Stakeholders within regional innovative systems tend to emphasize universities’ roles as territorial actors and encourage them to maximize university–industry cooperation inside the region. However, where universities are better connected to external partners, their connections may be more naturally focused out of the region. This article assesses the role of proximity in academics’ decisions to collaborate with business partners, and the circumstances under which local partners might be chosen over distant partners. The hypothesis of this study is that proximity may drive stronger university–industry connectivity. Using a case study of five research institutes of the University of Twente in the Netherlands, I argue that geographical proximity is not a prerequisite for a university–industry interaction inside a region, whereas the other types of proximity play a significant role in building local partnerships. This has important implications for improving the connectedness between academics and their industrial partners at the regional level.