STIINPL › Public sector research - core policy instruments - university-industry linkage schemes
University-industry linkage schemes play an instrument role in turning scientific findings into new technologies and commercial applications and, reciprocally, in suggesting new scientific research directions by providing universities with new questions relevant to industry. University-industry linkage schemes can take various forms, including: university research funded by industry; faculty consulting; creation of technology transfer offices to encourage the creation of start-up companies or promote the licencing of intellectual property rights owned by universities to firms; and industry consortia to support university research.
Broadly, what activities and outcomes do university-industry linkage schemes seek to influence?
As OECD countries are moving towards knowledge-based economies, research universities respond to the growing demand for basic knowledge and highly-skilled human capital, and thereby, contribute indirectly to technological development and productivity growth. Research universities also directly support innovation by providing firms with solutions to technological problems. In many OECD countries, such direct contribution of research universities to economic development has gained in importance among policy-makers. Research universities are increasingly asked to proactively accelerate the transfer of their research findings to the market. University-industry linkage schemes typically seek to raise the direct contribution from research universities to economic development.
How do university-industry linkage schemes have an influence?
There are a number of barriers to collaboration between research universities and industry. One of the main barriers relates to their different goals. While research universities have as a central goal the understanding of natural phenomena and technologies, industry is traditionally the main locus of innovation. Despite these two different goals, there are complementarities between the activities of universities and industry that can be exploited through university-industry linkage schemes in order to boost economic development.
What factors should be considered when implementing university-industry linkage schemes?
Several factors should be considered when implementing university-industry linkage schemes:
Foray D. and F. Lissoni (2010), “University Research and Public-Private Interaction”, in Hall B. and N. Rosenberg (eds.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Amsterdam: North-Holland.
OECD (2003), Turning Science into Business, Paris: OECD Publishing.
OECD (2002), Benchmarking Industry-Science Relationships, Paris: OECD Publishing.
Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (1999), Overcoming Barriers to Collaborative Research: Report of a Workshop, Washington, D. C.: National Academy of Sciences.
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