In both developed and developing countries, different initiatives are carried out to motivate organisations, mainly companies, to network in new collaborative environments for innovation. In many cases these different initiatives have been promoted by Universities where academic researchers play a very important role by diffusing these networking concepts to local SMEs and by carrying out applied projects to coach firms in the formation of these new collaborative environments. In some occasions, Universities can also join the network to transfer new knowledge during the new product/service development process. The Virtuelle Fabrik and Swiss Microtech in Switzerland and the TeNeT group it? India are three successful collaborative environments located in vety different settings where the local University has played and still plays an important role for the collaborative environments' continuous evolution and improvement. Therefore, the objective of this paper is twofold: 1) to assess the University key role for developing new collaborative environments and 2) to propose a methodology to benchmark the different initiatives in Universities to develop new collaborative environments.