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Title: The innovative capacity of academic research groups involved in university-industry collaboration
Author: Ranga, Liana Marina.
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis examines the concept of innovative capacity of academic research groups as a key element of University potential to engage in partnerships with Industry and to contribute to innovation and economic growth. The innovative capacity of entrepreneurial academic research groups is defined here by two components, i.e. the innovative input (measured by University- Industry collaborative projects) and the innovative output (measured by publications, patents and spin-offs). The two components are shown to exert significant reciprocal effects, in parallel with being also subject to complex external (economic and policy) factors, at local, regional and international/supranational levels. This conceptual framework attempts thus to build a more systemic and integrated vision of University-Industry interactions, by examining together a few specific elements that have been most often looked at separately in the literature. The originality of the approach relies not only on a fine-grained analysis of University-Industry players, at the micro-level of academic research groups, but also on a conceptual framework that combines innovation models (e.g. National Innovation Systems and the Triple Helix model, basic principles of the economics of knowledge production) with elements of knowledge-based theories of industrial organisation (e.g. environment-organisation linkages, the explorationexploitation dichotomy) and recent considerations on research groups as the unit of modem research, given the increasingly collective nature of research. This combined framework is expected to shed light on several points of convergence between academic and business R&D, in the spirit of increasing evidence of similarities between entrepreneurial academic groups and innovative business firms, signalled in recent literature. The analysis is based on a sample of 22 academic research groups involved in University- Industry linkages over the 16-year period 1985-2000, covering a wide range of research fields at the Flemish Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the largest Belgian university and one with an impressive record of entrepreneurial activities. The results obtained for this university are further examined in the international context, highlighting similarities or differences or, most often, the lack of comparable data. Our multidimensional analysis revealed a number of findings and associated policy implications that suggest that the scientific and entrepreneurial performance of academic research groups have an amplifying effect on each other. At the same time, they are shaped by external academic, economic and policy environment factors that influence the structure and the sectoral distribution of University-Industry partnerships. The analysis also suggests that, as a consequence of substantive changes in the management of academic and industrial R&D over the last decades, entrepreneurial academic research groups seem to develop firm-like capabilities that may have profound implications on the patterns of knowledge production in the years to come.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available