Meeting the Innovation Challenge
Edited by John Bessant and Tim Venables
Chapter 13: What are the Factors that Drive the Engagement of Academic Researchers in Knowledge Transfer Activities? Some Reflections for Future Research
13. What are the factors that drive the engagement of academic researchers in knowledge transfer activities? Some reﬂections for future research Pablo D’Este and Andy Neely 1. INTRODUCTION This chapter provides a review and commentary on the literature concerning knowledge transfer, with the objective of highlighting the major streams of research and constructing a general framework of the research in this area. Additionally, the chapter provides original data to complement some of the points raised by the literature review. The review presented in this chapter shows that the literature on knowledge transfer activities between university and business remains fragmented and inconclusive in two crucial respects.1 First, there is a lack of understanding both about who in academia interacts with industry, and why they interact. Second, there is the contested question of the impact of knowledge transfer activities on both the quality and quantity of academic research and innovation. These two issues are particularly important for those responsible for formulating policy in the area of business and university collaboration. On the one hand, a better understanding of the mechanisms that shape the inclination of researchers to interact with industry, and the most pervasive channels through which such interactions occur, should contribute to the formulation of more nuanced and eﬀective policies. On the other hand, by understanding the implications that university–business interactions have not only for business innovation, but also for the quality and quantity of academic research, we will be better positioned to infer some normative implications regarding...
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