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What do we know about Firms’ Research Collaboration with Universities? New Quantitative and Qualitative Evidence

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  • Broström, Anders

    () (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)

  • Lööf, Hans

    () (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)

Abstract

This chapter provides an integrated view of knowledge transfer between university and industry by combining two different approaches. First, we report results from an econometric analysis, where recent matching techniques are used on a dataset of 2,071 Swedish firms. Our findings from this analysis strongly suggest that university collaboration has a positive influence on the innovative activity of large manufacturing firms. In contrast, there appears to be an insignificant association between university collaboration and the average service firm’s innovation output. Second, in the pursuit of credible explanations for these findings, we apply a semi-structured interview methodology on 39 randomly selected firms collaborating with two research universities in Stockholm, Sweden. We identify three ideas for how collaboration may help firms become more innovative in the literature of innovation studies. In analysis of the interviews, we find very weak support for the first idea; that firms are able to exploit and market innovations originating in the university. The second idea – that firms improve their internal innovative capability by collaboration – is found to apply to about half of the investigated firms. Innovation efficiency gains in the form of reduced cost and risk for innovation projects, which is a third idea suggested by the literature, are also suggested to be a major factor behind firms’ benefits. Finally, we offer tentative explanations for the lack of measurable effects of collaboration for service firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Broström, Anders & Lööf, Hans, 2006. "What do we know about Firms’ Research Collaboration with Universities? New Quantitative and Qualitative Evidence," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 74, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:cesisp:0074
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    University-Industry Link; Innovation; Technology transfer; R&D; Research collaboration;

    JEL classification:

    • C10 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - General
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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