Working Paper 08/200 - abstract

Geographic proximity and firm-university innovation linkages: evidence from Great Britain (PDF, 262kB)

Laura Abramovsky and Helen Simpson

We investigate evidence for spatially mediated knowledge transfer from university research. We examine whether firms locate their R&D labs in proximity to university research departments, and whether those that do are more likely to co-operate with, or source information from universities in the course of their innovative activities. We find evidence that pharmaceutical firms locate their R&D facilities near to frontier chemistry research departments, consistent with accessing localised knowledge spillovers, but also linked to the presence of science parks. In industries such as chemicals and vehicles there is less evidence of immediate co-location with universities, but those innovative firms that do locate near to relevant research departments are more likely to engage with universities.

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