Partners in innovation: cooperation between firms, universities and research institutes

Lara Burbano, Giovanna
The thesis aims to explore the cooperation of manufacturing industries and service companies, with universities and research institutes, their propensity to cooperate in innovation activities and their impact on innovation performance. In addition, analyse a successful case of cooperation for innovation in a context of crisis. Two empirical studies and a case study were carried out to achieve the objective; two of them are published, and they have been compiled for presentation in the thesis. The empirical studies used data from the Community Innovation Survey CIS 2012 and CIS 2014, applied to companies in Spain that carried out product and process innovations in cooperation with different partners during the study period. On the other hand, in the case study, we conducted interviews to the partners of the Spanish company that developed the innovation and surveys were applied to the members of the innovation community that participated in the co-creation and promoted the innovation in 32 countries. The results obtained in the first study showed significant differences in the firms' innovation performance that cooperated with universities and research institutes when it comes to product innovations new to the market. The analysis carried out by firm size and sector confirmed these results. The logistic regression model carried out in the second study revealed that the probability that a manufacturing industry cooperates with universities and research institutes is more related to its size than to its technology intensity. In contrast, a knowledge-intensive service company is more likely to cooperate than a less knowledge-intensive company, regardless of size. Finally, as a result of the case study analysis, the organisational practices and strategies that facilitated the inbound and outbound innovation processes and co-creation with the innovation community were identified. The thesis makes some contributions for academics, practitioners, and decision-makers to promote and strengthen cooperative relationships with universities and research institutes ​
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