R&D cooperation between Spanish firms and scientific partners: what is the role of tertiary education?
This paper explores the factors that determine firmâ€™s R&D cooperation with different partners, paying special attention on the role of tertiary education (degree and PhDs level) in facilitating the connection between the firms and the to scientific bodies (technology centres, public research centres and universities). Here, we attempt to answer two questions. First, are innovative firms that carry out internal and external R&D activities more likely to cooperate on R&D projects with other partners? Second, do Spanish innovative firms with a high participation of researchers with degrees or PhDs tend to cooperate more with scientific partners? To answer both questions we apply a three-dimensional approach on a firm level Panel Data with a sample of 4.998 manufacturing and services Spanish firms. First, we run a complementary test between external R&D acquisition and skilled research workers and find that firms which carry out external R&D activities obtain a greater return on R&D cooperation when they have skilled workers in R&D, especially in high-tech manufactures and KIS services. Second, we carry out a 2-step tobit model to estimate, in the first stage, the determinants that explain whether Spanish innovative firms cooperate or not; and in the second stage the factors that affect the choice of partners. And third, we apply an ordered probit model to test the marginal effects of explanatory variables on the different partners. Here we contrast some of the most interesting empirical hypotheses of previous studies, and which emphasize the role of employees with degrees and PhDs in facilitating cooperative R&D between firms and scientific partners. JEL classification: O31, O33, O38. Key words: Determinants R&D cooperation, industry-university flows, PhD research workers.
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