Working with Distant Researchers - Distance and Content in University-Industry Interaction

31 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2010

See all articles by Anders Broström

Anders Broström

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH); Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) - Center of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

Date Written: April 3, 2010

Abstract

This paper studies the role of geographic proximity for interaction on R&D, by exploring the special case of formalised university-industry interaction in the engineering sector. While numerous studies find that geographic proximity facilitates spillover effects between university and industry by utilising evidence from e.g. patenting and publishing activities, the geographical dimension is largely understudied in studies that report evidence from direct interaction. A series of interviews with R&D managers suggests that linkages in geographical proximity are more likely than distant linkages to generate impulses to innovation and create significant learning effects at the firm. Similarly, geographic proximate interaction is more likely to successfully contribute to R&D projects with short time to market. For long-term R&D projects, geographic proximity is generally seen as a less critical factor. A survey to 425 R&D managers in Swedish engineering firms provides evidence that supports these hypotheses.

Keywords: proximity, geography, R&D, university-industry, engineering

JEL Classification: O31, O32, O38

Suggested Citation

Broström, Anders, Working with Distant Researchers - Distance and Content in University-Industry Interaction (April 3, 2010). Research Policy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1697461

Anders Broström (Contact Author)

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) ( email )

Lindstedtsvägen 30-100 44
Stockholm, SE-100 44
Sweden

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) - Center of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies ( email )

Drottning Kristinas väg 30
Stockholm, SE-100 44
Sweden

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