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Links and Impacts: The Influence of Public Research on Industrial R&D

Author

Listed:
  • Wesley M. Cohen

    (Department of Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213)

  • Richard R. Nelson

    (School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027)

  • John P. Walsh

    (Department of Sociology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60607)

Abstract

In this paper, we use data from the Carnegie Mellon Survey on industrial R&D to evaluate for the U.S. manufacturing sector the influence of "public"(i.e., university and government R&D lab) research on industrial R&D, the role that public research plays in industrial R&D, and the pathways through which that effect is exercised. We find that public research is critical to industrial R&D in a small number of industries and importantly affects industrial R&D across much of the manufacturing sector. Contrary to the notion that university research largely generates new ideas for industrial R&D projects, the survey responses demonstrate that public research both suggests new R&D projects and contributes to the completion of existing projects in roughly equal measure overall. The results also indicate that the key channels through which university research impacts industrial R&D include published papers and reports, public conferences and meetings, informal information exchange, and consulting. We also finnd that, after controlling for industry, the influence of public research on industrial R&D is disproportionately greater for larger firms as well as start-ups.

Suggested Citation

  • Wesley M. Cohen & Richard R. Nelson & John P. Walsh, 2002. "Links and Impacts: The Influence of Public Research on Industrial R&D," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(1), pages 1-23, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:48:y:2002:i:1:p:1-23
    DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.48.1.1.14273
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    References listed on IDEAS

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