To Collaborate or Not to Collaborate? A Study of the Value of Innovation from a Sectoral Perspective
Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 43-79, March 2016
37 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2015 Last revised: 29 Jul 2016
Date Written: October 1, 2014
The purpose of this study is to examine the link between collaboration and innovation. Recent years have witnessed hype over the need for collaborations in the innovation process. A vast literature supports the notion that collaboration leads to more innovations. Less heard are claims that collaboration might hinder innovation. This study offers empirical data on the sectoral level for two reasons: scientific research is mostly corporate; the data are collected from the stem cell industry in Israel, in which the research is conducted by research organizations. No inventors work in this field alone due to high costs of research and development (R&D). The focus on this industry provides a unique opportunity to examine the entire population and not make do with just a sample.
The data include patent-based indicators of the value of innovations. Regression results support the notion of collaboration as an innovation generator, but also shed light on the nature of knowledge produced by collaborations. Collaborative patents are cited more, and they also encompass more primary and groundbreaking knowledge, as opposed to knowledge embedded in non-collaborative patents.
For the first time this study provides systematic evidence of the innovative value of collaborative patents, and thus tips the scale in favor of those supporting the establishment of collaborations.
From a policy perspective, a sound innovation policy should take into account that innovation ecosystem is organized in the form of Quadruple Helix, but more impotently, that to foster cross-sectoral collaborations, an emphasis must be placed especially on motivating firms to include in their Targeted Open Innovation Strategy, the main strategy employed by firms operating in the Quadruple Helix ecosystem, the initiation of cross-sectoral collaborations.
This paper shows the need for a more open innovation ecosystem, and calls for further research to assess the targeted partners.
Keywords: Innovation, collaboration, Quadruple Helix framework, Targeted Open Innovation, patent-based indicators, forward citations, regression analysis, stem cells.
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