Types of knowledge and diversity of business-academia collaborations: implications for measurement and policy

in Triple Helix

Analysis of business-academia (B-A) collaborations typically relies on a single method, addressing one or two major research questions. In contrast, this article tackles both research and development (R&D) and innovation collaborations among businesses and academia relying on information using multiple methods and multiple sources of information to offer insights on dynamics and qualitative features of these co-operation processes. Interviews conducted in Hungary—in line with other research findings—have also confirmed that (i) motivations, incentives for, and norms of conducting R&D and innovation activities diametrically differ in business and academia; and (ii) different types of firms have different needs. Thus, more refined policy measures are to be devised to promote B-A collaboration more effectively, better tuned to the needs of the actors, based on a relevant taxonomy of their co-operations. Evaluation criteria for academics should also be revised to remove some major obstacles, currently blocking more fruitful B-A co-operation. Several findings can be generalised beyond the cases considered, suggesting the need for a deeper understanding of the role of intermediaries in the Triple Helix and for broader comparative analysis of innovation policies. The research design to analyse B-A collaborations always needs to be tailored to the innovation system in question, just as the concomitant policy recommendations.

JEL Classification: O38; O33

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