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Does academic consulting require any research? Examining the relationship between research funding and academic consulting

  • D'Este,Pablo
  • Rentocchini,Francesco


  • Manjarrés-Henríquez,Liney
  • Grimaldi,Rosa

This paper investigates the relationship between the sources of funding for research activities and the engagement of scientists in one specific type of knowledge transfer: academic consulting. By relying on a sample of 2603 individual faculty, from five Spanish universities, who have been recipients of publicly funded grants or have been principal investigators in activities contracted by external agents over the period 1999-2004, we find a positive effect of research funding on the amount of consulting contracts obtained by academic scientists. We also find that both networking and signalling effects are present and contribute to explain the amount of consulting activity acquired by academic scientists. By offering evidence of a positive correlation between the volume of academic consulting and different types of extramural research funding, our paper shows that: a) consulting is largely a function of strong involvement in research, knowledge-generation activities; b) the positive connection is particularly strong for the social sciences, where the type of knowledge transferred is more likely to be conceptual and symbolic than instrumental.

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Paper provided by INGENIO (CSIC-UPV) in its series INGENIO (CSIC-UPV) Working Paper Series with number 201203.

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Date of creation: 18 May 2012
Date of revision: 21 May 2012
Handle: RePEc:ing:wpaper:201203
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  1. D'Este, P. & Patel, P., 2007. "University-industry linkages in the UK: What are the factors underlying the variety of interactions with industry?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 1295-1313, November.
  2. Bozeman, Barry & Gaughan, Monica, 2007. "Impacts of grants and contracts on academic researchers' interactions with industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 694-707, June.
  3. Ajay Agrawal & Rebecca Henderson, 2002. "Putting Patents in Context: Exploring Knowledge Transfer from MIT," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(1), pages 44-60, January.
  4. Bruneel, Johan & D'Este, Pablo & Salter, Ammon, 2010. "Investigating the factors that diminish the barriers to university-industry collaboration," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 858-868, September.
  5. Gabriela Dutrénit & Valeria Arza, 2010. "Channels and benefits of interactions between public research organisations and industry: comparing four Latin American countries," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(7), pages 541-553, August.
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