The role of universities in supporting economic development has been explored in studies emphasizing the mechanisms of technology transfer and knowledge spillover. However, in addition to these forms of intellectual capital, university scientists bring other resources into research collaboration and contribute to firm partnerships in both direct and indirect ways. This paper develops the concept of resource spillover, which captures the various ways in which firms can benefit from collaborations with university scientists. The study categorizes the resources possessed by university scientists into intellectual capital, social capital, and positional capital, and tests the impact of each on the performance of firms. Using a sample of new nanotechnology-based firms in the USA, the study finds that the benefits to firms from university scientist research collaboration include enhancements to perceived research capacity and technology potential, which in turn may increase chances of securing external funding.
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This does not mean that SBIR awards are equally distributed, since successful companies tend to be located in major US regional technology clusters. However, by US state (in 2006), the distribution of SBIR awards (Gini coefficient of 0.654) is less unequal than for venture capital deals (Gini coefficient of 0.792). In 2006, the top five states garnered 67.3% of US venture capital deals; in the same year, the top five states for SBIR phase 1 awards received 48.2% of all awards. [Sources: analysis of FY 2006 SBIR phase 1 statistics by state (State Science and Technology Institute, http://www.ssti.org/Digest/Tables/120507t.htm) and 2006 US venture capital investment activity data (PriceWaterhouseCoopers MoneyTree Report, http://www.pwcmoneytree.com)].
Sales information for 37 firms is missing. Therefore, the statistics on sales are calculated based on the remaining 193 firms.
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This article is based upon research supported in part by the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University under National Science Foundation Grant No. 0531194. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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Wang, J., Shapira, P. Partnering with universities: a good choice for nanotechnology start-up firms?. Small Bus Econ 38, 197–215 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11187-009-9248-9
- Resource spillover
- University-industry relationship