University–Industry (U-I) cooperation is defined as “the interaction between any parts of the higher educational system and industry aiming mainly to encourage knowledge and technology exchange” (Ankrah and Al-Tabba 2015). In recent years, we have observed an intensification of this phenomenon based on the common belief that collaborative research by academia and industry may be a powerful source of innovation (Ambos et al. 2008; Mansfield 1998) and generate advantages for both partners. Consequently, in recent years, the phenomenon of U-I cooperation has increased greatly and has begun to include regions that are not at the frontier of innovation and sectors that are not traditionally high-tech. Nevertheless, extant studies overlook the important role of regional contexts in shaping the patterns of U-I cooperation in different regional contexts, including the analysis of how U-I cooperation patterns vary across low-tech and high-tech industries. This paper attempts to fill this gap by exploring patterns of U-I cooperation in four industry-specific clusters in the low-innovative region of Campania (Italy) with regard to three specific aspects (i.e., motivations, barriers and cooperation channels). Overall, our findings contrast the arguments made by previous literature focused on the sectoral effect of U-I collaboration in highly innovative regions by showing that in low-innovative regions, sectoral differences in motivations, channels and barriers of U-I cooperation are less clear-cut or come in different forms than in highly innovative regions. We believe that our study provides an original contribution to the existing literature by providing a more comprehensive view of of the phenomenon’s complexity by assessing the sectoral effect on three dimensions, considering both the perspectives of the university and the firm and by contextualizing the research in a low-innovative region, while mainstream literature tends to privilege the focus on highly innovative regions.
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Parmentola, A., Ferretti, M. & Panetti, E. Exploring the university-industry cooperation in a low innovative region. What differences between low tech and high tech industries?. Int Entrep Manag J (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11365-020-00671-0
- University-industry cooperation
- low tech versus high tech industry
- Campania region