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Collaboration between firms and universities in Italy: the role of a firm’s proximity to top-rated departments

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  • Davide Fantino

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

  • Alessandra Mori

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

  • Diego Scalise

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

In the last decade R&D expenditure in Italy has been lagging at a bare 1.2-1.3 per cent of GDP. Its private share is low by international standards and Italian firms take out only a small number of patents. External sources of innovation, however, are available to firms. This work aims at examining the determinants of research collaboration between firms and universities using the results of the 15th Bank of Italy Business Outlook Survey on Firms, together with data on the quality and importance of university research. Controlling for endogeneity problems, we show that the distance from top research centres is the most important factor in determining the probability of collaboration. Other results indicate that the presence of different innovation sources increases the probability of collaboration; and that proximity is more important for small- and medium-sized firms, while larger ones collaborate with universities that are better able to sell the results of their research, regardless of their location. Sector effects also emerge from the analysis.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 884.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_884_12

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Keywords: research collaboration; innovation; R&D expenditure; technology transfer;

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  1. Keld Laursen & Toke Reichstein & Ammon Salter, 2011. "Exploring the Effect of Geographical Proximity and University Quality on University-Industry Collaboration in the United Kingdom," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(4), pages 507-523.
  2. Nelson, Richard R, 1986. "Institutions Supporting Technical Advance in Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 186-89, May.
  3. Laura Abramovsky & Helen Simpson, 2011. "Geographic proximity and firm--university innovation linkages: evidence from Great Britain," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(6), pages 949-977, November.
  4. Katariina Nilsson Hakkala & Pehr-Johan Norbäck & Helena Svaleryd, 2008. "Asymmetric Effects of Corruption on FDI: Evidence from Swedish Multinational Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 627-642, November.
  5. Kleinknecht, Alfred, 1987. "Measuring R&D in Small Firms: How Much Are We Missing?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(2), pages 253-56, December.
  6. Pietrabissa Riccardo & Conti Giuseppe, 2005. "Strategia per un rapporto responsabile fra ricerca pubblica e industria," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 419-444.
  7. Rothaermel, Frank T. & Thursby, Marie, 2005. "University-incubator firm knowledge flows: assessing their impact on incubator firm performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 305-320, April.
  8. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-70, December.
  9. Di Gregorio, Dante & Shane, Scott, 2003. "Why do some universities generate more start-ups than others?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 209-227, February.
  10. Shiri Breznitz & Maryann Feldman, 2012. "The engaged university," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 139-157, April.
  11. Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés & Refolo, Cristina, 2000. "The Link Between Clusters Of Smes And Public And University Research In Italy," ERSA conference papers ersa00p326, European Regional Science Association.
  12. Andr�s Rodr�guez-Pose & Maria Cristina Refolo, 2003. "The link between local production systems and public and university research in Italy," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 35(8), pages 1477-1492, August.
  13. Ron Boschma, 2005. "Proximity and Innovation: A Critical Assessment," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 61-74.
  14. Irwin Feller & Maryann Feldman, 2010. "The commercialization of academic patents: black boxes, pipelines, and Rubik’s cubes," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 35(6), pages 597-616, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Paola Cardamone & Valeria Pupo & Fernanda Ricotta, 2014. "Assessing The Impact Of University Technology Transfer On Firms’ Innovation," Working Papers 201403, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).
  2. Ornella Wanda Maietta, 2014. "Innovation Systems Research in the Italian Food Industry," CSEF Working Papers 358, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.

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