About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2275-2283
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.1502

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

UNIVERSITY-INDUSTRY COOPERATION IN THE RENEWABLE ENERGIES SECTOR: CHALLENGES FROM THE FIRM LEVEL PERSPECTIVE

A.L. Leal-Rodríguez1, C. Merchán Hernández1, G. Albort-Morant2

1Universidad Loyola Andalucía (SPAIN)
2Universidad de Sevilla (SPAIN)
The Triple Helix (TH) model proposes a framework of analysis that focuses on the role of universities as key players to boost innovative development at the regional level in a knowledge-based society which involves the interaction of three actors -university, industry and government-. Therefore, most of the prior empirical studies have addressed the role of universities and macro analyses, rather than placing emphasis on the firm perspective. Nevertheless, this framework still offers interesting gaps to cover, such as studying the value and the practical implications of the role played by firms within this model. Consequently, the objective of this study is to explore the applicability and practical value of the TH model when it comes to explore the formation and growth of a firm and its contribution to the development of innovation at regional level, as well as to assess its interactions with universities. This exploratory study assesses the case of Abengoa, multinational leader in the renewable energies industry, specialized in developing innovative solutions for sustainability in the fields of biotechnology and biochemistry.

Design/methodology/approach:
For the development of this study we have relied on an eminently qualitative methodology, consisting on a series of interviews with professionals inside Abengoa. The aim of the analysis is to obtain information relative to the structure and growth of Abengoa; its interactions with research groups belonging to universities and public organisms; as well as those that it maintains with the diverse governmental actors (European, national and regional).

Findings, theoretical and practical implications:
This exploratory study contributes to a greater understanding of the dynamics and nature of interactions within the TH model, highlighting the existence of broader and more complex interaction spaces when the firm level is taken as the core perspective, which ultimately enriches the TH framework of analysis. The main practical implication of this study is that it highlights the role of the firm within this triple interaction on the path to a more competitive and innovative development of a certain environment.

Research limitations/implications:
Taking into account the difficulty that the firm level implies with regard to obtaining primary data on their interactions with other actors in the field of innovation, given their complexity both at structural and organizational levels, this study has a predominantly exploratory orientation. The results of this study offer some interesting insights in order to deepen the analysis of the role of firms within the TH framework.

Originality/value:
The originality of this work lies in the fact that the majority of studies in the frame of the TH is focused on the case of a certain university or are more oriented to the development of a given region. However, there is a scarcity of works that empirically analyze this phenomenon by putting the focus at the firm level. Our work is focused in the case study of the Abengoa corporation, which supposes a certainly a novel approach in this field.
@InProceedings{LEALRODRIGUEZ2016UNI,
author = {Leal-Rodr{\'{i}}guez, A.L. and Merch{\'{a}}n Hern{\'{a}}ndez, C. and Albort-Morant, G.},
title = {UNIVERSITY-INDUSTRY COOPERATION IN THE RENEWABLE ENERGIES SECTOR: CHALLENGES FROM THE FIRM LEVEL PERSPECTIVE},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.1502},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.1502},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {2275-2283}}
TY - CONF
AU - A.L. Leal-Rodríguez AU - C. Merchán Hernández AU - G. Albort-Morant
TI - UNIVERSITY-INDUSTRY COOPERATION IN THE RENEWABLE ENERGIES SECTOR: CHALLENGES FROM THE FIRM LEVEL PERSPECTIVE
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.1502
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 2275
EP - 2283
ER -
A.L. Leal-Rodríguez, C. Merchán Hernández, G. Albort-Morant (2016) UNIVERSITY-INDUSTRY COOPERATION IN THE RENEWABLE ENERGIES SECTOR: CHALLENGES FROM THE FIRM LEVEL PERSPECTIVE, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 2275-2283.
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