The Production of Academic Technological Knowledge: an Exploration at the Research Group Level
Public research institutions have a key role in a knowledge-based society as they lead scientific research and generate patentable technology directly applicable to industrial productive processes. In this paper, we address the latter role. Several well-known papers have dealt with the production of university patents at the level of universities and laboratories; however, despite the relevance of research groups in national research systems, their capacity as producers of patents has been neglected. In this paper, we fill this gap by testing the effect of previous collaborations and the scientific background of the group on the production of knowledge, measured by the number of patents. In the framework of a knowledge production function, we estimate several empirical count models with a sample of 1120 research groups affiliated to the three major public research institutions in Spain. Our findings suggest that the production of patents at the research group level is positively and significantly correlated with the variables capturing private collaboration and scientific background. The results also point to significant differences in the production of technological knowledge across institutions and areas of research.
KeywordsCollaboration Knowledge production function Patents Research group
JEL ClassificationO31 O38 C21
The authors are very grateful to two anonymous reviewers for constructive and insightful comments on earlier versions of this paper.
This research is supported by a grant from the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (ECO2016-79436-R).
- Amabile, T. M. (1996). Creativity in context. Colorado: Westview Press, Boulder.Google Scholar
- Ardito, L., Ferraris, A., Petruzzelli, A. M., Bresciani, S., & Del Giudice, M. (2018). The role of universities in the knowledge management of smart city projects. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2018.07.030.
- Braczyk, H. J., Cooke, P. N., & Heidenreich, M. (Eds.). (1998). Regional innovation systems: the role of governances in a globalized world. London: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- Carayannis, E. G., Grigoroudis, E., Campbell, D. F., Meissner, D., & Stamati, D. (2018). The ecosystem as helix: an exploratory theory-building study of regional co-opetitive entrepreneurial ecosystems as quadruple/quintuple Helix innovation models. R&D Management, 48(1), 148–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Griliches, Z. (1990). Patent statistics as economic indicators: a survey. Journal of Economic Literature, 28, 1661–1707.Google Scholar
- Hausman, J.A., Hall, B.H., and Griliches, Z. (1984). Econometric models for count data with an application to the patents-R&D relationship. Econometrica, (pre-1986) 52, 909.Google Scholar
- Hemlin, S., Allwood, C. M., & Martin, B. R. (2004). Creative knowledge environments: the influences on creativity in research and innovation. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
- Hormiga, E., de Saá-Pérez, P., Díaz-Díaz, N. L., Ballesteros-Rodríguez, J. L., & Aguiar-Diaz, I. (2017). The influence of entrepreneurial orientation on the performance of academic research groups: the mediating role of knowledge sharing. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 42(1), 10–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lundvall, B. A. (1992). National systems of innovation: an analytical framework. London: Pinter.Google Scholar
- Marozau, R., Guerrero, M., & Urbano, D. (2016). Impacts of universities in different stages of economic development. Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Advanced online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13132-016-0359-7.
- Nelson, R. R. (Ed.). (1993). National innovation systems: a comparative analysis. New York and London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Vabo, A., Alvsvåg, A., Kyvik, S., & Reymert, I. (2016). The establishment of formal research groups in higher education institutions. Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, 2(2–3), 1–11.Google Scholar
- Vuong, Q. H. (1989). Likelihood ratio tests for model selection and non-nested hypotheses (pp. 307–333). Econometrica: Journal of the Econometric Society.Google Scholar
- Weckowska, D. M., Molas-Gallart, J., Tang, P., Twigg, D., Castro-Martínez, E., Kijeńska-Dąbrowska, I., Libaers, D., Debackere, K., & Meyer, M. (2018). University patenting and technology commercialization–legal frameworks and the importance of local practice. R&D Management, 48(1), 88–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wooldridge, J. M. (2003). Introductory econometrics (2nd ed.). Mason Ohio: South-Western.Google Scholar