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Formal and Informal Technology Transfer from Academia to Industry: Complementarity Effects and Innovation Performance

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  • Grimpe, Christoph
  • Hussinger, Katrin

Abstract

Literature has identified formal and informal channels in university technology transfer. While formal technology transfer typically involves a legal contract on a patent or on collaborative research activities, informal transfer channels refer to personal contacts and hence to the tacit dimension of knowledge transfer. Research is, however, scarce regarding the interaction of formal and informal transfer mechanisms. In this paper, we analyze whether these activities are mutually reinforcing, i.e. complementary. Our analysis is based on a comprehensive dataset of more than 2,000 German manufacturing firms. We perform direct and indirect tests for the complementarity of formal and informal technology transfer. Our results confirm a complementary relationship: using both transfer channels contributes to higher innovation performance. The management of the firm should therefore strive to maintain close informal relationships with universities to realize the full potential of formal technology transfer.

Suggested Citation

  • Grimpe, Christoph & Hussinger, Katrin, 2008. "Formal and Informal Technology Transfer from Academia to Industry: Complementarity Effects and Innovation Performance," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-080, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:7422
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cowan, Robin & Zinovyeva, Natalia, 2013. "University effects on regional innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 788-800.
    2. Spyros Arvanitis & Boris Lokshin & Pierre Mohnen & Martin Woerter, 2015. "Impact of External Knowledge Acquisition Strategies on Innovation: A Comparative Study Based on Dutch and Swiss Panel Data," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 46(4), pages 359-382, June.
    3. Fini, Riccardo & Lacetera, Nicola & Shane, Scott, 2010. "Inside or outside the IP system? Business creation in academia," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1060-1069, October.
    4. Landry, Réjean & Saïhi, Malek & Amara, Nabil & Ouimet, Mathieu, 2010. "Evidence on how academics manage their portfolio of knowledge transfer activities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1387-1403, December.
    5. Dirk Czarnitzki & Katrin Hussinger & Cédric Schneider, 2012. "The nexus between science and industry: evidence from faculty inventions," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 37(5), pages 755-776, October.
    6. Sofka, Wolfgang & Grimpe, Christoph, 2009. "Searching for innovation in market and transition economies: evidence across Europe," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-061, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    7. Christoph Grimpe & Heide Fier, 2010. "Informal university technology transfer: a comparison between the United States and Germany," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 35(6), pages 637-650, December.
    8. Cristina Páez-Avilés & Esteve Juanola-Feliu & Islam Bogachan-Tahirbegi & Mónica Mir & Manel González-Piñero & Josep Samitier, 2015. "Innovation And Technology Transfer Of Medical Devices Fostered By Cross-Disciplinary Communities Of Practitioners," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 19(06), pages 1-27, December.
    9. Schwartz, Michael & Hornych, Christoph, 2010. "Informal networking: An overview of the literature and an agenda for future research," Jena Contributions to Economic Research 2010,1, University of Applied Sciences Jena, Department of Business Administration.
    10. Miravete, Eugenio J. & Pernías, José C., 2010. "Testing for complementarity when strategies are dichotomous," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 28-31, January.
    11. Haskel, J & Haskel, J & Hughes, A & Bascavusoglu-Moreau, E, 2014. "The economic significance of the UK science base: a report for the Campaign for Science and Engineering," Working Papers 13751, Imperial College, London, Imperial College Business School.
    12. Spyros Arvanitis & Boris Lokshin & Pierre Mohnen & Martin Woerter, 2013. "Impact of external knowledge acquisition strategies on innovation," KOF Working papers 13-325, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    University technology transfer; complementarity; innovation performance;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures

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