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Shaping the formation of university--industry research collaborations: what type of proximity does really matter?

  • Pablo D'Este
  • Frederick Guy
  • Simona Iammarino

Research collaborations between universities and industry (U-I) are considered to be one important channel of potential localised knowledge spillovers. These collaborations favour both intended and unintended flows of knowledge and facilitate learning processes between partners from different organisations. Despite the copious literature on localised knowledge spillovers, still little is known about the factors driving the formation of U-I research collaborations and, in particular, about the role that geographical proximity plays in the establishment of such relationships. Using collaborative research grants between universities and business firms awarded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), in this paper we disentangle some of the conditions under which different kinds of proximity contribute to the formation of U-I research collaborations, focussing in particular on technological complementarity among the firms participating in such partnerships.

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

Volume (Year): 13 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 537-558

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:13:y:2013:i:4:p:537-558
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  1. Andres Rodriguez-Pose & Riccardo Crescenzi, 2006. "R&D, Spillovers, Innovation Systems and the Genesis of Regional Growth in Europe," ERSA conference papers ersa06p371, European Regional Science Association.
  2. Franz T�dtling & Patrick Lehner & Michaela Trippl, 2005. "Innovation in knowledge intensive industries: The nature and geography of knowledge links," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(8), pages 1035-1058, September.
  3. Andres Rodriguez-Pose & Riccardo regstdcenzi, 2008. "Research and Development, Spillovers, Innovation Systems, and the Genesis of Regional Growth in Europe," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(1), pages 51-67.
  4. Helen Lawton Smith, 2007. "Universities, innovation, and territorial development: a review of the evidence," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 25(1), pages 98-114, February.
  5. Franz Tödtling & Patrick Lehner & Alexander Kaufmann, 2008. "Do Different Types of Innovation Rely on Specific Kinds of Knowledge Interactions?," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2008_01, Institute for Multilevel Governance and Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
  6. Pablo D'Este & Simona Iammarino, 2010. "The spatial profile of university-business research partnerships," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 89(2), pages 335-350, 06.
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