Chapter 10: Exploring knowledge-transfer dynamics in a South European region: breadth, intensity and informality of university-industry interactions in Andalusia
Innovation studies and policies are increasingly interested in knowledge valorization of the capabilities available in universities. Although the knowledge reservoir accumulated by the academic sector may have considerable value for firm innovation, in many regional environments firms experience significant gaps in turning research results into business, especially in peripheral regions where most firms are small and medium sized and do not work on knowledge-intensive processes. In these regional contexts it is important to take into account the fact that valorization is diverse and occurs through several channels. Knowledge transfer processes between universities and firms largely exceed the restricted vision of science commercialization that is based on IPR licensing and spin-off creation. Firms draw from universities in multiple ways, including human-resources training, use of university facilities, contract research, consultancy, public– private partnerships, collaborative projects and exchange of personnel, among others. In addition, informal interpersonal contacts are believed to play an important role in university-industry links. Therefore it is especially relevant to investigate the conditions that favour the diversity of contacts and collaborative activities between sectors.
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