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Patterns of Collaborations between Regional Firms and Universities: Evidence from the Piedmont region in Italy

This paper explores the factors affecting firms’ decisions concerning whether to collaborate with universities in their region or elsewhere, and the level of investment in the collaboration. Building upon an original survey of a representative sample of firms in the Italian region of Piedmont, the paper examines the effect of firm and collaboration characteristics (including the type and diversity of each collaboration’s objectives) on the location of the university partners and on the investment in university-industry collaborations. We find that firms that are smaller, less engaged in international markets, less vertically integrated, and that engage in collaborations with universities in order to solve organizational problems, tend to collaborate more with regional universities. Firms tend to invest more in collaborations focused only on R&D activities with nearby universities, though the maximum amount spent in a collaboration was with a foreign university.

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Paper provided by University of Turin in its series Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio Carlo Alberto. WP series with number 201105.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uto:labeco:201105
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  1. Michael Fritsch & Viktor Slavtchev, 2007. "Universities and Innovation in Space," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 201-218.
  2. Antonelli Cristiano, 2013. "The economics of technological congruence," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201306, University of Turin.
  3. Isabel Freitas & Tommy Clausen & Roberto Fontana & Bart Verspagen, 2011. "Formal and informal external linkages and firms’ innovative strategies. A cross-country comparison," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 91-119, February.
  4. Anselin, Luc & Varga, Attila & Acs, Zoltan, 1997. "Local Geographic Spillovers between University Research and High Technology Innovations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 422-448, November.
  5. Cooke, Philip & Gomez Uranga, Mikel & Etxebarria, Goio, 1997. "Regional innovation systems: Institutional and organisational dimensions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4-5), pages 475-491, December.
  6. Geuna Aldo & Bodas Freitas Isabel Maria & Rossi Federica, 2010. "The Governance of University-Industry Knowledge Transfer: Why small firms do (not) develop institutional collaborations?," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201013, University of Turin.
  7. Franz Tödtling & Patrick Lehner & Alexander Kaufmann, 2008. "Do Different Types of Innovation Rely on Specific Kinds of Knowledge Interactions?," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2008_01, Institute for Multilevel Governance and Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
  8. Pablo D'Este & Simona Iammarino, 2010. "The spatial profile of university-business research partnerships," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 89(2), pages 335-350, 06.
  9. James D. Adams, 2002. "Comparative localization of academic and industrial spillovers," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(3), pages 253-278, July.
  10. Helen Lawton Smith, 2007. "Universities, innovation, and territorial development: a review of the evidence," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 25(1), pages 98-114, February.
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