Firms need to open up their boundaries to attain valuable knowledge from external partners because external partners can support their innovation activities by providing knowledge and resources. In this context, higher education institutions (HEIs) are an important source of innovation. Yet, despite the importance of universities, this topic has received scant academic attention. Thus, this research examines the effect of specific activities supported by universities on the innovation outcomes of firms. The study also investigates the moderating role of a firm's absorptive capacity in the relationship between universities' involvement and firm innovation outcomes. The findings show that specific types of HEI activities positively affect a firm's innovation performance, while absorptive capacity has differential effects on the relationships between HEI activities and firm innovation outcomes.