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Geographic proximity and firm--university innovation linkages: evidence from Great Britain

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  • Laura Abramovsky
  • Helen Simpson

Abstract

We investigate evidence for spatially mediated knowledge transfer from university research. We examine whether firms locate their R&D labs near universities, and whether those that do are more likely to co-operate with, or source knowledge from universities. We find that pharmaceutical firms locate R&D near to frontier chemistry research departments, consistent with accessing localised knowledge spillovers, but also linked to the presence of science parks. In industries such as chemicals and vehicles there is less evidence of immediate co-location, but those innovative firms that do locate near to relevant research departments are more likely to engage with universities.
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Suggested Citation

  • Laura Abramovsky & Helen Simpson, 2011. "Geographic proximity and firm--university innovation linkages: evidence from Great Britain," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(6), pages 949-977, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:11:y:2011:i:6:p:949-977
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jeg/lbq052
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stefano Breschi & Francesco Lissoni, 2006. "Mobility of inventors and the geography of knowledge spillovers. New evidence on US data," KITeS Working Papers 184, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Oct 2006.
    2. Laura Abramovsky & Elisabeth Kremp & Alberto Lopez & Tobias Schmidt & Helen Simpson, 2009. "Understanding co-operative innovative activity: evidence from four European countries," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(3), pages 243-265.
    3. Anselin, Luc & Varga, Attila & Acs, Zoltan, 1997. "Local Geographic Spillovers between University Research and High Technology Innovations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 422-448, November.
    4. Feldman, Maryann P. & Audretsch, David B., 1999. "Innovation in cities:: Science-based diversity, specialization and localized competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 409-429, February.
    5. James D. Adams, 2002. "Comparative localization of academic and industrial spillovers," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(3), pages 253-278, July.
    6. Bruno Cassiman & Reinhilde Veugelers, 2002. "R&D Cooperation and Spillovers: Some Empirical Evidence from Belgium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1169-1184, September.
    7. Laura Abramovsky & Rupert Harrison & Helen Simpson, 2007. "University Research and the Location of Business R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(519), pages 114-141, March.
    8. Julio M. Rosa & Pierre Mohnen, 2007. "Knowledge Transfers between Canadian Business Enterprises and Universities: Does Distance Matter?," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 87-88, pages 303-323.
    9. Rachel Griffith & Sokbae Lee & John Van Reenen, 2011. "Is distance dying at last? Falling home bias in fixed‐effects models of patent citations," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 2(2), pages 211-249, July.
    10. Peter Thompson & Melanie Fox-Kean, 2005. "Patent Citations and the Geography of Knowledge Spillovers: A Reassessment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 450-460, March.
    11. Karlsson, Charlie & Andersson, Martin, 2005. "The Location of Industry R&D and the Location of University R&D - How are They related?," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 38, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    12. Roderik Ponds & Frank van Oort & Koen Frenken, 2007. "The geographical and institutional proximity of research collaboration," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(3), pages 423-443, August.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions

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