How do collaborations with universities affect firms' innovative performance? The role of "Pasteur scientists" in the advanced materials field
This article aimed to identify the effect of university-industry (U-I) collaborations on the innovative performance of firms operating in the advanced materials field, and by doing so, it proposed an original classification of the research organization partners. The main contribution resides in the estimation of the role played by collaborations with differently experienced scientists. In contrast with previous studies, whose empirical setting was the life science industry, in the advanced materials industry the most effective collaborations are not with "Star scientists", but with "Pasteur scientists". The latter concept was empirically tested first by the authors of this article, to deepen the present understanding of industrial heterogeneity in innovation processes and to offer new insights for the formulation of corporate innovation strategies. The results of the estimation of a negative binomial regression model applied to a sample of 455 firms active in the photocatalysis in Japan confirm the idea that engaging in research collaborations, measured as co-invention, with "Pasteur scientists" increases firms' R&D productivity, measured as number of registered patents. In contrast, we found that firms' collaborations with "Star scientists" exert little impact on their innovative output.
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