Land grant universities in the 21st century must broaden their scope by facilitating economic growth through innovation in the new information economy. Doing so also broadens the social inclusion goal beyond labor force diversity to include legacy industrial era firms that are vulnerable to exclusion in the new economy that is based on knowledge and innovation. An exploration of barriers to leveraging research universities for revitalizing legacy industrial regions is in process at a midwestern land grant university. It is focused on understanding challenges associated with knowledge exchange between university researchers and legacy industrial era businesses in order to increase the innovation capacity in the region. Preliminary results indicate that communication and culture are two key factors that hold potential barriers to successful industry-academic relationships.