Proximity and the use of public science by innovative European firms

Arundel, Anthony and Geuna, Aldo (2004) Proximity and the use of public science by innovative European firms. Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 13 (6). pp. 559-580. ISSN 1043-8599

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We use the results of the policies, appropriation and competitiveness in Europe (PACE) 1993 survey of Europe's largest firms to explore the effect of proximity on knowledge flows from affiliated firms, suppliers, customers, joint ventures, competitors and public research organisations to innovative firms. The focus is on the last. First, we find that public science is among the most important sources of technical knowledge for the innovative activities of Europe's largest industrial firms. Then, after comparing the PACE results with the Community Innovation Survey II (1997) and the Carnegie Mellon Survey (1994), we use the unique information from the PACE survey on the geographic location of knowledge sources and the methods used to access them to develop an econometric analysis of proximity and location. The importance of proximity for sourcing knowledge from public research increases with the quality and output of domestic public research organisations and the importance given to public science by the respondents. It declines with an increase in the firm's R&D expenditure, activity in the North American market and the importance to the firm of codified basic research results. Surprisingly, firms that find informal contacts to be an important method for acquiring public research results are more likely to find proximity less important, even though proximity allows firms to access tacit knowledge. This effect is primarily limited to European countries, suggesting the development of a ‘European Research Area’.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This paper focuses on the use of public science by firms. Contrary to most findings and especially those from the CIS, the data on large EU firms included in Dr Arundel¿s PACE Report indicate that public science is the most important external knowledge source. Domestic sources (within-country) are seen as more valuable than foreign, but against expectation, tacitness of knowledge does not seem to account for this proximity effect. Dr Geuna's contribution was 50% including sole responsibility for sections 2 and 4.2-4.5.
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Aldo Geuna
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:07
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2012 13:03
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