The role of intermediation and absorptive capacity in facilitating university-industry linkages--An empirical study of TAMA in Japan
This paper analyzes two elements necessary for building an efficient regional technology-transfer system between universities and firms, namely, an intermediary organization and regional firms that have a developed 'absorptive capacity', touching in particular upon the tacit knowledge aspects. Based on an empirical study of the TAMA cluster project (in the western part of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area), which is a model project of the 'Industrial Cluster Plan' in Japan, we examine the intermediation effect of the TAMA Association and the 'absorptive capacity' of various product-developing SMEs. These two elements are interrelated because the participation of the product-developing SMEs is a prerequisite for the effective functioning of an intermediary such as the TAMA Association. Our analysis also shows that university-industry linkages and inter-firm linkages lead to different outcomes.
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