Borislava Borisova Stoimenova


This paper is a literature review, presenting the concept of regional innovation systems (RIS) and identifying criteria and indicators for measurement of university competitiveness within these systems. A regional innovation system is defined as an interactive learning engagement among a network of various actors within an institutional framework. It is built around the core idea that innovation stems from interactions within a network of different actors. The development of RIS is fostered by the European Commission in its attempts to make Europe and the EU the world’s most competitive and dynamic economy by embracing the whole innovation chain from education to economic impact, popular as the “knowledge triangle” of education, research and innovation. Universities contribute to the creation and dissemination of new knowledge and the generation of intellectual capital. In such context, the two most frequently cited criteria used to measure the university competitiveness are knowledge transfer and regional engagement. Knowledge transfer is defined by industry income, patents, co-publications with industrial partners, and spin-offs, while regional engagement – by graduates working in the region, student internships in the region, regional joint publications and income from regional sources.


regional innovation systems, university competitiveness, university rankings

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