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Strategists and Academics: Essays on interaction in R&D
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport and Economics (closed 20110301).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0820-2769
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This doctoral thesis consists of five self-contained essays on interaction in R&D between university researchers and private firms. Together, these essays explore the conditions under which private firms benefit from spillovers from publicly funded and organised research. From the first essay, which sets out to empirically validate the theoretical arguments about the benefits of university-industry interaction for private firms, the thesis follows a line of pursuit that goes back and forth between exploration of the different benefits that firms enjoy from university interaction and the relationships between these benefits and the conditions of interaction. In essay II, a typology of rationales for establishing cooperative relations is presented. A considerable breadth of interaction rationales is documented, but on closer examination, a “core” set of rationales related to innovation in terms of invented or improved products or processes are found to be the main drivers of interaction. Developing this view, three critical issues previously studied within innovation economics are re-considered from the point of view of firm rationales for interaction; public co-funding of university-firm interaction (essay II), the role of geographic proximity for interaction on R&D (essay III) and the organisation of public sector research (public research institutes and universities) in relation to firm level competences (essay IV). In a fifth essay, four ideal types of strategy for localised interaction between R&D subsidiaries and universities are proposed. Through the framework developed in this essay, the rationales for interaction are related to the overall R&D strategy of multinational firms. Concluding the thesis, it is discussed how the research presented herein opens up for improved theorizing around the roles of academic research for industrial innovation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2009. , 25 p.
Series
Trita-TEC-PHD, ISSN 1653-4468 ; 09:003
Keyword [en]
public research, spillovers, university-industry, innovation, R&D interaction, rationales for interaction, geographic proximity, R&D strategy
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-10259ISBN: 978-91-85539-40-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-10259DiVA: diva2:213959
Public defence
2009-06-04, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 23, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100706Available from: 2009-05-18 Created: 2009-04-24 Last updated: 2011-11-09Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Firms' rationales for interaction with research universities and the principles for public co-funding
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Firms' rationales for interaction with research universities and the principles for public co-funding
2012 (English)In: Journal of Technology Transfer, ISSN 0892-9912, E-ISSN 1573-7047, Vol. 37, no 3, 313-329 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

R&D managers at 50 firms who have formal relations with two research universities in Stockholm are interviewed about their rationales for collaboration. Drawing on this material, a distinctive typology of rationales for establishing cooperative relations is presented. While the typology demonstrates a considerable breadth of interaction rationales, rationales related to innovation, in terms of invented or improved products or processes, are found to be the main drivers for interaction. Based on this framework, we analyse which rationales for interaction are consistent with public rationales for supporting university-industry relationships. Public co-funding that allow firms to influence (part of) the academic agenda is identified as a particularly interesting case that requires further theoretical attention.

Keyword
Public research funding, R&D collaboration, Rationales, Research universities, University-industry interaction
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-10704 (URN)10.1007/s10961-010-9177-4 (DOI)000303480700004 ()2-s2.0-79957749442 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20120531Available from: 2009-07-22 Created: 2009-07-13 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
2. How do organisational and cognitive distances shape firms’ interactions with universities and public research institutes?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How do organisational and cognitive distances shape firms’ interactions with universities and public research institutes?
2009 (English)In: Summer Conference 2009, 2009Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper examines how the institutional set-up of public research organisations (PROs) affects how firms are able to utilise direct interaction with publicly employed researchers. We argue that the role that PRO interaction has to play in the firm’s innovation processes depend on the organisational and cognitive distances between the firm and the PRO. In particular, this paper empirically explores how Swedish engineering firms assess the value of R&D partnerships with universities and research institutes. Our theoretical discussion of organizational distance suggests that managers should perceive institute contacts to be more strongly associated with short-term R&D projects than university contacts. This hypothesis cannot be verified. Following from our discussion of cognitive distance, we find that firms with advanced R&D capabilities obtain differential benefits. Their interaction with universities provides impulses for innovation and offers opportunities to learn to a greater extent than contacts with public research institutes. However, firms with less advanced R&D capabilities perceive no significant differences between university and institute interaction. Thus, both organizational and cognitive distance affect firms’ interactions with PROs, and our results have implications for the current push in Europe to reform universities and institutes.

Keyword
public research organisations, organisation of public research, universities, institutes, R&D interaction
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
SRA - Transport
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-47438 (URN)
Conference
CBS - Copenhagen Business School. DENMARK, June 17 - 19, 2009
Funder
TrenOp, Transport Research Environment with Novel Perspectives
Note
QC 20111109Available from: 2011-11-09 Created: 2011-11-09 Last updated: 2011-11-09Bibliographically approved
3. Investing in localised relationships with universities: what are the benefits for R&D subsidiaries of multinational enterprises?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Investing in localised relationships with universities: what are the benefits for R&D subsidiaries of multinational enterprises?
2009 (English)In: Industry and Innovation, ISSN 1366-2716, E-ISSN 1469-8390, Vol. 16, 59-78 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In spite of a long-standing interest in the distribution of knowledge spillovers from university research, there is only limited theoretical understanding of if and when opportunities to interact with a research university constitute a significant force of attraction for globally mobile investment in RD. Based on an empirical investigation of the benefits of interaction with universities, this paper proposes an analytical framework and four ideal types of strategy for localised collaboration between RD subsidiaries and universities. This taxonomy, which largely transcends industry sectors, and the illustrative cases presented in this paper provide insights into the potential scope for localised university-industry interaction from the perspective of multinational enterprises. By connecting the empirical results to the question whether these benefits are significant enough to enhance a region's attractiveness as a location for RD, we are able to develop a better understanding of the alternative strategies for policymakers and university leaders interested in stimulating such linkages.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2009
Keyword
Knowledge spillovers; multinational enterprises; university-industry interaction; localisation of RD
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-10254 (URN)
Note
QC 20100706Available from: 2009-04-22 Created: 2009-04-22 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
4. Does knowledge diffusion between university and industry increase innovativeness?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Does knowledge diffusion between university and industry increase innovativeness?
2008 (English)In: Journal of Technology Transfer, ISSN 0892-9912, E-ISSN 1573-7047, Vol. 33, no 1, 73-90 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents an econometric analysis of the impact of collaboration with universities on the innovative output of firms. We also illustrate the differences that emerge from robustness checks, based on different matching estimators and samples. Our findings strongly suggest that university collaboration has a positive influence on the innovative activity of large manufacturing firms. In contrast, there appears to be an insignificant association between university collaboration and the average service firm's innovation output.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2008
Keyword
university-industry effects
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-10250 (URN)10.1007/s10961-006-9001-3 (DOI)000259663000004 ()2-s2.0-37549010301 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100706Available from: 2009-04-22 Created: 2009-04-22 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved

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