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Determinants of Knowledge and Technology Transfer Activities Between Firms and Science Institutions in Switzerland: An Analysis Based on Firm Data

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Abstract

This study explores the factors determining the propensity of Swiss firms to interact with public science institutions in Switzerland (universities and other research institution), i.e. to get involved in knowledge and technology transfer (KTT) activities in order to gain new tacit and/or codified scientific knowledge in research fields which are relevant for their own innovation activities. We are especially interested in the different forms of this interaction, not only through joint research projects but also through training, recruitment of qualified R&D personnel, jointly supervised master theses and PhDs, consulting and so on. The data used in this study were collected in the course of a survey among Swiss enterprises. The new elements that this paper adds to empirical literature are, first, the analysis of a wide spectrum of KTT activities covering not only research co-operation agreements between firms and science institutions but also general informational and educational activities (transfer of “tacit” knowledge), joint use of technical infrastructure and consulting. Although such additional activities seem to be an important part of KTT activities, they have been neglected in most studies. Second, a further important element is the explicit consideration of a series of relevant motives and obstacles as determinants of KTT which contribute significantly to the econometric explanation of firms’ propensity to overall KTT activities as well as to several forms of KTT activities. Third, some insights are gained with respect to the differences between manufacturing and service firms in transacting with science institutions. This is the first Swiss firm-level study on this matter.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 05-116.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:05-116

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Keywords: knowledge and technology transfer; innovation activities; R&D activities;

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References

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  1. Cathy Hoareau & Pierre Mohnen, 2002. "What Type Of Enterprise Forges Close Links With Universities And Government Labs? Evidence From CIS 2," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-25, CIRANO.
  2. Fritsch, Michael, 2002. "Does R&D-cooperation behavior differ between regions?," Freiberg Working Papers 2002,04, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  3. Henri Capron & Michele Cincera, 2003. "Industry-university S&T transfers: what can we learn from Belgian CIS-2 data?," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 46(3), pages 59-86.
  4. Patrick Greenlee & Bruno Cassiman, 1999. "Product market objectives and the formation of research joint ventures," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(3), pages 115-130.
  5. Schmidt, Tobias, 2005. "Knowledge Flows and R&D Co-operation: Firm-level Evidence from Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-22 [rev.], ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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  7. Bozeman, Barry, 2000. "Technology transfer and public policy: a review of research and theory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 627-655, April.
  8. Cassiman, Bruno & Veugelers, Reinhilde, 2003. "R&D Cooperation Between Firms and Universities: Some Empirical Evidence from Belgian Manufacturing," CEPR Discussion Papers 3951, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Roberto Fontana & Aldo Geuna & Mireille Matt, 2003. "Firm Size and Openness: the Driving Forces of University-Industry Collaboration," SPRU Working Paper Series 103, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
  10. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-96, September.
  11. Shapiro, Carl & Willig, Robert D, 1990. "On the Antitrust Treatment of Production Joint Ventures," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 113-30, Summer.
  12. De Bondt, Raymond, 1997. "Spillovers and innovative activities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-28, February.
  13. Schartinger, Doris & Schibany, Andras & Gassler, Helmut, 2001. " Interactive Relations between Universities and Firms: Empirical Evidence for Austria," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 255-68, June.
  14. 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.
  15. Spence, Michael, 1984. "Cost Reduction, Competition, and Industry Performance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 101-21, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Felicia Diana Nicoara & Dorin Maier & Andreea Maier, 2013. "General Aspects Related To The Technology Transfer, The Main Source Of Innovation And Development Among Economic Operators," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 4, pages 139-147, August.
  2. Edward Bergman, 2011. "Marshall's Dilemma: Intangible Assets and European Universities," ERSA conference papers ersa10p363, European Regional Science Association.
  3. Harvey Goldstein & Edward Bergman & Gunther Maier, 2011. "Comparing U.S. and European Views of University Involvement in Economic Development," ERSA conference papers ersa11p301, European Regional Science Association.
  4. Martin Woerter, 2009. "Technology diversification, product innovations, and technology transfer," KOF Working papers 09-221, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  5. Spyros Arvanitis & Ursina Kubli & Nora Sydow & Martin Woerter, 2005. "Knowledge and Technology Transfer (KTT) Activities Between Universities and Firms in Switzerland: The Main Facts : An Empirical Analysis Based on Firm-level Data," KOF Working papers 05-115, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.

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