Which Firms Use Universities As Cooperation Partners? – The Comparative View In Europe
This paper presents an econometric analysis of the characteristics of firm’s cooperating with universities using Community Innovation Survey (CIS) data for 14 European countries. Our model incorporates three groups of variables which could be related to the probability to cooperate with universities. The first group of variables is related to the size of a firm, the second group measures different innovation activities and the third group describes the internationalisation of firms. In addition, we test for the number of linkages, public financing and the sector of the firm. In order to provide a comparative view across the European countries we use the CIS for the period 2006–2008, where we have data for 14 countries. We use a standard logit model for firm level data, with a dependent variable indicating whether a firm used a university as a cooperation partner or not. We estimate two separate models for cooperating with home and with foreign universities. Our main findings reveal that despite the origin of the university, firms must have a certain level of capabilities to have universities as cooperation partners – conducting internal or external R&D is a significant factor characterising the cooperation with universities. Investments into machinery and equipment as one of the innovative activities are hindering the cooperation with universities. Significant differences between firms that cooperate with home universities, compared to those cooperating with foreign universities exist. Firms cooperating with foreign universities are characterised by a higher level of internationalisation, measured by an export and foreign ownership dummy.
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