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Universities and open innovation: the determinants of network centrality

Robert Huggins (), Daniel Prokop () and Piers Thompson
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Robert Huggins: Cardiff University
Daniel Prokop: Cardiff University

The Journal of Technology Transfer, 2020, vol. 45, issue 3, No 5, 718-757

Abstract: Abstract This paper addresses the ‘network’ and ‘open innovation’ paradigms by seeking to examine the factors associated with structural positioning within university–industry networks. Drawing upon a network analysis of knowledge-based ties held by universities across the regions of the UK, it is found that those universities with the most central positions (network centrality) within university–industry network structures also have high rates of relational involvement in activities such as spin-off generation and engagement in externally funded research projects. Some forms of activity, in particular intellectual property protection through patenting, are found to be negatively associated with centrality. Spatial location is largely found to be unrelated to the network centrality of universities. By utilising network centrality as one measure of the open innovation capability of universities, the paper indicates that a range of institutional characteristics and factors tend to either promote or limit the engagement of universities in open innovation practices.

Keywords: Universities; University–industry links; Open innovation; Network centrality; Regions; I23; O31; O32; O33; O34 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s10961-019-09720-5

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