The DRUID Society Summer Conference. 17-19 Junio 2009
Although the literature on university-industry links has begun to uncover the reasons for, and types of, collaboration between universities and businesses, it offers little explanation of ways to reduce the barriers in these collaborations. This paper seeks to unpack the nature of the obstacles to collaborations between universities and industry, exploring influence of different mechanisms in lowering barriers related to the orientation of universities and to the transactions involved in work with university partners. Drawing on a large-scale survey and public records, this paper explores the effects of collaboration experience, breadth of interaction, and inter-organizational trust on lowering different types of barriers. The analysis shows that prior experience of collaborative research lowers orientation-related barriers and that greater levels of trust reduce both types of barriers studied. It also indicates that breadth of interaction diminishes the orientation-related, but increases transaction-related barriers. The paper explores the implications of these findings for policies aimed at facilitating university-industry collaboration.