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The paper explores the role of universities in innovation in the modern knowledge economy, discusses the Triple Helix model and the entrepreneurial university, and then examines the application of these concepts in Egypt. The study, which specifically addresses the roles of universities in the innovation process in Egypt, is based on a series of in-depth interviews with eighteen Egyptian experts drawn from government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and academia. The paper shows that universities do play a role in the innovation process in Egypt, but that more needs to be done. It points to the challenges the universities encounter and calls for an integrated innovation policy that includes higher education. The paper will be of particular relevance to academics and policy makers in Egypt and other factor-driven economies.