University-business cooperation has been largely discussed from the perspective of technology transfer, education and research cooperation. An important issue in the related discussions is that in the globalised knowledge society competitiveness and prospering development of regions heavily depend on local strengths and innovations. Herein, universities play an important role within the regional development supporting regional enterprises to compete in the global economy. However, not only education and innovation are important factors. Indeed, socio-economic environment is crucial for successful and sustainable regional development as well. Especially in times of demographic change the success in the global competition of brains depends highly on the attractiveness of regions and regional soft factors. This is a case especially in the Eastern and Central Eastern Europe, where a lot of regions are suffering from weaknesses in soft factors and innovations, what, in turns lead to the brain drain and dramatic demographic changes. The paper at hand highlights new models and results of successful university-business interaction in the context of demographic change with a special focus on the Baltic Sea Region emphasising the role of universities as a driving force in regional soft factor development.
Ключевые слова: Universities’ third role, knowledge economy, demographic change, region business culture and development