Contemporary university-business research interactions are inevitably affected by processes of localisation and globalisation. Where science itself as well as the business sector demand for advanced scientific knowledge is becoming less dependent on geographical distance, public funding authorities increasingly expect universities to engage and cooperate with firms located in the region. How do these opposing pressures affect general trends in national higher education systems? And which patterns and trends can one discern within individual research-intensive universities?
Addressing the second question, this exploratory study presents a new systematic way of looking at ‘university-business interactions’ in the UK university system. Examining the 48 largest universities, our analysis unfolds the geographical patterns and annual trends during the years 2008-2017. We focus our attention on their research cooperation interactions, but also incorporate data on cross sectoral mobility of researchers.