The Role of Employee-Driven Relations and Persistence in University-Industry Collaboration on Regional Innovation

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Promoting university-industry collaboration on innovation has an important role in regional innovation policy. Despite apparent advantages of such collaborations, several studies have shown that most innovative firms do not collaborate with universities. The paper addresses the dearth of knowledge in the innovation literature about drivers of and persistence in university-industry collaborations. More specifically, it explores the role of employee-driven relations and persistence for firms’ collaboration on innovation with specific universities. The existing studies of university-industry interaction based of large surveys of firms suffer from lacking information on the specific collaborating firms and universities. The present paper applies unique innovation survey data on firms’ collaboration on innovation with specific universities in Denmark combined with detailed register-based information on firms and their employees. The analysis draws on a balanced panel of 1796 firms in Denmark from two consecutive innovation surveys covering 2009-11 and 2012-14. The study finds that hiring appears before collaboration in university-industry interactions. Furthermore, it documents that previous collaboration is a more important driving factor for current collaboration than the existence of employee-driven relations. This suggest that firms’ hiring a university graduate is important for establishing a university connection, but once they have initiated a collaboration, then collaboration patterns tend to persists. However, the ‘usual suspects’, such as R&D investments, openness and geographical proximity remain important factors for persistence in university-industry collaboration.
Publikationsdato26 okt. 2017
StatusUdgivet - 26 okt. 2017
Begivenhed12th Regional Innovation Policies Conference - University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spanien
Varighed: 26 okt. 201727 okt. 2017


Konference12th Regional Innovation Policies Conference
LokationUniversity of Santiago de Compostela
BySantiago de Compostela