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University-industry linkages and the role of the geographical proximity

  • Renato Garcia


  • Veneziano Araujo
  • Suelene Mascarini
  • Emerson Santos

The main aim of this paper is to exam the local dimension of the university and industry linkages. It is widely recognized in the literature that academic research is an important source of new knowledge to the innovative efforts of the firms. Many authors, such as Audrescht and Feldman (1996), Acs and Varga (2005), Breschi and Lissoni (2009), have shown that academic research is positively correlated with firms’ innovation at the geographical level. There are two reasons that are pointed out for this correlation. First, there are many ways in which knowledge generated by academic research can spill over to the firms, such as research papers, patents and informal contacts. Second, geographical proximity can encourage cooperation between academic researchers and the R&D staff in the firms. In this way, this paper tries to measure empirically the geographical dimension of the university-industry linkages in Brazil, in the same way to the first effort presented in ERSA 2010 (Garcia et al, 2010). To do that, it was used data from the Brazilian Research Council (CNPq), collected at the CNPq Directory of Research Groups of Brazilian universities. The data shows that in 2008 there were 22,797 research groups from 422 institutions. Among these research groups, 2,726 declared that they have interactions with more than 3,800 firms, which means 5,132 interactions between university and industry. Data were organized both in firm-level and in research group-level; allow the identification of the localization of the firm and of the research group. Among the 5,132 interactions between firms and research groups, it was possible to see that 43.6% of interactions occur inside the same city; 51.2% inside the same region; and 75.3% in the same state. These results show the importance of the local dimension of the interactions between academic research of the university and innovative efforts of the firms. In addition, it was done some empirical tests in order to identify the main factors that contribute to foster university-industry linkages.

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Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa11p581.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa11p581
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  1. Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel & Henderson, Rebecca, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-98, August.
  2. Harald Bathelt & Andersand Malmberg & Peter Maskell, 2002. "Clusters and Knowledge Local Buzz, Global Pipelines and the Process of Knowledge Creation," DRUID Working Papers 02-12, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  3. Breschi, Stefano & Lissoni, Francesco, 2000. "Knowledge Spillovers And Local Innovation Systems: A Critical Survey," ERSA conference papers ersa00p362, European Regional Science Association.
  4. Keld Laursen & Toke Reichstein & Ammon Salter, 2011. "Exploring the Effect of Geographical Proximity and University Quality on University-Industry Collaboration in the United Kingdom," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(4), pages 507-523.
  5. A C Fernandes & B Campello de Souza & A Stamford da Silva & W Suzigan & C V Chaves & E Albuquerque, 2010. "Academy—industry links in Brazil: evidence about channels and benefits for firms and researchers," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(7), pages 485-498, August.
  6. Riccardo Crescenzi & Andrés Rodriguez-Pose & Michael Storper, 2007. "The territorial dynamics of innovation: a Europe-United States comparative analysis," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(6), pages 673-709, November.
  7. Ron Boschma, 2005. "Proximity and Innovation: A Critical Assessment," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 61-74.
  8. Michael Storper & Anthony J. Venables, 2004. "Buzz: face-to-face contact and the urban economy," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(4), pages 351-370, August.
  9. Geuna, Aldo & Anthony Arundel, 2003. "Proximity and the Use of Public Science by Innovate European Firms," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 86, Royal Economic Society.
  10. Leandro Alves Silva & Sara Gon�alves Antunes de Souza & Hérica Morais Righi & Wellington Marcelo Silva da Cruz, 2009. "University—industry interactions in an immature system of innovation: Evidence from Minas Gerais, Brazil," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(5), pages 373-386, June.
  11. Attila Varga, 2000. "Local Academic Knowledge Transfers and the Concentration of Economic Activity," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 289-309.
  12. Renato Garcia & Veneziano Araujo & Suelene Mascarini, 2011. "An exam of the role of the geographical proximity for the university-industry linkages," ERSA conference papers ersa10p761, European Regional Science Association.
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