The Handbook of Innovation and Services
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The Handbook of Innovation and Services

A Multi-disciplinary Perspective

Edited by Faïz Gallouj and Faridah Djellal

This Handbook brings together 49 international specialists to address an issue of increasing importance for the world’s post-industrial economies; innovation as it relates to services.
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Chapter 7: The Economics of Knowledge Interaction and the Changing Role of Universities

Cristiano Antonelli, Pier Paolo Patrucco and Federica Rossi


Cristiano Antonelli, Pier Paolo Patrucco and Federica Rossi 7.1 Introduction The key role of interactions in order to understand the dynamics of economic systems is increasingly appreciated. Interactions among agents are at the origin of the endogenous change of both preferences and technologies (Lane, 1993; Lane and Maxfield, 2005; Durlauf, 2005). Within advanced economies, based upon the production and use of services, the organization and implementation of interactions between a variety of business partners and institutions becomes a central issue in the generation and dissemination of knowledge. Within economic systems, agents do more than exchange and trade: they interact, in that they share and barter tacit knowledge and specific competencies. Such knowledge interactions take place vertically in the context of user–producer transactions that parallel market transactions, horizontally among firms engaged in competitive relationships, and diagonally among firms and other institutions. The intentional pursuit of qualified interactions, their organization and exploitation, are increasingly seen as effective innovative strategies that enable the generation of new knowledge by allowing access to external complementary knowledge (Antonelli, 2008b). The new understanding of the dynamics of knowledge generation parallels major institutional and organizational changes in the universities’ characteristics and modes of operation. The traditional ‘open science’ and ‘knowledge Mode 1’ models are being challenged by new organizational forms of the university, as described by the ‘Mode 2’, the ‘entrepreneurial science’ and the ‘triple helix’ models. These models have revisited an array of elements that typically characterize different systems of scientific knowledge creation and distribution: (1)...

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