PRIME Series on Research and Innovation Policy in Europe
Edited by Massimo G. Colombo, Luca Grilli, Lucia Piscitello and Cristina Rossi-Lamastra
Chapter 5: Developing Technology in the Vicinity of Science: Do Firms Benefit? An Overview and Empirical Assessment on the Level of Italian Provinces
Bart Leten, Paolo Landoni and Bart Van Looy INTRODUCTION Since the seminal work of Schumpeter (1934) and Solow (1957), the idea that economic growth relies on the production of new knowledge has gained wide acceptance. Firms are investing considerable resources in research and development leading to new innovative products and processes. The inherently uncertain nature of R&D, the increasing complexity of products and production processes, and the growing costs of R&D activities have inspired many firms to search for external knowledge sources to complement internal R&D efforts (Von Hippel 1988; Chesbrough 2003). Universities are perceived by firms as an important external knowlegde source for their internal R&D activities, both for the suggestion of new R&D projects and for the completion of existing projects (Cohen et al. 2002; Arundel and Geuna 2004). A significant body of literature in the fields of economic geography and technological innovation has studied the effects of university research on the technological performance of firms (Del Barrio-Castro and GarciaQuevedo 2005). Since the seminal work of Jaffe (1989), most empirical investigations have been aggregate in nature, implementing the knowledge production framework of Griliches (1979) at the level of geographic areas. While these studies (Jaffe 1989; Acs et al. 1991, 1994; Feldman and Florida 1994; Anselin et al. 1997, 2000; Piergiovanni et al. 1997; Blind and Grupp 1999; Autant-Bernard 2001; Piergiovanni and Santarelli 2001; Fischer and Varga 2003; Del Barrio-Castro and Garcia-Quevedo 2005; Buesa et al. 2006) vary somewhat in terms of their research...
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