Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation,
Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

No 252: Learning by doing in science linkages

Anders Broström ()
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Anders Broström: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Since the contribution of Cohen et al. (2002), it is well established that linkages between firms and public research organisations (PROs) serve purposes of both suggesting new R&D projects and completing existing projects. However, the extant literature has little to say about whether these two types of outcomes are linked or independent effects. This paper examines how a firm’s ability to absorb useful impulses to new R&D projects from interaction with public research organisations depends on how and how well the firm is able to utilise such linkages in project completion. An analysis of Swedish firms suggests that interaction provides impulses to further R&D primarily when it is successfully linked to achieving objectives in ongoing R&D projects of the firm. However, linkages which are focused on contributions to short-term projects are less likely to generate useful impulses. Moreover, not only are linkages which support both long-term and short-term objectives better than linkages which solely serve short-term objectives; firm-PRO linkages in which short-term objectives play a less accented role are most likely to facilitate valuable impulses to further R&D and innovation.

Keywords: university-industry; externalities from public research; impulses to innovation

JEL-codes: O32; O33; O38

20 pages, June 30, 2011

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