Non-R&D-Intensive Firms’ Innovation Sourcing

  • Oliver SomEmail author
  • Eva Kirner
  • Angela Jäger


In times of increasing technological complexity and innovation dynamics, firms are no longer willing or able to have all the necessary knowledge and competences available within their enterprises. It is becoming increasingly more important for firms to explore and exploit external sources of knowledge and innovation impulses if they follow an open innovation approach. Based on novel empirical firm-level data, this chapter examines the types of external sources of knowledge and innovation impulses on which firms with different levels of R&D intensity rely and the types of external partners with which they interact in innovation collaborations. The findings show that both non-R&D-performing and non-R&D-intensive firms succeed in tapping into external sources of innovation knowledge but that they are more oriented towards practical and implicit stocks of knowledge coming from partners along their value chains or markets compared with R&D-intensive firms. As a result, both types of firms have large unused potential with regard to their collaboration activities, especially those with external R&D organisations.


Firm Size Innovation Performance External Partner Collaboration Activity Innovation Resource 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Competence Center Industrial and Service InnovationsFraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISIKarlsruheGermany
  2. 2.Furtwangen University (FHU)Villingen-SchwenningenGermany

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