Regional innovation is increasingly dependent on learning from modernization-driven jurisdictions (Caniëls and van den Bosch, Pap Reg Sci 90:271–285, 2011; Schulte, Nordic J Stud Educ Policy:1–13, 2018), and the Province of Guangdong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and Macau Special Administrative Region of China in various ways succeeded to employ experiences and links from advanced economic and education agencies across the globe (Fu, Oxf Dev Stud 36:89–110, 2008; Henning and Ulrike, Asian J Technol Innov 17:101–128, 2009; Cai and Liu, Sci Public Policy 42:1–15, 2014). In this chapter, we are examining how policy alignments oriented at globally-competitive performers have been contributing to innovation and how alignment of economic and education agendas has been driving the emergence of a Greater Bay Area of China (GBAC). In particular, we analyse cross-jurisdictional dynamics seeking to reinforce cumulative advantages for universities in the region. Concurrently, we outline a range of challenges faced by political, economic and education stakeholders in various jurisdictions at times when they are forced for harmonization of policies and agendas. Copyright © 2021 Springer Nature Switzerland AG.