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A matching model of university–industry collaborations


  • Giorgio Calcagnini


  • Germana Giombini
  • Paolo Liberati
  • Giuseppe Travaglini


In this paper, we present a model of university–industry collaborations with heterogeneous agents. It develops one of the original intuitions by Leyden and Link (Small Bus Econ 41:797–817. doi: 10.1007/s11187-013-9507-7 , 2013b ) about the mechanisms by which innovative firms search for collaborative research partners. We study the characteristics of the matching process between universities and innovative firms that makes this exchange in technology transfer (TT) either efficient or unfeasible. We show that the functioning of the TT market implies dual-trading externalities. These arise because there is a high probability that a firm searching for a university collaboration will not meet a suitable researcher, and another positive probability that an unemployed researcher will not find a suitable innovative firm, whatever the market prices and the costs are. According to the matching model literature, we refer to these externalities as congestion. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Suggested Citation

  • Giorgio Calcagnini & Germana Giombini & Paolo Liberati & Giuseppe Travaglini, 2016. "A matching model of university–industry collaborations," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 31-43, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:46:y:2016:i:1:p:31-43
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-015-9672-y

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Valentina Tartari & Stefano Breschi, 2012. "Set them free: scientists' evaluations of the benefits and costs of university--industry research collaboration," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(5), pages 1117-1147, October.
    2. Mueller, Pamela, 2006. "Exploring the knowledge filter: How entrepreneurship and university-industry relationships drive economic growth," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1499-1508, December.
    3. Friedman, Joseph & Silberman, Jonathan, 2003. "University Technology Transfer: Do Incentives, Management, and Location Matter?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 17-30, January.
    4. Albert Link & Dianne Welsh, 2013. "From laboratory to market: on the propensity of young inventors to form a new business," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 1-7, January.
    5. Dennis Leyden & Albert Link, 2013. "Knowledge spillovers, collective entrepreneurship, and economic growth: the role of universities," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 797-817, December.
    6. Siegel, Donald S. & Waldman, David & Link, Albert, 2003. "Assessing the impact of organizational practices on the relative productivity of university technology transfer offices: an exploratory study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 27-48, January.
    7. Audretsch, David B. & Lehmann, Erik E. & Warning, Susanne, 2005. "University spillovers and new firm location," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1113-1122, September.
    8. Saul Lach & Mark Schankerman, 2004. "Royalty Sharing and Technology Licensing in Universities," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 252-264, 04/05.
    9. Alessandro Muscio & Andrea Pozzali, 2013. "The effects of cognitive distance in university-industry collaborations: some evidence from Italian universities," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 486-508, August.
    10. Debackere, Koenraad & Veugelers, Reinhilde, 2005. "The role of academic technology transfer organizations in improving industry science links," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 321-342, April.
    11. Robert E. Litan & Lesa Mitchell & E. J. Reedy, 2008. "Commercializing University Innovations: Alternative Approaches," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 8, pages 31-57 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, January.
    13. Alessandro Muscio & Giovanna Vallanti, 2014. "Perceived Obstacles to University-Industry Collaboration: Results from a Qualitative Survey of Italian Academic Departments," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(5), pages 410-429, July.
    14. Link, Albert N. & Scott, John T., 2005. "Universities as partners in U.S. research joint ventures," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 385-393, April.
    15. Perkmann, Markus & Tartari, Valentina & McKelvey, Maureen & Autio, Erkko & Broström, Anders & D’Este, Pablo & Fini, Riccardo & Geuna, Aldo & Grimaldi, Rosa & Hughes, Alan & Krabel, Stefan & Kitson, Mi, 2013. "Academic engagement and commercialisation: A review of the literature on university–industry relations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 423-442.
    16. Audretsch, David B. & Lehmann, Erik E., 2005. "Do University policies make a difference?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 343-347, April.
    17. Pontus Braunerhjelm & Zoltán J. Ács & David B. Audretsch & Bo Carlsson, 2015. "The missing link: knowledge diffusion and entrepreneurship in endogenous growth," Chapters,in: Global Entrepreneurship, Institutions and Incentives, chapter 6, pages 108-128 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    18. Phan, Phillip H. & Siegel, Donald S., 2006. "The Effectiveness of University Technology Transfer," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 2(2), pages 77-144, November.
    19. Leyden, Dennis P. & Link, Albert N., 2011. "Collective Entrepreneurship: The Strategic Management of Research Triangle Park," UNCG Economics Working Papers 11-18, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giorgio Calcagnini & Germana Giombini & Paolo Liberati & Giuseppe Travaglini, 2015. "Technology transfer with search intensity and project advertising," Working Papers 1509, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2015.
    2. Erik E. Lehmann & Matthias Menter, 2016. "University–industry collaboration and regional wealth," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(6), pages 1284-1307, December.

    More about this item


    Technology transfer; University–industry collaboration ; Matching models; L26; O31; C78;

    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
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • M38 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Government Policy and Regulation


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