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Innovation, Growth and Social Cohesion

The Danish Model

Bengt-Åke Lundvall

Written by the scholar who, together with Chris Freeman, first introduced the concept of the innovation system, this book brings the literature an important step forward. Based upon extraordinarily rich empirical material, it shows how and why competence building and innovation are crucial for economic growth and competitiveness in the current era. It also provides a case study of a small, very successful European economy combining wealth creation with social cohesion.
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Chapter 11: Collaboration between Firms and Knowledge Institutions

The Danish Model

Bengt-Åke Lundvall


In this chapter1 we will examine more closely the collaboration between firms and knowledge institutions in Denmark.2 The concept of knowledge institutions includes both those involved in technological consulting (private consulting firms as well as the certified technological service institutes, in Danish abbreviated ‘GTS institutes’) and research (that is, universities and sector-specific applied research institutes). Our focus is still on competence creation within the individual firm either through the purchase of knowledge or through network collaboration. The presentation here is built in part on the same survey data as referred to in the previous chapter. This means that this portion of the analysis focuses on collaboration in connection with product development in manufacturing firms. But these data are supplemented with personal interviews with key persons in firms and knowledge institutions and with other data and sources available to the DISKO project. One important result that appears in the international comparison with Norway and Austria is that national collaboration patterns have retained their characteristics to a great degree; this also holds true for the Danish innovation system. One characteristic of the Danish pattern is that collaboration with other firms is more widespread than in the other two countries. The level of collaboration of Danish manufacturing firms with the technological consultancy network is at the same level as that found in the other countries, while the collaboration with universities and sector research institutes is significantly less developed. These Danish deviations from an average of other countries cannot, however, be used directly to...

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