Proceedings of ECIE 2010 The 5th European Conference on Entrepreneurship and Innovation pages:611-620
ECIE 2010 edition:5 location:Athens date:16-17 September
The literature on ‘distributed’ and ‘open’ innovation emphasizes the need for enterprises to exchange external knowledge in order to perform R&D and to innovate. This paper focuses on research partnerships as a way to do so. More particularly, a distinction is made between the development and the exchange of in house knowledge in formal research cooperation agreements. Learning efficiency in absorbing external knowledge, reduction of outgoing spillovers, and access to tacit knowledge and know-how are main drivers for research cooperation and are largely related to capabilities in terms of internal R&D employment. Using micro-level data provided by the OECD business R&D survey for Belgium, insights are offered in the way R&D personnel qualifications and occupations are related to knowledge generation in R&D collaboration. More specifically, it is demonstrated that both the occupational positions and the level of education of R&D managers and researchers are positively related to knowledge development and knowledge exchange in formal R&D collaboration agreements. Moreover, in terms of absorptive capacity it is found that patent registration and innovative outputs are positively related to the propensity to engage in knowledge development in R&D collaboration, but not to the engagement of knowledge exchange in R&D collaboration.