Knowledge and Technology Transfer (KTT) Activities Between Universities and Firms in Switzerland: The Main Facts : An Empirical Analysis Based on Firm-level Data
This study is part of a large project aiming at the investigation of a) extent and b) economic relevance of knowledge and technology transfer (KTT) between science institutions (universities, universities of applied science and other public research institutions) and private corporations. Under knowledge and technology transfer we understand very broadly any activities targeted at transferring knowledge and technology that may help a company or a research institution – depending on the direction of the transfer – to further promote its activities. In this paper we report on the results of a large postal survey of Swiss enterprises based on a questionnaire on the exchange of knowledge and technology with Swiss universities and other research institutions. The survey was addressed to about 6000 firms from all sectors of the economy (with exception of hotels/catering, retail trade, transportation and personal services) and from different size classes. We received answers from 2582 firms, i.e. 45.4% of the firms in the underlying sample. In this paper we undertake a characterisation of KTT activities from a firm’s point of view: Which are the main characteristics of firms conducting KTT (e.g. size, industry, R&D activities, R&D budget, research areas etc.) Which forms does KTT take (e.g. joint research projects, joint teaching courses, allocation of thesis or doctoral projects in collaboration with firms etc.), what is the relative importance of such forms? Which are the most important transfer channels (publications, patents, licenses, spinoffs) and intermediating organisations (technology transfer offices, KTI, SNF etc.)? Which are the most relevant transfer partners among the universities and other research institutions? Which are the most important motives for KTT activities (e.g. financial motives, access to academic knowledge, institutional motives etc.) Which are the most important impediments of KTT activities (lack of information, lack of conditions necessary for know-how transfer, costs and risks etc.)
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