23 Dec 2011

At this busy time of year, many of us associated with the Regional Studies Association will be looking forward to taking a break over the Christmas and New Year period. The RSA blog will be taking a few days off, but before the blog squad clear off, we thought we'd bring a recent EU document to your attention (in case you missed it). On the European Commission's Regional Policy Pages, there was recently a news release about connecting universities to regional growth. One more click from that page takes you to the PDF, entitled 'Connecting Universities to Regional Growth: A Practical Guide' (image below).


You're too busy to read this, perhaps. But it is important so worth pointing out a couple of things...

The subtitle inside says the following, by way of explaining what the document is for: "A guide to help improve the contribution of universities to regional development, with a view to strengthening economic, social and territorial cohesion, in a sustainable way".

Who prepared the document? Well, Regional Studies Association members will be familiar with the author - Professor John Goddard of CURDS fame, at Newcastle University. 

What does it say? A lot of important messages but the main one emerging here at a fundamental level is that universities are very important for regional development. The document has seven main sections, as follows:
  • 1 UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF UNIVERSITIES IN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
  • 2 ENHANCING REGIONAL INNOVATION THROUGH RESEARCH ACTIVITIES
  • 3 PROMOTING ENTERPRISE, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND GROWTH
  • 4 CONTRIBUTING TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF REGIONAL HUMAN CAPITAL AND SKILLS
  • 5 IMPROVING SOCIAL EQUALITY THROUGH COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND ‘PLACEMAKING'
  • 6 BARRIERS, CHALLENGES AND ENABLERS TO EFFECTIVE ENGAGEMENT OF UNIVERSITIES IN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
  • 7 PROCESSES AND PRACTICAL MECHANISMS TO BUILD CAPACITY AND INCENTIVES FOR UNIVERSITIES AND REGIONS TO WORK TOGETHER
Followed by a final section, entitled:
  • THE WAY FORWARD: UNIVERSITIES AND SMART, SUSTAINABLE AND INCLUSIVE REGIONAL GROWTH
In the Annexes, you'll also find some specific case studies, including Karlstad University in Värmland (Sweden), University Rovira i Virgili in Taragona (Spain) and Krakow University in the Malopolska region (Poland).

That's all for now, we wish everyone associated with the RSA a very happy Christmas and New Year!