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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Markus Simeth & Julio Raffo, 2013. "What makes companies pursue an open science strategy?," WIPO Economic Research Working Papers 06, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division, revised Apr 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:wip:wpaper:06

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sauermann, Henry & Roach, Michael, 2014. "Not all scientists pay to be scientists: PhDs’ preferences for publishing in industrial employment," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 32-47.
    2. Yin Li & Jan Youtie & Philip Shapira, 2015. "Why do technology firms publish scientific papers? The strategic use of science by small and midsize enterprises in nanotechnology," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(6), pages 1016-1033, December.
    3. Simeth, Markus & Lhuillery, Stephane, 2015. "How do firms develop capabilities for scientific disclosure?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1283-1295.
    4. Markus Simeth & Michele Cincera, 2016. "Corporate Science, Innovation, and Firm Value," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(7), pages 1970-1981, July.
    5. Henry Sauermann & Michael Roach, 2011. "Not All Scientists pay to be Scientists:," DRUID Working Papers 11-03, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    6. Perkmann, Markus & Schildt, Henri, 2015. "Open data partnerships between firms and universities: The role of boundary organizations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(5), pages 1133-1143.
    7. Catalina Martínez & Sarah Parlane, 2018. "On the Firms’ Decision to Hire Academic Scientists," Working Papers 201801, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    8. Yi Zhang & Kaihua Chen & Guilong Zhu & Richard C. M. Yam & Jiancheng Guan, 2016. "Inter-organizational scientific collaborations and policy effects: an ego-network evolutionary perspective of the Chinese Academy of Sciences," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 108(3), pages 1383-1415, September.

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    R&D; Industrial Science; Knowledge Disclosure; University-Industry collaboration;

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