Composition of inventor teams and technological progress – The role of collaboration between academia and industryby Friedrich Dornbusch, Peter Neuhäusler

Research Policy

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Research Policy 44 (2015) 1360–1375

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Research Policy jo ur nal ho me p age: www.elsev ier .com/ locate / respol

Composition of inventor teams and technologica of colla ry

Friedrich a Fraunhofer M b Fraunhofer In , Bresl c Berlin Univer 3 Berl a r t i c l

Article history:

Received 25 A

Received in re

Accepted 13 A

Keywords:

Research colla

Academic pate

Technological

Germany

Inventor team s pro direc t con venti atas ction h pre s wi 1. Introduction

The literature on knowledge based economic development has made essen technologic tion of studi increasing i nizations in

Grodal, 200 the links b cations for research in creation an ded process social netw and industr nological kn relevant. R& ferred way reciprocal a ∗ Correspon

Germany. Tel.:

E-mail ad peter.neuhaeu circulation of ideas between theory and practice (Perkmann and

Walsh, 2007, 2009). In sum, border-crossing team work and interorganizational collaboration activities can be seen as one of the http://dx.doi.o 0048-7333/© tial contributions in proving that basic science fosters al progress (Adams, 1990; Jaffe, 1989). A new generaes on networks and open science additionally reveals an mportance of sourcing knowledge from external orgageneral and from universities in particular (Powell and 5; Cohen et al., 2002). However, further understanding etween university and industry has significant implipublic policy and the rationales beyond funding basic universities as well as firms. In this context, knowledge d innovation are increasingly seen as a socially embed, which is highly dependent on inter-organizational and orks. Particularly in collaborations between universities y, the often tacit nature of advanced scientific and techowledge makes relationship-based interactions highly

D collaborations based on relationships are the pres of exchange, enabling regular face-to-face contacts, nd bi-directional knowledge exchanges as well as the ding author at: Fraunhofer MOEZ, Neumarkt 9-19, 04109 Leipzig, +49 341 231039 401. dresses: friedrich.dornbusch@moez.fraunhofer.de (F. Dornbusch), sler@isi.fraunhofer.de (P. Neuhäusler). most important mechanisms of knowledge flows from university to industry. This finds further support in the fact that potential tensions and cultural barriers between university and industry – due to different institutional norms governing public and private knowledge – can be overcome in trust-based interactions where corporate and academic researchers act as boundary spanners (Bruneel et al., 2010).

However, although there is a huge body of literature on the ties between universities and firms, few studies aimed at understanding the performance effect of direct industry-science links, especially on the invention or project level (Cassiman et al., 2008).

Empirical evidence on the impact of academic involvement in corporate inventive performance remains weak (Ahrweiler et al., 2011). Quantitative studies, often based on single sectors, use indirect ways to measure the impact of academic research on industrial innovation, e.g. spillover studies using a knowledge production function (Jaffe et al., 1993). Others employ patent citations to nonpatent literature (NPL) as a proxy for science linkages (Fleming and

Sorenson, 2004; Harhoff et al., 2003; Narin et al., 1997) and provide interesting, but at least partly inconclusive results (Cassiman et al., 2008). NPL-citations, however, are a fragile measure for links to science. This is due to the fact that NPL-citations remain indirect, i.e., the real link and the true contribution of science cannot rg/10.1016/j.respol.2015.04.003 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.boration between academia and indust

Dornbuscha,c,∗, Peter Neuhäuslerb,c

OEZ, Neumarkt 9-19, 04109 Leipzig, Germany stitute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, Competence Center Policy and Regions sity of Technology, Chair of Innovation Economics, Müller-Breslau-Strasse VWS 2, 1062 e i n f o ugust 2013 vised form 9 April 2015 pril 2015 boration nts impact a b s t r a c t

It is generally claimed that universitie empirical evidence of the impact of often inconsistent. This paper aims a involvement affects the output of in backgrounds. By applying a unique d boundary-spanning knowledge produ of SMEs and MNEs. Finally, in line wit of geographical proximity, while teaml progress – The role auer Strasse 48, 76139 Karlsruhe, Germany in, Germany vide the scientific basis for future technological progress. Still, t links between universities and firms remains weak and is tributing to the literature by analyzing how direct academic ve activities of research teams with different organizational et of German academic and corporate patents, we find that with academic inventors raises the innovative performance vious research, the results generally indicate a limiting effect th academic involvement appear to be less affected. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

F. Dornbusch, P. Neuhäusler / Research Policy 44 (2015) 1360–1375 1361 be observed, since searching and using codified scientific knowledge is fundamentally different from relationship-based links. It is particularly the person-to-person interaction that matters in the transfer of highly advanced technological knowledge. Empirical approaches, using direct links to measure the influence of academic involvement are, to our knowledge, largely missing. A number of studies, coming closest to our approach, use forward and backward citations to patents as indicators to analyze the quality or techn (e.g., Czarn

Sampat et a

Czarnitzki e patents tha and provid universities results and our approa knowledge different fro

Firstly, w alyzing effe for the inno the frequen from subse by accounti of existing k references contributio cal path. At relies on ex measure th the degree amount of e if an invent generate la catalyst. Sec in depth arg