Bridging Academia and Industry: How Geographic Hubs Connect University Science and Corporate Technology

35 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2017 Last revised: 21 Apr 2019

See all articles by Michaël Bikard

Michaël Bikard

INSEAD

Matt Marx

Boston University - Questrom School of Business

Date Written: April 19, 2019

Abstract

Innovative firms rely increasingly on academic science, yet they exploit only a small fraction of all academic discoveries. Which discoveries in academia do firms build upon? We posit that hubs play the role of bridges between academic science and corporate technology. Tracking citations from patents to about 10 million academic articles, we find that hubs facilitate the flow of academic science into corporate inventions in two ways. First, hub-based discoveries in academia are of higher quality and are more applied. Second, firms — in particular young, innovative, science-oriented ones — pay disproportionate attention to hub-based discoveries. We address concerns regarding unobserved heterogeneity by confirming the role of firms’ attention to hub-based science in a set of 147 simultaneous discoveries. Importantly, hubs not only facilitate localized knowledge flows but also extend the geographic reach of academic science, attracting the attention of distant firms.

Keywords: Scientific Diffusion, Patent-To-Paper Citations, Knowledge Flow

JEL Classification: O00, O32

Suggested Citation

Bikard, Michaël A. and Marx, Matt, Bridging Academia and Industry: How Geographic Hubs Connect University Science and Corporate Technology (April 19, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3006859 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3006859

Michaël A. Bikard

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
Fontainebleau, 77300
France

Matt Marx (Contact Author)

Boston University - Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02466
United States

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