Universities' Role as Knowledge Sources for Product Innovations
38 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2013
Date Written: July 2013
This study verified innovation objectives for Japanese SMEs' access to university knowledge the effects of university knowledge on innovation outcomes. The analysis found the following three points. First, Japanese SMEs do not access university knowledge strategically according to innovation objectives but decide whether to use university knowledge in consideration of such factors as proactive R&D spending, financial constraints on innovations and the effectiveness of legal means to secure profit from innovations. Next, product innovations for "improving product or service quality," "expanding product or service lineups," "replacing existing products or services" and "exploring new markets" can lead to financial successes without university knowledge, rather than with such knowledge. Finally, the utilization of university knowledge does not necessarily lead to greater technological capabilities. In Japan, science, technology and innovation policy has strongly encouraged university-industry collaboration from later 1990’s aiming to support innovation activities for SMEs. The results of this study do not confirm the total effects of the policy.
Keywords: product innovation, knowledge source, university, innovation objectives, SME
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