University-Industry Collaboration

New Evidence and Policy Options

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This report discusses challenges and opportunities in assessing the impacts of science-industry knowledge exchange on innovation. The report provides new evidence on joint industry-science patenting activity and academic start-ups, as well as on the impact of geographical proximity between research institutions and industry on local innovation. The report explores the complex set of knowledge-transfer channels, such as collaborative research, co-patenting, academic spinoffs, and their relative importance across science fields and industry sectors. It also experiments with using labour force survey data to assess the contributions of graduates in social sciences to different industries.

Different policy mixes are used in OECD countries to stimulate science-industry knowledge transfer. This report presents a taxonomy of 21 policy instruments, which include grants for collaborative university-industry research and financial support to university spin-offs, and discusses their possible positive and negative interactions. Based on a number of country case studies, the report also sheds light on new policy approaches to support spin-off creation. The report also explores recent trends on the governance of public research of high relevance to science-industry knowledge transfer using newly developed policy indicators for 35 OECD countries.


Gauging social science graduates’ contributions to knowledge exchange with industry

This chapter explores a new approach to assessing knowledge transfer using labour force survey data, and applies it to assess the contributions of graduates in social sciences to different industries. It first briefly describes the challenges in assessing social scientists’ contribution to knowledge transfer and industry innovation. It then provides evidence on how graduates in social sciences contribute to different economic sectors compared to those in other disciplines, building on existing evidence based on patent data and case studies, and then exploiting new evidence from labour force surveys. The chapter discusses the advantages of using this approach for capturing the flow of human capital from university to industry, and outlines the caveats.


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