The article analyzes various aspects of the functioning of university competence centers in Russia and abroad. On the example of the Massachusetts institute of technology and St. Petersburg national research university of information technologies, mechanics and optics, the issues of organization of competence centers, their material and technological equipment, and key performance indicators are considered. One of the focuses of the article is the interaction between university competence centers and industry and ways to stimulate such interaction, including government programs. The business models of university competence centers are based on the interaction of three main vectors — education, science, and business. In the digital economy, this interaction is ensured by the integration of talents, markets, technologies, and services. In Russia, examples of such integrating structures are the «university of NTI 20.35», the NTI competence centers, and industry-specific university competence centers. The article shows the advantages of these forms of competence centers, their role in the development of regions, as well as the existing problems
Keywords: research center, center of competence, scientific and educational area, inter-institutional interaction, interdisciplinary approach, innovation
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