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The role of universities in the regional creative economies of the UK: Hidden protagonists and the challenge of knowledge transfer

Posted on: 22 October 2014
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Since the 1970s policies have been developed across Europe to evolve this institutional landscape. Since the late 1990s, regional and urban development strategies have also sought to harness the growth potential of the cultural and creative industries to regional and urban economic development. However, whilst the regional and urban planning literature has examined the growth-promoting potential of universities very closely, their possible role in relation to regional and urban creative economic development has received less attention. This paper aims to begin addressing this gap by interrogating the relationship between universities and the regional creative economy using, as a starting point, a model of analysis suggested by the Triple-Helix theoretical framework. The paper finds that whilst universities possess often long and hidden associations with regional and urban creative activities—as hidden protagonists—there are important institutional and professional challenges in the possibility of their developing an explicit and sustainable role as new actors in the regional and urban creative economies. The paper identifies the nature of these challenges with a view to developing a clearer understanding of the system, policy and institutional realities that underpin the often complex dynamics of knowledge creation−practice relationships found in arts and humanities disciplines. This article can be found in the latest issue of European Planning Studies (Vol.22, Issue 12, 2014)

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