Crossing the rubicon: Exploring the factors that shape academics' perceptions of the barriers to working with industry

Tartari, V.; Salter, A.; D'Este, P.
Cambridge Journal of Economics

Although academics are under increasing pressure to engage industry in their research, they often find it difficult to do so. Conflicts with industry over the timing of disclosure and the choice of topics are common. Moreover, collaborations with industry may require academics to negotiate formal contracts about the ownership of intellectual property. To help understand the factors that might mitigate these conflicts, this paper examines how the professional and collaborative experiences of academics shape their perceptions of the barriers to industry collaboration. Using a rich dataset of UK academics, we find that perceived barriers to collaboration are lower for academics with industrial and collaborative experience and for those who trust their industry partners. However, for the transactional costs of industry engagement, we find entrepreneurial experience and the diversity of methods used to collaborate with industry increases the perceived barriers to collaboration. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved.