University–Industry Interactions in the Global South
Edited by Eduardo Albuquerque, Wilson Suzigan, Glenda Kruss and Keun Lee
Chapter 2: Are university–industry links meaningful for catch up ? A comparative analysis of five Asian countries
Knowledge creation and innovation are the key sources for economic growth in the long run, and the underlying learning and innovation processes are increasingly organized in an interactive way within innovation systems in different spatial (global, national, and regional), sectoral, and technological scales. As a result of the interactive nature of learning of innovation, the interface between science and industry became more permeable in general and university–industry links (UILs), which also include government research institutes (GRIs), became a particularly important mode of knowledge transfer. Although the general importance of this transfer channel is not debated in the literature, the focus of this chapter is on a context-specific conceptualization of UILs in latecomer countries, and a more fine-grained understanding of their contribution to economic and technological catch up. Mazzoleni and Nelson (2007) have already argued that research at universities and public laboratories is of importance for catch-up processes due to their potential to create indigenous technological and scientific capabilities. However, conceptual frameworks and empirical studies still refer predominantly to developed countries with full-fledged and mature innovation systems and, within this group of countries, to cases from the Anglo-American context. This limitation is problematic in two ways. First, there are quite different institutional arrangements for science–industry knowledge transfer if UILs in the context of different countries and innovation systems are compared. The formalized transfer based on open innovation modes via patents, licences, or publications seems to be a typical arrangement in the context of the United States (US).
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