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Who Do Scientists in Public Research Institutions Cooperate with Private Firms?


  • David B. Audretsch
  • Werner Bönte
  • Stefan Krabel


As public research institutions are increasingly pressured to transfer research results to industry, evaluation of their performance is not only based on their scientific output but also on their commercialization success. Although it is well known that research cooperation activities are an important channel of knowledge transfer, the knowledge about factors driving research cooperation is limited. This paper explicitly focuses on scientist perspective and investigates the relevance of academic values and perceived costs and benefits of cooperation for a scientist's decision to cooperate with private firms. Our analysis is based on two survey waves performed with scientists in the Max Planck Society in Germany which is a publicly funded research organization focusing on basic research. Our empirical results suggest that open science identity is an important determinant of scientist fundamental decision to cooperate with private firms at all. The decision to keep on cooperating with private firms is directly influenced by cost sharing incentives and by firms' confidentiality requirements. Besides these direct effects, our results suggest that perceived reputational reward, monetary benefits, and time costs associated with cooperation influence cooperation behavior indirectly through their impact on the attractiveness of cooperation. The latter is a strong and robust predictor of cooperation behavior.

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  • David B. Audretsch & Werner Bönte & Stefan Krabel, 2010. "Who Do Scientists in Public Research Institutions Cooperate with Private Firms?," DRUID Working Papers 10-27, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:10-27

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Albert Banal-Estañol & Inés Macho-Stadler, 2010. "Scientific and Commercial Incentives in R&D: Research versus Development?," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 185-221, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ian Currie, 2011. "Government Policies to Encourage University-Business Research Collaboration in Canada: Lessons from the US, the UK and Australia," CSLS Research Reports 2011-02, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    2. Olmos Peñuela,Julia & Benneworth,Paul & Castro-Martínez,Elena, 2014. "Explaining researchers’ readiness to incorporate external stimuli in their research agendas," INGENIO (CSIC-UPV) Working Paper Series 201408, INGENIO (CSIC-UPV).
    3. Paolo Calvosa, 2014. "L’evoluzione del ruolo degli uffici di trasferimento tecnologico delle università italiane e l’impatto sul territorio: il caso del Politecnico di Milano," ECONOMIA E DIRITTO DEL TERZIARIO, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(1), pages 81-110.
    4. Dirk Czarnitzki & Christoph Grimpe & Andrew A. Toole, 2015. "Delay and secrecy: does industry sponsorship jeopardize disclosure of academic research?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 251-279.

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