Chapter 9: Region-specific productivity competitiveness and the universityindustry interface
There has been considerable interest in the United Kingdom concerning industry-university links as a mechanism of enhancing innovation and improving productivity competitiveness of local industries. In the last two decades the UK regions have been increasingly encouraged to promote university-industry knowledge transfer partnerships and networks, centres of excellence and high-technology clusters (Sainsbury, 2007; Wilson, 2012). The policy focus on the link between the university and productivity performance is because the university is often seen as one of the contributors to industrial innovation (Cooke et al., 1997; Lundvall, 1992; Nelson, 1993), with the latter being widely acknowledged as a key source of economic growth (Romer, 1990; Aghion and Howitt, 1992; Grossman and Helpman, 1991). As far as spatial dimension of the university-industry interface is concerned, the respective literature indicates that knowledge flows from the university are often geographically localised (Jaffe, 1989; Anselin et al., 1997, Jaffe et al., 1993; Singh et al., 2010).
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