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Finding the right partners: Institutional and personal modes of governance of university–industry interactions

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  • Bodas Freitas, Isabel Maria
  • Geuna, Aldo
  • Rossi, Federica

Abstract

We study two different governance modes of university–industry interactions: in the institutional mode, interactions are mediated by the university through its administrative structures (such as departments or dedicated units such as technology transfer offices), while in the personal contractual mode interactions involve formal and binding contractual agreements between firms and individual academics, carried out without the direct involvement of the university. We argue that the choice of which form of governance to adopt involves different decision-making processes for firms and that both governance forms have important roles to play in the context of university–industry knowledge transfer. Relying on a representative sample of firms in the Italian region of Piedmont, we examine the characteristics and strategies of firms that interact with universities under different governance modes. Our results indicate that ignoring personal contractual arrangements with individual researchers, as the previous literature does, amounts to overlooking at least 50% of university–industry interactions. The econometric estimations suggest that personal contractual interactions are used relatively more by small firms involved in technology and open innovation strategies, while institutional interactions are mostly used by large firms that vertically integrate R&D activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Bodas Freitas, Isabel Maria & Geuna, Aldo & Rossi, Federica, 2013. "Finding the right partners: Institutional and personal modes of governance of university–industry interactions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 50-62.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:42:y:2013:i:1:p:50-62
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2012.06.007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9550-z is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Fassio, Claudio & Geuna, Aldo & Rossi, Federica, 2014. "The Contribution of Academic Knowledge to the Value of Industry Inventions: Micro level evidence from patent inventors," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201408, University of Turin.
    3. Rossi, Federica & Fassio,Claudio & Geuna, Aldo, 2014. "The Role of Institutional Characteristics in Knowledge Transfer: A Comparative Analysis of Two Italian Universities," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201425, University of Turin.
    4. Bodas Freitas , Isabel Maria & Geuna, Aldo & Lawson, Cornelia & Rossi, Federica, 2014. "How Industry Inventors Collaborate with Academic Researchers: The choice between shared and unilateral governance forms," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201401, University of Turin.
    5. Bodas Freitas Isabel Maria & Federica Rossi & Aldo Geuna, 2014. "Collaboration objectives and the location of the university partner: Evidence from the Piedmont region in Italy," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93, pages 203-226, November.
    6. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9534-z is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Riccardo Crescenzi & Andrea Filippetti & Simona Iammarino, 2017. "Academic inventors: collaboration and proximity with industry," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 730-762, August.
    8. Chang, Shu-Hao, 2017. "The technology networks and development trends of university-industry collaborative patents," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 107-113.
    9. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:8:p:1479-1489 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:ura:ecregj:v:1:y:2017:i:2:p:446-456 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Taran Thune & Pål Børing, 2015. "Industry PhD Schemes: Developing Innovation Competencies in Firms?," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 6(2), pages 385-401, June.
    12. repec:eee:tefoso:v:123:y:2017:i:c:p:250-261 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Ugo Finardi, 2014. "Insights on the efficiency of Embodied Knowledge Transfer: results from a localized initiative," CERIS Working Paper 201419, Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY -NOW- Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    University–industry interactions; Academic consulting; Open innovation; Governance; Technology transfer;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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