Cooperation with universities and technological centres: is it really effective in improving firms' innovative performance?

Triple Helix VII. 7th biennial International Conference on University, Industry & Government Linkages. 17-19 Junio 2009
This paper aims to analyse the role of cooperation with scientific and technological agents (universities, public research organizations, and technological centres) in industrial innovation, using a large-scale cross-industry sample of innovative manufacturing firms located in a technology follower country (Spain). The paper develops an integrated framework to examine: a) the factors that shape the propensity of firms to cooperate with universities and technological centres in their innovative activities; and b) the efficiency of cooperation with these agents on firms? innovative performance. The results reveal that in the Spanish context the cooperation with scientific agents is motivated more by access to funds through participation in government sponsored programmes than by improving innovative capacities based on the integration of complementary knowledge from external agents. Thus, although Spanish firms tend to cooperate more with universities relative to other external agents, this cooperation does not seem to be oriented towards the development of key activities for their innovation processes.
Glasgow, Reino Unido