University Research, Industrial R&D, and the Anchor Tenant Hypothesis

46 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2002 Last revised: 1 May 2013

See all articles by Ajay Agrawal

Ajay Agrawal

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Iain M. Cockburn

Boston University Questrom School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 2002

Abstract

We examine geographic concentration, agglomeration, and co-location of university research and industrial R&D in three technological areas: medical imaging, neural networks, and signal processing. Using data on scientific publications and patents as indicators of university research and industrial R&D, we find strong evidence of geographic concentration in both activities at the level of MSAs. While evidence for agglomeration (in the sense of excess' concentration relative to the size of MSAs and the size distribution of research labs) of research in these fields is mixed, we do find strong evidence of co-location of upstream and downstream activity. We view such co-located vertically connected activities as constituents of a local innovation system,' and these appear to vary markedly in their ability to convert local academic research into local commercial innovation. We develop and test the hypothesis that the presence of a large, local, R&D-intensive firm an anchor tenant' enhances the productivity of local innovation systems by making local university research more likely to be absorbed by and to stimulate local industrial R&D. Presence of anchor tenant firms may be an important factor in stimulating both the demand and supply sides of local markets for innovation and may be an important channel for transmission of spillovers. While our empirical results are preliminary, they indicate that anchor tenant technology firms may be an economically important aspect of the institutional structure of local economies.

Suggested Citation

Agrawal, Ajay and Cockburn, Iain M., University Research, Industrial R&D, and the Anchor Tenant Hypothesis (September 2002). NBER Working Paper No. w9212. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=332256

Ajay Agrawal

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Iain M. Cockburn (Contact Author)

Boston University Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02215
United States
617-353-3775 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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