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What Characterizes Firms' Academic Patents? Academic Involvement in Industrial Inventions in Sweden


  • Daniel Ljungberg
  • Maureen McKelvey


This paper investigates the characteristics and importance of academic involvement in industrial invention processes by comparing firms' academic and non-academic patents. In contrast to previous research, this paper analyses firm-owned patents, which provides insight into the characteristics and relative importance of inventions resulting from university--industry collaboration. The empirical analysis in this paper is based on a database of Swedish academic patents. Our results indicate that academic involvement mainly takes place in inventions highly related to firms' technology bases. The findings moreover show that firms' academic patents, as compared to their non-academic patents, have lower importance in firms' core technological fields but higher importance in their marginal fields. We provide an interpretation of these results, suggesting that firm-owned academic patents largely result from “demand pull” rather than “science push” and that firms involve academics mainly for problem-solving activities in their core technological fields.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Ljungberg & Maureen McKelvey, 2012. "What Characterizes Firms' Academic Patents? Academic Involvement in Industrial Inventions in Sweden," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(7), pages 585-606, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:19:y:2012:i:7:p:585-606 DOI: 10.1080/13662716.2012.726808

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Raffaele Paci & Stefano Usai, 2000. "Technological Enclaves and Industrial Districts: An Analysis of the Regional Distribution of Innovative Activity in Europe," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(2), pages 97-114.
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    4. Quatraro, Francesco, 2010. "Knowledge coherence, variety and economic growth: Manufacturing evidence from Italian regions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1289-1302, December.
    5. John M. Quigley, 1998. "Urban Diversity and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 127-138, Spring.
    6. Ron Boschma & Simona Iammarino, 2009. "Related Variety, Trade Linkages, and Regional Growth in Italy," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 85(3), pages 289-311, July.
    7. Matthias Buerger & Uwe Cantner, 2011. "The regional dimension of sectoral innovativeness: An empirical investigation of two specialized suppliers and two science‐based industries," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 90(2), pages 373-393, June.
    8. Ron Boschma & Asier Minondo & Mikel Navarro, 2012. "Related variety and regional growth in Spain," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(2), pages 241-256, June.
    9. Bowsher, Clive G., 2002. "On testing overidentifying restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 211-220, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anders Broström & Maureen McKelvey, 2015. "Universities and public research institutes as collaboration partners for firms," Chapters,in: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Global Economy, chapter 2, pages 44-64 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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