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Working with Distant Researchers - distance and content in university-industry interaction

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  • Broström, Anders

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

Abstract

This paper studies the role of geographic proximity for interaction on R&D, by exploring the special case of university-industry contacts. While numerous studies find that geographic proximity facilitates spillover effects between university and industry by utilising evidence from e.g. patenting and publishing activities, the geographical dimension is largely understudied in studies that report evidence from direct interaction. To explore when geographical proximity matters for university-industry interaction, a series of interviews with R&D managers in Swedish engineering firms is conducted. These interviews suggest that linkages in geographical proximity are more likely to generate impulses to innovation and create significant learning effects at the firm. Similarly, geographic proximate interaction is more likely to successfully contribute to R&D projects with short time to market. For long-term R&D projects, geographic proximity is generally seen as a less critical factor. A survey to 425 R&D managers in Swedish engineering firms provides evidence that supports these hypotheses.

Suggested Citation

  • Broström, Anders, 2009. "Working with Distant Researchers - distance and content in university-industry interaction," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 173, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:cesisp:0173
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    2. Falk Strotebeck, 2013. "Knowledge transfer via cooperative research - How Universities and Universities of Applied Science are positioned in the German research network," ERSA conference papers ersa13p544, European Regional Science Association.
    3. Broström, Anders & McKelvey, Maureen, 2009. "How do Organisational and Cognitive Distances Shape Firms’ Interactions with Universities and Public Research Institutes?," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 188, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    4. Steinmo, Marianne & Rasmussen, Einar, 2016. "How firms collaborate with public research organizations: The evolution of proximity dimensions in successful innovation projects," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 1250-1259.
    5. Broström, Anders, 2011. "Learning by doing in science linkages," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 252, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    6. Madhav Govind & Merle Küttim, 2016. "International Knowledge Transfer from University to Industry: A Systematic Literature Review," Research in Economics and Business: Central and Eastern Europe, Tallinn School of Economics and Business Administration, Tallinn University of Technology, vol. 8(2).
    7. MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki & ZHAO Qiuhan, 2023. "University as a Knowledge Source of Innovation: A spatial analysis of the impact on local high-tech startup creation," Discussion papers 23027, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    8. Rosamaria d’Amore & Roberto Iorio & Agnieszka Stawinoga, 2011. "Who and where are the co-authors? The relationship between institutional and geographical distance in scientific publications," Working Papers 2011.4, International Network for Economic Research - INFER.
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    11. Jörg Bühnemann & Bernd Neutschel, 2014. "Universitäre Transferstruktur im Wandel - OvGU als regionaler Impulsgeber," FEMM Working Papers 140001, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    12. Alberto Marzucchi & Davide Antonioli & Sandro Montresor, 2012. "Research cooperation within and across regional boundaries. Does innovation policy add anything?," JRC Research Reports JRC76320, Joint Research Centre.
    13. Rosamaria D'Amore & Roberto Iorio, 2014. "New Insights on the Relationship between Geographic and Institutional Distance in Research Collaborations: A Long Period Analysis," Working Papers 3_229, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Statistiche, Università degli Studi di Salerno.
    14. Chen, Guanghua & Yang, Guoliang & He, Feng & Chen, Kaihua, 2019. "Exploring the effect of political borders on university-industry collaborative research performance: Evidence from China’s Guangdong province," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 82, pages 58-69.
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    16. Maietta, Ornella Wanda, 2015. "Determinants of university–firm R&D collaboration and its impact on innovation: A perspective from a low-tech industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1341-1359.
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    18. Eileen M. Trauth & Michael DiRaimo Jr. & M. Richard Hoover Jr. & Paul Hallacher, 2015. "Leveraging a Research University for New Economy Capacity Building in a Rural Industrial Region," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 29(3), pages 229-244, August.
    19. Gianluca Murgia, 2021. "The impact of collaboration diversity and joint experience on the reiteration of university co-patents," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 46(4), pages 1108-1143, August.
    20. Rosamaria D'Amore & Roberto Iorio & Sandrine Labory & Agnieszka Stawinoga, 2012. "How Do the Institutions Involved in Scientific Collaboration Deal with Different Kinds of Distance? An Analysis of the Co-Autorships of Scientific Publications," Working Papers 3_222, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Statistiche, Università degli Studi di Salerno.
    21. Fassio, Claudio & Geuna, Aldo & Rossi, Federica, 2023. "‘How do firms reach out to foreign universities? Inventors’ personal characteristics and the multinational structure of firms’," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 58(3).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    R&D collaboration; innovation collaboration; university; technology transfer;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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