The Impact of University Patenting on the Technological Specialization of European Regions: A Technology-Level Analysis
23 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2022
This study investigates the relationship between the entry of a university in a new technological field and the innovative activities of firms located in the same geographical area. We aim to assess the presence of a correlation between academic research and regional technological specialization. The empirical setting relies on a dataset of more than 827.000 patent families, output of 263 European regions and 528 academic institutions. The results of conditional fixed-effect models with binary outcome response indicate a robust and positive relationship between university entry and local specialization in the same technological field. Furthermore, the technological distance between the portfolios of inventions filed by academic institutions and by co-localized firms has a negative impact on the subsequent specialization of the hosting regions, and this effect is amplified in case of university entry. The results are tested on sub-samples that distinguishes low and high-tech fields, and less or more innovative regions. This suggests that: i) the academic developments are more conducive of specialization when they are in more complex technologies due to localized spillover, susceptible to geographical distance; ii) university entry occurring in a developed local innovation ecosystem favors the specialization, thanks to existing collaborations and transmission channels.
Keywords: university patents, Technological Distance, regional specialization, technological co-evolution processes, Innovation
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