Dissertation: Structural determinants of the level of interaction between universities and companies

The university-industry interaction is one of the key tools to stimulate social and economic development of a country. On one side, the possibility of interaction depends, in the first instance, on the offer of scientific and technological knowledge existing in the context of the relationship. On the other hand, to really have interaction, is not enough to just exist a network of science and technology institutions, but it is fundamental to have, above all, the need for interaction by firms. It is precisely the size of the demands of companies by knowledge and technology that will draw the contours of university-industry interaction. That said, this study aims to identify and analyze the structural elements, exogenous and endogenous to firms, that determine the level of interaction between universities and firms. Depending on the sector, firm size, investment in R&D and innovation capabilities, that is, structural determinants, it is expected to identify the different levels of interaction between universities and firms. To achieve this goal, it was used secondary data collected in a survey research coordinated by NITEC (UFRGS), which covered 1,331 companies from various industrial sectors, which were classified according to the level of interaction: low level of interaction and high level of interaction. The main results indicate that, first, the sectoral technological intensity is not determinant of the level of interaction with universities. On the other hand, the endogenous determinants, such as firm size, investment in R&D and innovation capabilities were confirmed as significant predictor variables of the level of interaction. Among the endogenous elements, innovative capabilities stand out as variables with greater explanatory power than other determinants that already are widely investigated in literature. In relation to the firm’s performance, only the registration of patents and economic performance are determined by the level of interaction. Finally, these findings about the determinants of the level of interaction and firm performance confirm the theoretical assumption defended in this work: the technological level of the companies is determining of the level of interaction of firms with universities. However, the internal variables of the firms, and not external, are which dictate this level.

Author: Schaeffer, Paola Rucker

Advisor: Zawislak, Paulo Antonio

Level: Master’s Degree

Published Study: http://hdl.handle.net/10183/132313