New Empirical Methods and Simulation Techniques
Edited by Pier Paolo Saviotti
Chapter 4: The Evolution of Specialization: Public Research in the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries
1 Aldo Geuna 1. INTRODUCTION Although wide agreement exists among scholars and practitioners on the contribution of public research – that is, scientiﬁc research performed at public research institutes and universities – to the process of industrial innovation, nevertheless, different and sometimes conﬂicting measures of the relevance of its contribution have been proposed. Given the complexity and non-linearity of the innovation process, the quantitative or even qualitative measurement of rates of return to the investment in public research has proven difﬁcult (Martin et al., 1996; Smith and Barﬁeld, 1996). The purpose of this chapter is twofold. On the one hand, it aims to contribute to the debate over the relationship between public scientiﬁc research and industrial innovation, analysing, in particular, the importance of distance in the process of knowledge transfer from public research to industrial innovation. On the other hand, given the importance played by publications and technical reports in the process of knowledge transfer, it examines the evolution of scientiﬁc specialization of the four largest European countries (the UK, Germany, France and Italy), the EU as a whole, the US, and Japan in the chemical and pharmaceutical ﬁelds. On the basis of the results of the PACE (Policies, Appropriateness and Competitiveness in Europe) survey (the PACE questionnaire surveyed the largest R&D performing industrial ﬁrms in the twelve EU countries in 1993) two main issues were analysed. First, whether the knowledge produced by public research institutes and universities is viewed by industrialists as important to...
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