Managing Open Innovation
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Managing Open Innovation

Connecting the Firm to External Knowledge

André Spithoven, Peter Teirlinck and Dirk Frantzen

Open innovation is about firms’ external relations with other firms and organisations. It is a topic which has attracted an immense amount of attention, but which has also been heavily criticised due to the diversity of the ideas and fuzziness of its key concepts. To date, the bulk of the literature on open innovation draws on case study material to illustrate the operation of firms in an anecdotal way. By contrast, this book examines open innovation practices by using large-scale datasets and stresses their impact on firm performance. The authors examine four key issues: differences between firms in open innovation practices, public funding to enhance external relations, R & D outsourcing of firms, and the role of human resources in R & D and innovation.
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Chapter 6: The Impact of Public Funding for Research on Private–Public Research Cooperation

André Spithoven, Peter Teirlinck and Dirk Frantzen


6.1 INTRODUCTION In innovation policy circles in Europe and the OECD there has, in the past two decades, been a growing awareness of the importance of fostering cooperative research (European Commission, 2003; OECD, 2001). This is reflected by an increasing proportion of public funding awarded by the various regional, national and EU authorities to cooperative research networks rather than individual organisations. There are many types of partners eligible for research cooperation: firms (clients, suppliers, competitors); private organisations (consultants, R&D laboratories); and public organisations (universities, polytechnics, public research centres) (OECD, 2005; Tether and Tajar, 2008). The focus of this chapter is on the latter category, which is presumed to cover ‘science’. Industry–science relationships are thought to be instrumental for the transfer of knowledge and technology. The ultimate importance of industry– science relationships can be found in the stimulating effect they have (or, at least, are supposed to have) on economic development or growth and therefore welfare (European Commission, 2008). The starting point of this chapter is the literature on behavioural additionality of public funding for research, and, more particularly, the impact of public funding on industry–science cooperation. At least three areas for improvement can be identified in most of the empirical literature related to this topic. First, there are very few studies that consider the mix of public funding for industry–science cooperation when considering the relationship between public funding and cooperation. Analyses are mostly restricted to one specific type/program of public funding (see for example, Miotti and...

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