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Paul Benneworth and Nadine Zeeman

This chapter is concerned with the accountability conundrum for civic and regional engagement by universities, namely how to hold universities to account for a mission that is best delivered as a spillover effect. Despite widespread agreement that universities should contribute to societal development processes, there is an absence of satisfactory metrics to measure that performance. Effective metrics would measure both individual impacts along a wide of dimensions as well as the ways that these are integrated strategically by university managers. The chapter explores a number of quantitative metrics and notes that their lack of popularity suggests that they are not properly capturing what is important. The chapter also explores a set of qualitative approaches in which universities self-report on their strategic efforts as a means of improving their effectiveness. The chapter concludes that metrics for civic engagement only make sense where universities have already committed strategically to driving engagement and there is only limited potential to use metrics to steer HE systems to more engaged outcomes.

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Einar Rasmussen, Paul Benneworth and Magnus Gulbrandsen

Some universities and departments constitute supportive environments for the creation of successful university spin-off firms (USOs). How universities support USOs has been frequently studied, but in this chapter we argue that it is difficult to transfer successful blueprints from one context to another without understanding why universities support USOs and what these firms need. We discuss the entrepreneurial competencies needed by USOs and the universities’ motivation to spend scarce resources on supporting USOs. We arrive at an understanding of a wider start-up incubation ecosystem (SUPIE) for USOs where universities provide complex services influenced by a variety of stakeholders. We outline the scope for future research and policy where USOs are understood as a stakeholder for the university, with relationships to a wider network of stakeholders, that together form a SUPIE.

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Liliana Fonseca, Lisa Nieth, Maria Salomaa and Paul Benneworth

There is increasing interest in the question of how different stakeholders develop, implement and lead regional upgrading processes with the concept of place leadership emerging as one response to this. Simultaneously, universities face growing expectations that they will contribute to regional development processes - often through their collaborative relationships with other regional stakeholders. But universities are complex in terms of their internal and institutional structures, which undermines their capacities to enact coherent place leadership roles. We seek to understand how strategic leadership in universities can contribute to innovation and regional development in the context of the fundamental institutional complexity of universities. We address this through a qualitative, explorative case study comparing six European regions where universities have sincerely attempted to deliver place leadership roles. We identify that the elements of agency and alignment are vital in that: firstly, university leadership has to align with regional coalitions on the one hand and internal structures on the other hand, and secondly, this leadership must give give individuals agency in their regional engagement activities.

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Kornelia Konrad, Verena Schulze Greiving and Paul Benneworth

In this chapter we study the innovation process of an eHealth application which emerged as a user-driven, local project. The eHealth application is based on a communication platform that creates a network around a particular patient who is in need of regular care and the different parties involved in the patient’s care, and is aimed at facilitating the communication and coordination of this care network. We trace the innovation and implementation process, and explore, first, to which extent and in which form different dimensions of responsibility, such as anticipation, reflexivity, inclusiveness and responsiveness were present along the innovation process. Second, we consider if and how the regional and partly local, bottom-up nature of the innovation network was conducive to enacting dimensions of responsibility.

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Franziska Eckardt, Willem-Jan Velderman and Paul Benneworth

This chapter explores the functioning of ‘ordinary’ citizen knowledge in decision-making processes of urban planning, policy and development processes. It aims to understand how urban governance can better utilise non-expert types of knowledge as a way to respond to pressing societal challenges in the 21st century. By presenting a controversial case study about the wastewater injections in the Dutch Twente region, located in the east of the Netherlands, the chapter highlights the importance of combining diverse types of (expert and non-expert) knowledge and expertise to achieve a more holistic form of ‘smart’ urban governance in the future.

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Paul Benneworth, Inge Bakker and Willem-Jan Velderman

The Netherlands has pioneered the use of open data by public authorities, driven by a desire to exploit existing local government information and data to help solve other kinds of policy problem, to improve transparency of decision-making and to stimulate data commercialisation. But recently emphasis has shifted from improving transparency to improving municipality service delivery and policy development. In this chapter we question whether open data can improve regional decision-making. Drawing on a case study of a region in the east of the Netherlands, we identify potential opportunities for, and barriers to, using open data in delivering smart social cities.

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Jos van den Broek, Franziska Eckardt and Paul Benneworth

Universities play an important role in the knowledge based economy, and are key regional actors, providing knowledge, resources and human capital. Border regions are a specific type of peripheral region, often peripheral in terms of distance to the centre and national governments. But even in centrally located border regions developing integrated cross-border region is mostly often deemed less important than regional and national issues. Many most border regions may benefit from building-up cross-border connections and developing systemic interactions between actors over the border. Universities can play an important role in shaping regional innovation systems, and cross-border regions are interesting because of this inherent fragmentation. We explore universities’ role that universities can play in cross-border regions, in terms of developing linkages to other sectors (business, public sector) and linkages over the border. On this basis we develop a conceptual typology for university involvement in cross-border regions.