University–Industry Interactions in the Global South
Edited by Eduardo Albuquerque, Wilson Suzigan, Glenda Kruss and Keun Lee
Chapter 5: Relevance of university–industry links for firms from developing countries: exploring different surveys
The impressive growth of the literature on National Systems of Innovation (NSIs) since the 1990s reflects the approach’s current influence on dealing with the innovation and economic performance of countries and regions (Fagerberg and Sapprasert 2011). An NSI1 approach includes universities and public research institutes (PRIs) as one set of crucial constituent organizations. Nevertheless, conceptualization of the actual role they play within innovation systems, as Mowery and Sampat (2005) point out, is still controversial and varies considerably over time, across industrial sectors and countries, and among academic experts and policymakers. Since the 1970s, when declines in public research funding affected universities in many Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and the costs of industrial research soared (Nelson and Rosenberg 1993), the role of universities and PRIs in NSIs has come into focus in innovation studies. The call is for more investigation and empirical accounts of the knowledge flows between academic organizations and firms, both in developed and developing countries. As innovation outputs underpin the growth of a national or regional product, a more accurate understanding of the role of universities and PRIs should inform the policymaker.
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