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Technology proximity between firms and universities and technology transfer



This paper investigates the technological orientation of firms and universities and their propensity to have knowledge and technology transfer (KTT) activities. This study looks at the technological potential for KTT and how it is used, emphasizing differences between smaller and larger firms. To this end we collected information about the technology activities of firms (patent statistics) and the technology activities of universities. Furthermore we used survey data on technology transfer activities. We combined the three datasets and found - especially for smaller firms - that great technology proximity fosters transfer activities with different universities (case 1). The same is true, if proximity is low and expertise is considerable at universities in the respective technology field (case 2). In both cases additional transfer potential exists. In the second case firms engage in transfer activities in order to update and modifying their knowledge base and as a consequence improve "competitiveness" in certain technology fields. Furthermore firms show a tendency to diversify their contacts with universities in order to avoid knowledge lock-in.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Woerter, 2009. "Technology proximity between firms and universities and technology transfer," KOF Working papers 09-222, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:09-222

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. René Belderbos & Martin Carree & Boris Lokshin & Juan Fernández Sastre, 2015. "Inter-temporal patterns of R&D collaboration and innovative performance," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 123-137, February.
    2. Annelore Huyghe & Mirjam Knockaert & Mike Wright & Evila Piva, 2014. "Technology transfer offices as boundary spanners in the pre-spin-off process: the case of a hybrid model," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 289-307, August.
    3. Bozeman, Barry & Rimes, Heather & Youtie, Jan, 2015. "The evolving state-of-the-art in technology transfer research: Revisiting the contingent effectiveness model," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 34-49.
    4. Sara Fernández López & Braulio Pérez Astray & David Rodeiro Pazos & Nuria Calvo, 2015. "Are firms interested in collaborating with universities? An open-innovation perspective in countries of the South West European Space," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 9(4), pages 637-662, December.
    5. Rosa Caiazza & Aileen Richardson & David Audretsch, 2015. "Knowledge effects on competitiveness: from firms to regional advantage," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(6), pages 899-909, December.
    6. Erika Raquel Badillo & Rosina Moreno, 2016. "Are Collaborative Agreements in Innovation Activities Persistent at the Firm Level? Empirical Evidence for the Spanish Case," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 49(1), pages 71-101, August.
    7. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9554-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Stephan Hess & Roland Siegwart, 2013. "R&D Venture: proposition of a technology transfer concept for breakthrough technologies with R&D cooperation: A case study in the energy sector," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 153-179, April.
    9. José González-Pernía & Mario Parrilli & Iñaki Peña-Legazkue, 2015. "STI–DUI learning modes, firm–university collaboration and innovation," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 475-492, June.

    More about this item


    Innovation; Knowledge and Technology Transfer; Technology Proximity; Universities; Firms;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


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