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The role of individual actors in knowledge-exchange collaborations has been accorded much importance. Through their involvement with industry, innovation is especially enacted in their regions. Motivations for academic engagement have been fairly researched but academics’ motivations for local collaborations remain to be properly understood. The aim of this paper is therefore, to explore the motivations of academics for regional engagement. This exploration is done by drawing on empirical data collected through interviews with 16 academics in the Engineering Faculty of the University of Stavanger (UiS), Norway. It is evident that in addition to personal motivations to collaborate, academics are driven to engage locally by certain incentives that may be embedded in regionally ‘non-constructed’ advantages. In general, the presence of regional advantages that are relevant for advancing the academic’s research provide the motivation to engage locally.