The aim of this paper is to highlight universities’ contribution to the success of innovation systems in Europe’s most innovative regions, as determined by the recently published European Regional Innovation Scoreboard (RIS). To this end, the study relies on two indicators used by the RIS, namely the percent of innovative enterprises collaborating with others and the number of public – private co-publications. Furthermore, the study looks for qualitative evidence in secondary sources and highlights some important drivers behind the success of Europe’s top regions for cooperative research and networks. The results show that most of the innovation programmes in these regions focus on cooperation and on triple helix partnerships and involve frequent interactions between universities, businesses, policy-makers and innovation intermediaries. With a view to the future, universities are expected to bring their contribution to regional smart specialisation and act as intermediary bodies for the implementation of several delivery instruments, thus drawing from the best practice cases presented within this paper.
universities’ regional engagement, EU Regional Innovation Scoreboard, best practices, smart specialisation
I23, O38