Systematic literature review paper: the regional innovation system-university-science park nexus

T. Theeranattapong, D. Pickernell, C. Simms

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    Recent work on Region Innovation Systems (RIS) has emphasised the importance of universities. Until recently, however, related insights into the dynamics of this relationship in respect of the specific role of the science park have been limited. This paper presents a systematic review identifying the key roles of each actor in relation to innovation. We link the dynamic roles performed by the university between science parks and the RIS. Our results enable us to identify how the key activities performed by the university change during its interrelations within the RIS and with the science park. Our analysis of the literature distinguishes between three sets of relationships through which the university plays differing roles: RIS-university, RIS-university-science park, and university-science park. Respectively, the University’s relationships between these different RIS actors focuses on: resource sharing, brokerage, and commercialisation-exploitation. Secondly, we find that within each of these relationship types the university can perform three types of roles: on knowledge co-creation, acting as conduit, and inter-organisational relationship building. Distinguishing between these differing relationships and roles enables us to identify a total of nine dynamic roles performed by the University, which include: provision of information, channels of communication, infrastructure, regional networking, building research collaboration, acting as knowledge intermediaries, economic development, technological change and commercialisation processes, and start up creation and commercialisation. The review identifies several gaps in the literature in need of further research, and suggests that university relationships with RIS, interlinked with those between the university and science park itself, are important factors affecting science park innovation performance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages34
    JournalThe Journal of Technology Transfer
    Early online date2 Jan 2021
    Publication statusEarly online - 2 Jan 2021


    • Science park
    • University
    • Regional innovation system
    • Technology transfer


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