship with the business sector.
The study outlines important factors for the successful future development of higher education institutions based on the study of four European city regions. Reichert describes the emerging phenomenon of the "proactive knowledge region" by looking closely at the processes of its development, at the key actors and their interactions, as well as at the role of the university in this development. She maps the issues and key steps in the development of knowledge regions and describes the ways in which different types of institutions interact, combine efforts and define common agendas. Finally, the different forms and problems of university engagement in the emerging knowledge region are described. The paper continues to address four fundamental questions:
How do regional policymakers and major players in the knowledge institutions try to create optimal conditions favourable to all?
What forms of co-operation are regarded as successfully improving national and global competitiveness?
What exactly is the role of the university in this field of action?
How can it improve its own performance and how do policymakers contribute to its success?