This article explores matters concerning collaboration activities of innovators renewable energy (RE). We analyze if RE display different collaboration pattern than their non-RE counterparts, and if their performance differ. This research question is triggered by the assumption from earlier literature that,RE innovations require firms to source in knowledge and resources in a distinct manner, since such innovations are interwoven with other parts of the energy system, and draw upon diverse knowledge bases. We use data from a special section of the 2014 CIS survey in Denmark, in which we included questions on energy innovation. Our dataset contains 2,225 firms, of which 317 are RE innovators. In a quantitative analysis, we test hypotheses derived from literature regarding the collaboration on innovation. We complement this analysis with, a qualitative, single-case study within the offshore wind industry in order to illuminate elements that were only indicative in the quantitative analysis. Here we focus particularly changes in the pattern of collaboration as the firm matures, and links between collaboration on energy innovation and performance. We find that on average, RE innovators are more likely to collaborate, and with a more diverse set of partners than non-RE innovators. Further, our qualitative findings suggest that, because the needs of RE innovators varies through development, the purpose and types of collaborations change. Both from our quantitative and qualitative studies we further find weak relationship between firm’s collaboration breadth and innovative performance for RE innovation. We ascribe this to the long time-lags between product innovation and market penetration in RE.
Christensen, J. L., Hain, D. S., & Nogueira, L. A. (2019). Joining forces: collaboration patterns and performance of renewable energy innovators. Small Business Economics, 52(4), 793-814. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11187-017-9932-0