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University Research, Industrial R&D, and the Anchor Tenant Hypothesis

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  • Ajay Agrawal
  • Iain M. Cockburn

Abstract

We examine geographic concentration, agglomeration, and co-location of university research and industrial R&D in three technological areas: medical imaging, neural networks, and signal processing. Using data on scientific publications and patents as indicators of university research and industrial R&D, we find strong evidence of geographic concentration in both activities at the level of MSAs. While evidence for agglomeration (in the sense of excess' concentration relative to the size of MSAs and the size distribution of research labs) of research in these fields is mixed, we do find strong evidence of co-location of upstream and downstream activity. We view such co-located vertically connected activities as constituents of a local innovation system,' and these appear to vary markedly in their ability to convert local academic research into local commercial innovation. We develop and test the hypothesis that the presence of a large, local, R&D-intensive firm an anchor tenant' enhances the productivity of local innovation systems by making local university research more likely to be absorbed by and to stimulate local industrial R&D. Presence of anchor tenant firms may be an important factor in stimulating both the demand and supply sides of local markets for innovation and may be an important channel for transmission of spillovers. While our empirical results are preliminary, they indicate that anchor tenant technology firms may be an economically important aspect of the institutional structure of local economies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9212.

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Date of creation: Sep 2002
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9212

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  1. Rebecca Henderson & Iain Cockburn, . "Scale, Scope and Spillovers: The Determinants of Research Productivity in Drug Discovery," Working Papers ec25/94, Department of Economics, University of Lancaster.
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Cited by:
  1. Shahid Yusuf & M. Anjum Altaf & Kaoru Nabeshima, 2004. "Global Production Networking and Technological Change in East Asia," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14918, October.
  2. Goldberg , Mike & Palladini, Eric, 2008. "Chile : a strategy to promote innovative small and medium enterprises," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4518, The World Bank.
  3. Gary H. Jefferson & Zhong Kaifeng, 2002. "An Investigation of Firm-Level R&D Capabilities in East Asia," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 583, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  4. B. Clarysse & M. Wright & A. Lockett & E. Van De Velde & A. Vohora, 2004. "Spinning Out New Ventures: A Typology Of Incubation Strategies From European Research Institutions," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 04/228, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  5. World Bank, 2004. "Chile : A Strategy to Promote Innovative Small and Medium Enterprises," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14352, The World Bank.
  6. Youtie, Jan & Shapira, Philip, 2008. "Building an innovation hub: A case study of the transformation of university roles in regional technological and economic development," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1188-1204, September.
  7. Alessandro Malipiero & Federico Munari & Maurizio Sobrero, 2005. "Focal Firms as Technological Gatakeepers within Industrial Districts Knowledge Creation and Dissemination in the Italian Packaging Machinery Industry," DRUID Working Papers 05-05, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.

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