The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 285–315 | Cite as

University-industry R&D cooperation in Brazil: a sectoral approach

  • Diego R. de Moraes Silva
  • André T. Furtado
  • Nicholas S. Vonortas


This paper assesses determinants of university-industry R&D cooperation at the sectoral level. Our goal was to discuss the relevance of traditional hypotheses on university-industry linkages to developing countries in light of evidence from Brazil’s Innovation Survey to provide empirical support on the basis of two groups of independent variables: internal characteristics of firms (size, intramural R&D, extramural R&D, product innovativeness, process innovativeness), and external characteristics of markets and policies (economic risk, innovation cost, government funding). We find that for sectors other than the most cooperation-intensive outliers, the main determinants of university-industry collaboration are size, extramural R&D, and product innovativeness. Extramural R&D appears as the dominant determinant and seems to occur at the expense of intramural R&D, suggesting a substitution effect. When the outliers are included in the mix, the main predictors are size, intramural R&D and government funding, providing support to the absorptive capacity argument.


University-industry linkages R&D cooperation Sectoral approach Innovation Surveys Developing countries Brazil 

JEL Classification

L20 O32 O33 



Diego Silva acknowledges the support of the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) through a Ph.D. scholarship and also the Fulbright Foundation and CAPES grant for a visiting scholar position at the Center for International Science and Technology Policy (CISTP) at the George Washington University, USA. He acknowledges as well the infrastructural support of the CISTP and the Department of Science and Technology Policy at University of Campinas (Unicamp), Brazil. Nick Vonortas acknowledges the infrastructural support of the CISTP and also the support of FAPESP through the São Paulo Excellence Chair in technology and innovation policy at Unicamp, Brazil. And, he acknowledges support from the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics within the framework of the subsidy to the HSE by the Russian Academic Excellence Project ‘5-100’. None of these organizations are responsible for the contents of this paper. Remaining mistakes and misconceptions are solely the responsibility of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diego R. de Moraes Silva
    • 1
  • André T. Furtado
    • 1
  • Nicholas S. Vonortas
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Science and Technology PolicyUniversity of CampinasCampinasBrazil
  2. 2.Center for International Science and Technology Policy and Department of EconomicsThe George Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.São Paulo Excellence ChairUniversity of CampinasCampinasBrazil
  4. 4.National Research University Higher School of EconomicsMoscowRussian Federation

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