The Chair for University and Knowledge Region (CUKR) was created in 2014 by the Universitat Rovira i Virgili and sponsored by Tarragona Provincial Council and Banco Santander with the aim of promoting the dissemination of specialized knowledge about knowledge‐based regional development and of fostering regional smart specialization in its area of influence, Southern Catalonia. Southern Catalonia (i.e. the province of Tarragona) is the southern most of the four NUTS3 regions that constitute Catalonia (NUTS2) and consists of the Camp de Tarragona and Terres de l'Ebre regions. Southern Catalonia is a thriving socioeconomic hub and has all ingredients to become and to evolve as a knowledge region. The main goal of the Chair is to push ahead with the formal creation of Southern Catalonia as a Knowledge Region (SCKR) with a suitable system of governance. Regarding the development of this governance system, the Chair is leading actions to generate knowledge and trust among local, provincial and regional authorities. In this regard, a Core Driving Group (CDG) has been established that brings together the mayors of the region’s ten most populous cities (with populations greater than 20,000), the president of Tarragona Provincial Council and the two delegates of the Catalan Government in the Province of Tarragona, with the role of facilitator being played by the Chair. The CDG has agreed on a charter that begins with two key projects: CATSUD‐Scorecard and CATSUD‐2040. CATSUD‐Scorecard aims to develop an information system and a suitable set of indicators regarding knowledge‐based regional development. CATSUD‐Scorecard is inspired by the EU Regional Innovation Scoreboard (EU‐RIS) and is necessary, of course, for developing the competencies in regional planning and development that are currently held centrally by the Catalan Government. The development of these indicators will enable the region to improve its policies in order to strengthen economic and knowledge growth. Moreover, the project will also provide data for analysing the impact of cohesion policies at the different regional levels. For large regions like Catalonia, with a population of 7,500,000, the EU‐RIS can obscure significant disparities between internal regions that are comparable in dimension to many other NUTS2 units that are the object of European Regional Policies. Consequently, further information is needed at a lower level (NUTS3) to determine the impact of cohesion policies. CATSUD‐2040 is a foresight exercise involving all key members of the regional quadruple helix and aims to build the very first shared regional perspective. The results will be used to create an operational tool for use by policymakers to determine the strategies and path for the development of Southern Catalonia. Finally, the CUKR plays an active role in establishing a platform of knowledge for regional innovation and governance systems based on good practices and case studies, thanks to international collaboration with partners from regions similar to Southern Catalonia, such as Cantabria (Spain), Tampere (Finland), Trentino‐ Alta Adigio (Italy), etc. In this regard, the Chair’s experience can also be useful for monitoring, reviewing and implementing cohesion policies. Currently, the Chair is involved in the development of various project proposals to be submitted to EU funding programs such as the H2020 and ERDF (European Regional Development Fund). In conclusion, Southern Catalonia is an excellent example of a region in which an entrepreneurial research university collaborates with an engaged provincial council to promote a knowledge region that is able to develop and consolidate its own competitiveness through a process that falls completely within the Smart Specialisation Strategy programme.