Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2014/5: Collaboration in innovation between foreign subsidiaries and local universities: evidence from Spain

José Guimón () and Juan Carlos Salazar ()
Additional contact information
José Guimón: Department of Economic Structure and Development Economics, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Juan Carlos Salazar: Department of Economic Structure and Development Economics, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Abstract: Collaboration between foreign subsidiaries and universities is relevant for multinational companies that aim at absorbing knowledge from abroad, as well as for policymakers attempting to maximize the spillovers associated with FDI. In this paper, we explore how multinational companies collaborate with universities in the foreign countries where they locate and provide new empirical evidence for Spain as a host country. Using a probit model with panel data from the Community Innovation Survey, we failed to find significant differences between the propensity of foreign subsidiaries and comparable Spanish firms to collaborate with universities. Subsequently, building on a new survey and five case studies, we were able to relate the scale and scope of such collaborations with the dynamic mandates of foreign subsidiaries in global innovation networks and to explore further the variety of motivations that drive collaboration.

Keywords: collaboration in innovation; FDI; foreign subsidiaries; global innovation networks; multinational companies; open innovation; spillovers; university-industry collaboration

JEL-codes: F23; O32

33 pages, May 7, 2014

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