The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 21–48 | Cite as

Do firms located in science and technology parks enhance innovation performance? The effect of absorptive capacity

  • Fernando Ubeda
  • Marta Ortiz-de-Urbina-Criado
  • Eva-María Mora-ValentínEmail author


This paper shows that the effect of location in science and technology parks is not homogeneous for all firms. The proposed model contemplates a non-linear relationship between belonging to a science and technology park and innovation performance, considering the firm’s absorptive capacity as a moderating variable. A panel dataset of firms located both in and off a park is created, and three main effects are identified. Pre-catching up firms have a low absorptive capacity, and their location in a science and technology park does not improve their innovation performance. Catching up firms have a medium absorptive capacity and constitute the group that can be observed to benefit more by their presence in a science and technology park. Additionally, pre-frontier sharing firms has a high absorptive capacity; however, knowledge duplicity reduces the impact of science and technology parks on their innovation performance. Findings arise practical implications for governments (how to assign public resources to parks?), managers of parks (how to select to the firms of a park?) and managers who need to decide about the convenience of locating their companies on a park (when my company is interested in locating in a park?).


Science park Technology park Innovation performance Absorptive capacity Non-linear relationship 

JEL Classification

M15 O32 O39 



This work was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of Spain (ECO2015-67434-R and ECO2017-85356-P) and for the Regional Government of Madrid and European Social Fund (EARLYFIN, S2015/HUM-3353).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y EmpresarialesUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas y SocialesUniversidad Rey Juan CarlosMadridSpain

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