UNIVERSITY-INDUSTRY COLLABORATION: RESULTS FROM A BIBLIOMETRIC AND KEYWORDS ANALYSIS

B. Bigliardi1, S. Filippelli1, A. Petroni1, L. Tagliente2

1University of Parma (ITALY)
2University of San Marino (SAN MARINO)
The collaboration between university and industry (henceforth, U-I collaboration or UIC) is recognised as a way to enhance innovation through knowledge exchange. This is confirmed by the increasing number of contributions that investigate the topic from different perspectives. A search on Scopus with the keyword “University-Industry collaboration” and synonymous, returns more than 1000 results starting from 1963, with a peak of 114 papers published in 2021. In general, the interaction between university and industry can occur in different ways, such as through spinoff activities, startup creation, collaborative research, staff exchange between research centers, companies and universities, or consulting activities [1]. The role of universities has changed over time: at first, they were only teaching and research institutions, now they add to these two activities a third one, related to technology transfer. Technology transfer includes, in fact, all those activities that are at the basis of the transfer of a series of factors, including knowledge and technology, from the sphere of scientific research to that of the market. Knowledge transfer, in particular, is highly significant to innovate products, production processes and services [2]. It is important to emphasize that technology transfer is one of the main pillars of the so-called "Third Mission" of universities, which is the set of activities through which universities interact directly with society, alongside the traditional missions of teaching ("first mission") and research ("second mission"). At the basis of technology transfer activities is the opportunity that research results can be introduced to the industrial system to foster the development of innovative goods and services [3]. However, the extant literature is still fragmented and a comprehensive analysis is missed. To address this gap, this paper aims to propose a model for university-industry collaboration focusing on the interaction between the main actors involved in the collaboration, namely: university, government, and industry. In order to reach this objective, we present a review based on a bibliometric and on a keywords analysis approach. The review resulted in identifying some key aspects: the main reason that led to the establishment of the collaboration (Why), the factors hindering the collaboration (Why not), the modes of collaboration (hoW), the actors involved in the collaboration (with Whom) and the activities carried out (What). We integrated these key aspects into a comprehensive model that, based on the literature review, provides an integrated analysis of the state of literature concerning this topic. In our 5W-model, we emphasized the role of university, government, and industry to work mutually to achieve successful collaboration. In addition, several research avenues are reported as distilled from the analysis.

References:
[1] Wright, M., Clarysse, B., Lockett, A., & Knockaert, M. “Mid-range universities’ linkages with industry: Knowledge types and the role of intermediaries.” Research policy, vol. 37, no. 8, pp. 1205-1223, 2008.
[2] Alexander, A., Martin, D. P., Manolchev, C., & Miller, K. “University–industry collaboration: using meta-rules to overcome barriers to knowledge transfer.” The Journal of Technology Transfer, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 371-392, 2020.
[3] Ankrah, S., & Omar, A. T. “Universities–industry collaboration: A systematic review.” Scandinavian Journal of Management, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 387-408, 2015.