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

  • Laura Abramovsky
  • Helen Simpson

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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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Economic Geography.

Volume (Year): 11 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 949-977

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:11:y:2011:i:6:p:949-977
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  1. 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 C114-C141, 03.
  2. James D. Adams, 2001. "Comparative Localization of Academic and Industrial Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 8292, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1998. "Innovation in Cities: Science-Based Diversity, Specialization and Localized Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1980, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Julio M. ROSA & Pierre MOHNEN, 2007. "Knowledge Transfers between Canadian Business Enterprises and Universities: Does Distance Matter?," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 87-88, pages 303-323.
  6. 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.
  7. 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, 08.
  8. Peter Thompson & Melanie Fox Kean, 2004. "Patent Citations and the Geography of Knowledge Spillovers: A Reassessment," Working Papers 0401, Florida International University, Department of Economics.
  9. Rachel Griffith & Sokbae 'Simon' Lee & John Van Reenen, 2011. "Is distance dying at last? Falling home bias in fixed effects models of patent citations," CeMMAP working papers CWP18/11, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
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