The formation of industrial clusters aimed at the accelerated development of regions is a strategic priority for the Russian Federation. Today in the Russian Far Eastб priority social and economic development areas have been established; the Innovative Territorial Cluster of Aircraft Engineering and Shipbuilding (TCAES) operates in Khabarovsk Krai. The research of cooperation chains of the innovation cluster's anchor resident in the territory of advanced development made it possible to conclude that regional organizations play a small part in the value chain of hi-tech products. Their contribution, for the most part, is about the provision of labour resources, general infrastructure and the provision of services, primarily in construction, installation, and maintenance. At the same... time, small innovative businesses under a state university situated in the territory of advanced development participate in the territorial innovative cluster. The research of the university's engagement with cluster participants made it possible to formulate a hypothesis on the higher education institution's cluster initiatives in the region. It has been proved that the establishment of small innovative businesses under a university helps to launch cluster initiatives in the production industry of a region. New demand emerges when there is engagement in the value chain; in order to meet that demand the participants of that engagement (the institution, first of all) conduct R&D and come up with innovative ideas that are later introduced into the production industry. The described processes help to understand the new role of higher education institutions in the management of regional development. The university is considered the centre of regional development that introduces education, research, and development activities into the curriculum. The creation of innovative infrastructure in territories of advanced development and business promotion can encourage the commercialization of scientific and technological ideas within a university. The goal of this research is to test the hypothesis on a higher education institution's cluster initiatives in an advanced development area. The authors examined the models of an institution's engagement with the cluster's production companies in the advanced development area using the example of Komsomolsk-on-Amur. The authors concluded that the hypothesis had been confirmed.