Regenerating through collaborative innovation: the changing role of universities in urban and regional regeneration

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    In global knowledge economies, universities are increasingly playing an enabling role in economic renaissance and are acting as conduits in the co-production and co-creation of knowledge exchange and transfer. In the current socio-economic context, the economic downturn and impact of the credit crunch have placed unprecedented demands on regenerators to become more innovative, effective and efficient. This is forcing regenerators to rethink outdated models and practices in delivering regeneration strategies. In addressing these emerging economic concerns, universities and the business sector are now being encouraged to work more closely in developing innovative solutions to the issues faced by urban and regional regeneration. Such practices are leading to greater attempts at ‘collaborative innovation’ in facilitating the development of newer hybrid forms of innovation networks and communities of regeneration practice as one solution to address these challenges. This paper argues that regenerating through collaborative innovation requires more robust strategies for engagement. This agenda is actively being encouraged by international (and European) governments, whereby establishing and strengthening collations is an attempt to increase local, regional and national competitiveness for enhanced levels of innovation and knowledge exchange. Using case study examples from the UK and beyond, this paper highlights the potential of ‘engaged universities’ to become catalysts of regeneration and considers the constraining factors which hinder interaction between universities and business communities. Finally, the conclusion draws implications for practitioners engaged in this ongoing and progressive regeneration agenda.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)180-193
    JournalJournal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


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