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What makes companies pursue an open science strategy?

  • Markus Simeth

    (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), College of Management, Switzerland)

  • Julio Raffo

    (World Intellectual Property Organization, Economics and Statistics Division, Geneva, Switzerland)

Whereas recent scholarly research has provided many insights about universities engaging in commercial activities, there is still little empirical evidence regarding the opposite phenomenon of companies disseminating scientific knowledge. Our paper aims to fill this gap and explores the motivations of firms that disclose research outcomes in a scientific format. Besides considering an internal firm dimension, we focus particularly on knowledge sourcing from academic institutions and the appropriability regime using a cost-benefit framework. We conduct an econometric analysis with firm-level data from the fourth edition of the French Community Innovation Survey (CIS4) and matched scientific publications for a sample of 2,512 R&D performing firms from all manufacturing sectors. The analysis provides evidence that the access to important scientific knowledge imposes the adoption of academic disclosure principles, whereas the mere existence of collaborative links with academic institutions is not a strong predictor. Furthermore, the results suggest that overall industry conditions are influential in shaping the cost-benefit rationale of firms with respect to scientific disclosure.

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Paper provided by World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division in its series WIPO Economic Research Working Papers with number 06.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision: Apr 2013
Publication status: Published in Research Policy, Volume 42, Issue 9, November 2013, Pages 1531–1543, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2013.05.007
Handle: RePEc:wip:wpaper:06
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