Finding your ideal (foreign) non-academic partner: Implications for university-industry collaboration, in peripheral and metropolitan regions?

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Abstract

This paper develops a theoretical framework, and a set of testable propositions, on how collaboration with non-academic partners located abroad might affect businesses’ absorptive capacity, and businesses’ propensity to engage in collaboration with universities, depending on the characteristics of the region. The present document also includes a research agenda with the goal of testing the propositions, in a further developed version of the paper. It is hypothesized that businesses in peripheral regions will be able to develop their absorptive capacity to a greater extent, if they are engaged in collaboration with foreign non-academic partners, and that these improvements in absorptive capacity will increase the ability of businesses to engage in university-industry collaboration. It is assumed that peripheral regions will provide access to a small variety of potential non-academic partners (such as suppliers, customers, competitors or technical centres). Because of this limitation, firms might have a harder time in finding non-academic partners from which they can learn (that is, partners that can provide access to novel knowledge, but similar enough to facilitate learning). Those firms that collaborate with foreign non-academic partners, however, can have an easier time in contacting partners from which they can learn, and these engagements can incentivise that businesses develop their absorptive capacity, and their propensity to engage in university-industry collaboration. It is also hypothesized that businesses in metropolitan regions will not increase their absorptive capacity as a result of collaborating with foreign non-academic partners, and that these collaborations will not increase the likelihood that businesses in metropolitan regions engage in university-industry collaboration. It is assumed that due to the broader variety of organisations available in metropolitan regions, businesses will not have to opt for international collaboration, in order to contact non-academic partners from which they can learn.
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This paper develops a theoretical framework, and a set of testable propositions, on how collaboration with non-academic partners located abroad might affect businesses’ absorptive capacity, and businesses’ propensity to engage in collaboration with universities, depending on the characteristics of the region. The present document also includes a research agenda with the goal of testing the propositions, in a further developed version of the paper. It is hypothesized that businesses in peripheral regions will be able to develop their absorptive capacity to a greater extent, if they are engaged in collaboration with foreign non-academic partners, and that these improvements in absorptive capacity will increase the ability of businesses to engage in university-industry collaboration. It is assumed that peripheral regions will provide access to a small variety of potential non-academic partners (such as suppliers, customers, competitors or technical centres). Because of this limitation, firms might have a harder time in finding non-academic partners from which they can learn (that is, partners that can provide access to novel knowledge, but similar enough to facilitate learning). Those firms that collaborate with foreign non-academic partners, however, can have an easier time in contacting partners from which they can learn, and these engagements can incentivise that businesses develop their absorptive capacity, and their propensity to engage in university-industry collaboration. It is also hypothesized that businesses in metropolitan regions will not increase their absorptive capacity as a result of collaborating with foreign non-academic partners, and that these collaborations will not increase the likelihood that businesses in metropolitan regions engage in university-industry collaboration. It is assumed that due to the broader variety of organisations available in metropolitan regions, businesses will not have to opt for international collaboration, in order to contact non-academic partners from which they can learn.
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateJan 2018
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedNo
EventDRUID Academy Conference 2018 - South Denmark University, Odense, Denmark
Duration: 17 Jan 201819 Jan 2018

Conference

ConferenceDRUID Academy Conference 2018
LocationSouth Denmark University
CountryDenmark
CityOdense
Period17/01/201819/01/2018

    Research areas

  • Regional innovation systems, Regional development, Universities, Innovation , Absorptive capacity

Activities

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ID: 292728202