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What makes industry–university collaboration succeed? A systematic review of the literature


  • Robert Rybnicek

    () (University of Graz)

  • Roland Königsgruber

    (SKEMA Business School - Université Côte d’Azur)


Industry–university collaborations (IUCs) have received increased attention in management practice and research. The need for innovation in today’s business environment and the ambition of policymakers to commercialize academic knowledge intensify this trend. However, although research has devoted considerable effort to finding the determinants of success for interfirm collaboration, much less is known about IUCs. This article presents the results of a systematic review of the literature on the collaboration between industry and universities. We perform an extensive analysis of research published on industry–university collaboration projects with the objective of distilling factors that influence the success of such collaborations. We propose a novel conceptual model, which synthesizes our empirical results, and use it to organize and categorize influencing factors and their interrelationship within the collaboration process. Based on our review of existing literature, we identify an agenda for future research in this domain.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Rybnicek & Roland Königsgruber, 2019. "What makes industry–university collaboration succeed? A systematic review of the literature," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 89(2), pages 221-250, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jbecon:v:89:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s11573-018-0916-6
    DOI: 10.1007/s11573-018-0916-6

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Petra Maresova & Ruzena Stemberkova & Oluwaseun Fadeyi, 2019. "Models, Processes, and Roles of Universities in Technology Transfer Management: A Systematic Review," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(3), pages 1-36, September.
    2. Leonie Koch & Martin Simmler, 2020. "How Important are Local Knowledge Spillovers of Public R&D and What Drives Them?," EconPol Working Paper 42, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    3. Katarina Rojko & Brankica Bratić & Borut Lužar, 2020. "The Bologna reform’s impacts on the scientific publication performance of Ph.D. graduates—the case of Slovenia," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 124(1), pages 329-356, July.
    4. Koch, Leonie & Simmler, Martin, 2020. "How important are local knowledge spillovers of public R&D and what drives them?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(7).
    5. József Tóth & Giuseppina Rizzo, 2020. "Search Strategies in Innovation Networks: The Case of the Hungarian Food Industry," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(5), pages 1-18, February.
    6. Balzhan Orazbayeva & Carolin Plewa & Todd Davey & Victoria Galán-Muros, 2019. "The future of University-Business Cooperation: research and practice priorities," Post-Print hal-02880384, HAL.
    7. Ledda, Antonio & Pindozzi, Stefania & Marcheggiani, Ernesto & Cervelli, Elena & De Montis, Andrea & Galli, Andrea, 2020. "The impact of collaboration on research about rural buildings and landscape: A case study in Italy," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C).

    More about this item


    Industry–university collaboration; Success; Systematic literature review;

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • L30 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - General
    • 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


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