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Universities, Technology and Innovation Centres and regional development: the case of the North-East of England

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor John Goddard OBE, Dr Douglas Robertson, Dr Paul Vallance



The paper examines the role of Technology and Innovation Centres (TICs) in bridging the gap between the university research base and industry in order to foster economic development in a lagging industrial region. The context is provided by an academic literature on the role of universities in regional innovation systems, some of which casts doubt on the capacity of universities to operate in this domain, particularly within a lagging region. The empirical case reports on a bold experiment initiated by the Regional Development Agency in the older industrial region of the North-East of England to create and support new TICs in the fields of process innovation in high-value manufacturing and new and renewable energy, and on the engagement of a regionally committed university with these centres. The evidence presented suggests that while there are links between the university and the centres, both are principally operating in a national science and technology system in which contributing to addressing uneven regional economic development is a secondary concern.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Goddard J, Robertson D, Vallance P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cambridge Journal of Economics

Year: 2012

Volume: 36

Issue: 3

Pages: 609-627

Print publication date: 26/04/2012

Date deposited: 08/08/2013

ISSN (print): 0309-166X

ISSN (electronic): 1464-3545

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/cje/bes005


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