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Gaining from interactions with universities: Multiple methods for nurturing absorptive capacity

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  • Bishop, Kate
  • D'Este, Pablo
  • Neely, Andy
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the various methods through which firms benefit from interactions with universities, arguing that such benefits are instrumental in nurturing the multiple facets of a firm's absorptive capacity. We bring together data collected from a survey of UK firms that collaborated with universities, and firm-level data on past partnerships with universities. The results show that benefits from interactions with universities are multifaceted, including enhancement of the firm's explorative and exploitative capabilities. Results also indicate that firms' R&D commitments, geographical proximity to and research quality of university partners have a distinct impact on the different types of benefits from interactions with universities. We find geographical proximity is crucial for assessing problem-solving as an important benefit, while interactions with top quality universities have a positive influence on the benefits associated with firms' downstream activities. We discuss the implications of these findings for research and policy.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

    Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 30-40

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:40:y:2011:i:1:p:30-40

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

    Related research

    Keywords: Absorptive capacity University-industry interactions Benefits Exploration Exploitation;

    References

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    7. Rosenberg, Nathan & Nelson, Richard R., 1994. "American universities and technical advance in industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 323-348, May.
    8. Laura Abramovsky & Rupert Harrison & Helen Simpson, 2007. "University Research and the Location of Business R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(519), pages C114-C141, 03.
    9. Marie Thursby & Richard Jensen, 2001. "Proofs and Prototypes for Sale: The Licensing of University Inventions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 240-259, March.
    10. Rosenberg, Nathan, 1992. "Scientific instrumentation and university research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 381-390, August.
    11. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-70, December.
    12. Mansfield, Edwin, 1991. "Academic research and industrial innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 1-12, February.
    13. Laursen, Keld & Salter, Ammon, 2004. "Searching high and low: what types of firms use universities as a source of innovation?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1201-1215, October.
    14. Bercovitz, Janet E.L. & Feldman, Maryann P., 2007. "Fishing upstream: Firm innovation strategy and university research alliances," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 930-948, September.
    15. George, Gerard & Zahra, Shaker A. & Wood, D. Jr., 2002. "The effects of business-university alliances on innovative output and financial performance: a study of publicly traded biotechnology companies," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 577-609, October.
    16. Cockburn, Iain M & Henderson, Rebecca M, 1998. "Absorptive Capacity, Coauthoring Behavior, and the Organization of Research in Drug Discovery," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 157-82, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Cappelli, Riccardo & Czarnitzki, Dirk & Kraft, Kornelius, 2013. "Sources of spillovers for imitation and innovation," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-064, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Jörg Bühnemann & Bernd Neutschel, 2014. "Universitäre Transferstruktur im Wandel - OvGU als regionaler Impulsgeber," FEMM Working Papers 140001, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    3. Grimaldi, Rosa & Kenney, Martin & Siegel, Donald S. & Wright, Mike, 2011. "30 years after Bayh-Dole: Reassessing academic entrepreneurship," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1045-1057, October.
    4. Friedrich Dornbusch & Thomas Brenner, 2013. "Universities as local knowledge hubs under different technology regimes – New evidence from academic patenting," Working Papers on Innovation and Space 2013-10, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    5. Rune Fitjar & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2013. "The geographical dimension of innovation collaboration: Collaboration and innovation in Norway," ERSA conference papers ersa13p878, European Regional Science Association.
    6. De Fuentes, Claudia & Dutrénit, Gabriela, 2012. "Best channels of academia–industry interaction for long-term benefit," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1666-1682.
    7. Wipo, 2011. "World Intellectual Property Report 2011- The Changing Face of Innovation," WIPO Economics & Statistics Series, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division, number 2011:944, March.
    8. Olmos-Peñuela, Julia & Castro-Martínez, Elena & D’Este, Pablo, 2014. "Knowledge transfer activities in social sciences and humanities: Explaining the interactions of research groups with non-academic agents," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 696-706.

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