Cooperative R&D and firm performance
We analyse the impact of R&D cooperation on firm performance differentiating between four types of R&D partners (competitors, suppliers, customers, and universities & research institutes), and considering two performance measures: labour productivity and productivity in innovative (new to the market) sales. Using data on a large sample of Dutch innovating firms in two waves of the Community Innovation Survey (1996, 1998), we examine the impact of R&D (collaboration) in 1996 on subsequent productivity growth in 1996-1998. We find that supplier and competitor cooperation have a significant impact on labour productivity growth, while competitor cooperation and collaboration with universities & research institutes positively affects growth in innovative sales per employee. Innovative sales are furthermore stimulated by incoming spillovers (not due to collaboration) from customers and universities. The results confirm a major heterogeneity in the rationales and goals of R&D cooperation, with competitor and supplier cooperation focused on incremental innovations improving the productivity performance of firms, while university cooperation and again competitor cooperation are instrumental in creating and bringing to market radical innovations generating sales or products that are novel to the market, improving the growth performance of firms.
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