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Are firms interested in collaborating with universities? An open-innovation perspective in countries of the South West European Space


  • Sara Fernández López


  • Braulio Pérez Astray


  • David Rodeiro Pazos


  • Nuria Calvo



Thi s paper explores the determinants of a firm’s interest in collaborating with universities and whether they differ by the technological level of the company’s industry. Based on the conceptual framework of open innovation (OI) model, it is included some aspects related to the transaction costs and roles of innovation diffusion that justifies the study of firm´s interest as previous step of an OI relation among firms and partners. The evidence is based on data collected through semi-structured interviews between January 2009 and October 2009, on a sample of 375 firms from three countries: Spain, Portugal, and France. The results indicate that more innovative firms tend to be more interested in collaborating with universities. The paper provides evidence that country factors also affect a firm’s intention of collaborating with universities. Finally, the results show that the determinants of a high-tech firm’s attitudes to cooperation differ from those found in a non-high-tech firm. In the future, the study of the determinants of those firms’ formal decision to cooperate may let us to understand whether the driving forces of both interest in and decision to cooperate differ. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Sara Fernández López & Braulio Pérez Astray & David Rodeiro Pazos & Nuria Calvo, 2015. "Are firms interested in collaborating with universities? An open-innovation perspective in countries of the South West European Space," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 9(4), pages 637-662, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:svcbiz:v:9:y:2015:i:4:p:637-662 DOI: 10.1007/s11628-014-0243-0

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Etzkowitz, Henry & Leydesdorff, Loet, 2000. "The dynamics of innovation: from National Systems and "Mode 2" to a Triple Helix of university-industry-government relations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 109-123, February.
    2. Martin Woerter, 2012. "Technology proximity between firms and universities and technology transfer," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 37(6), pages 828-866, December.
    3. Fritsch, Michael & Lukas, Rolf, 2001. "Who cooperates on R&D?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 297-312, February.
    4. Okamuro, Hiroyuki & Kato, Masatoshi & Honjo, Yuji, 2009. "Determinants of R&D cooperation in Japanese high-tech start-ups," CEI Working Paper Series 2009-07, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    5. Eom, Boo-Young & Lee, Keun, 2010. "Determinants of industry-academy linkages and, their impact on firm performance: The case of Korea as a latecomer in knowledge industrialization," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 625-639, June.
    6. Tether, Bruce S., 2002. "Who co-operates for innovation, and why: An empirical analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 947-967, August.
    7. Freeman, Chris, 1995. "The 'National System of Innovation' in Historical Perspective," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 5-24, February.
    8. Santoro, Michael D. & Chakrabarti, Alok K., 2002. "Firm size and technology centrality in industry-university interactions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1163-1180, September.
    9. Tamás Bartus, 2005. "Estimation of marginal effects using margeff," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 5(3), pages 309-329, September.
    10. Rachel Levy & Pascale Roux & Sandrine Wolff, 2009. "An analysis of science–industry collaborative patterns in a large European University," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 1-23, February.
    11. Segarra-Blasco, Agusti­ & Arauzo-Carod, Josep-Maria, 2008. "Sources of innovation and industry-university interaction: Evidence from Spanish firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1283-1295, September.
    12. Schartinger, Doris & Schibany, Andras & Gassler, Helmut, 2001. "Interactive Relations between Universities and Firms: Empirical Evidence for Austria," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 255-268, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. María Jesús Rodríguez-Gulías & David Rodeiro-Pazos & Sara Fernández-López, 2017. "The effect of university and regional knowledge spillovers on firms’ performance: an analysis of the Spanish USOs," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 191-209, March.

    More about this item


    University industry collaboration; Innovation transfer; R&D; Academic entrepreneurship; M12;

    JEL classification:

    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation


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