KTH/CESIS Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation
Firms' Rationales for Interaction with Research Universities
Abstract: R&D managers at 50 firms randomly selected from all firms
who have formal relations with two research universities in Stockholm are
being interviewed about their rationales for collaboration. Drawing on this
material, a distinctive typology of rationales and the therewith associated
effects from cooperative relations is presented. As expected, rationales
related to innovation, in terms of invented or improved products or
processes, are found to be the main drivers for interaction. As regards the
nature of the innovation process leading to innovation, most respondents
indicate that “indirect” relationships between collaboration outcomes and
successful innovation dominate over “direct” appropriation of results.
Contrasting open ended search rationales with pursuit of defined
objectives, we find that both types are strongly represented among the
studied collaborative linkages. We also find that interaction rationales
often go beyond the pursuit of innovation per se; firms also work with
university researchers to access academic networks, to develop its human
capital and to realise direct business opportunities. The consequences of
these findings for policy measures steered towards the strengthening of
collaborative university-industry linkages are discussed.
Keywords: R&D collaboration; technology transfer; university-industry linkages; innovation collaboration; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: O32; O33; O38; (follow links to similar papers)
23 pages, February 26, 2008
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