The main objective of this contribution is to test whether university patents share common determinants with university publications
at regional level. We build some university production functions with 1,519 patents and 180,239 publications for the 17 Spanish
autonomous regions (NUTS-2) in a time span of 14 years (1988–2001). We use econometric models to estimate their determinants.
Our results suggest that there is little scope for regional policy to compensate the production of patents vs. publications
through different university or joint research institutional settings. On the contrary, while patents are more reactive to
expenditure on R&D, publications are more responsive to the number of researchers, so the sustained promotion of both will
make it compatible for regions their joint production. However, standing out in the generation of both outputs requires costly
investment in various inputs.