Third mission activities of universities are related to the generation, use, application and exploitation of knowledge with external stakeholders and society in general. Thirdmission cannot be considered as a residual function but complementary to the other two missions of universities: teaching and research. Performance criteria for measuring the thirdmission stream of universities have now become crucial. The call for performance measures is also driven by the European policy framework such as the definition of Smart Specialisation strategies (RIS3) which highlight the key the role of universities in regional development. In an attempt to cover this gap, the paper proposes a new conceptual framework based on Intellectual Capital approaches to measure third mission activities of universities. The framework establishes a generic approach for systematically analysing third stream activities in universities.Moving fromthe thirdmission goals, it focuses on three interrelated areas: research, i.e. technology transfer and innovation, teaching, i.e. lifelong learning and continuing education, aswell as, social engagement in line with regional and national development. A first exploration of the framework in four European universities approaching third mission performance is provided to discuss implementation opportunities. Finally, theoretical and empirical implications are discussed indicating avenues for moving ahead academic research.
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