In recent years, it has widely been accepted that the ability to create, access and use knowledge and technology is becoming a fundamental determinant of long-term development and competitiveness. Thus, it is not surprising that universities have increasingly become involved in economic development and are often believed to play a key role in regional economic development. This paper firstly examines how far all West-German universities are already involved in close network collaborations. Second, it demonstrates how many distinct linkages 45 chosen West-German universities already possess within the innovation network, and third, to what extent they are already needed as a link in the chains of contacts. Thereby, special attention is given to the eight West-German elite-universities. We basically found out that university interactions, especially university-enterprise networks, become much more important over the last 20 years, as their cooperation activity strongly increased over time. Besides, their distinct linkages to other actors as well as their importance as an intermediary within the innovation network highly increased over the last decade, too; this especially holds for the eight West-German elite universities.
Human Capital Economic Growth Social Network Analysis Patent Analysis Patent Collaboration Network Interaction West-German University Elite-University