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Firms' Rationales for Interaction with Research Universities

  • Broström, Anders


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

R&D managers at 50 firms randomly selected from all firms who have formal relations with two research universities in Stockholm are being interviewed about their rationales for collaboration. Drawing on this material, a distinctive typology of rationales and the therewith associated effects from cooperative relations is presented. As expected, rationales related to innovation, in terms of invented or improved products or processes, are found to be the main drivers for interaction. As regards the nature of the innovation process leading to innovation, most respondents indicate that “indirect” relationships between collaboration outcomes and successful innovation dominate over “direct” appropriation of results. Contrasting open ended search rationales with pursuit of defined objectives, we find that both types are strongly represented among the studied collaborative linkages. We also find that interaction rationales often go beyond the pursuit of innovation per se; firms also work with university researchers to access academic networks, to develop its human capital and to realise direct business opportunities. The consequences of these findings for policy measures steered towards the strengthening of collaborative university-industry linkages are discussed.

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Paper provided by Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation with number 115.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 26 Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:cesisp:0115
Contact details of provider: Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 790 95 63
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