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Same But Different? Research And Technology Organizations, Universities And The Innovation Activities Of Firms

Eleni Giannopoulou, Pierre-Jean Barlatier, J. Pénin
Published 2019 · Economics

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Research and Technology Organizations (RTOs) and universities are important elements of countries’ innovation systems. As they are both halfway between science and industry, they are often considered to be the same thing. However, recent studies have stressed the differences between the two. In this paper, we analyze the innovative characteristics (impacts and types of innovation and internal R&D investments) of firms that collaborate with RTOs versus universities. Our study is based on statistical analysis of Community Innovation Survey micro-data (CIS 2012). Our results suggest that firms that see RTOs as more important sources of knowledge than universities have a higher probability of developing service innovation, invest less in internal R&D but are less likely to introduce new, groundbreaking innovations into the market. These results have significant policy and management implications, especially regarding the different but complementary contributions offered respectively by RTOs and universities.
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