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Teirlinck P.,Catholic University of Leuven | Spithoven A.,Belgian Science Policy Office
Technovation | Year: 2013

The literature on 'open' innovation emphasises the need to engage in external knowledge relations in order to innovate. Particularly for SMEs, research cooperation and R&D outsourcing can offer possibilities to complement the often limited internal research resources. However, they also bring in their wake requirements in terms of absorptive capacity and managerial skills of the internal R&D personnel. The paper focuses on the different requirements in terms of availability and training of research managers and R&D experts for research cooperation versus R&D outsourcing in SMEs. An empirical analysis of micro-level data provided by the OECD business R&D survey for Belgium reveals that the relation between R&D personnel requirements and research collaboration and R&D outsourcing depends upon the SME size. Therefore, to study this subject appropriately a distinction between very small, small, and medium-sized firms is relevant. Very small firms engage significantly less in research cooperation than medium-sized firms and the propensity to engage in research cooperation is positively associated with the share of PhD holders among the research managers and R&D experts. For R&D outsourcing a lower involvement is noted in medium-sized firms, and the propensity to outsource increases with the formal qualification level of the R&D personnel and with R&D training. Among the SME, small firms are most engaged in research cooperation and in R&D outsourcing. In the case of research cooperation they rely on highly qualified experts. For R&D outsourcing activities both the presence of research managers and R&D experts is important. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Spithoven A.,Belgian Science Policy Office
International Journal of Technology Management | Year: 2013

This paper looks at firm-level differences in R&D intensity and sales from product innovations. R&D intensity and innovative sales are explained by a model using harmonised firm-level data from the Third Community Innovation Survey for three European countries: Belgium, Germany and Spain. For each country, the average estimates suggest that incoming knowledge spillovers, research cooperation, appropriability and human capital all exercise a positive influence on R&D intensity and, through this, on innovative sales. Quantile regressions indicate that, although there are differences between countries, the joint relative impact of incoming knowledge spillovers and research cooperation tends to increase quantile-wise in relation to that of appropriability. This suggests that strong innovators have a more open innovation process. Copyright © 2013 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. Source


Regional Studies. So far little research has analysed the role of technology intermediaries in enhancing firms' innovation speed. This research aims to fill this gap by studying a specific type of technology intermediary, namely the collective research centres in Belgium, and by assessing the conditions under which member firms working with these intermediaries experience acceleration additionality. It is found that absorptive capacity of the member firm and the intensity of interaction are important drivers of innovation speed. Absorptive capacity at technology intermediary level is not found to affect member firm innovation speed. The research has implications for practitioners, policy-makers and academia. © 2012 © 2012 Regional Studies Association. Source


Spithoven A.,Belgian Science Policy Office | Spithoven A.,Ghent University | Spithoven A.,Vrije Universiteit Brussel | Teirlinck P.,Belgian Science Policy Office | Teirlinck P.,Catholic University of Leuven
Research Policy | Year: 2015

This paper contributes to an empirical validation of R&D outsourcing by integrating the influence of internal capabilities, network resources and appropriation mechanisms. Internal capabilities refer to internal R&D and human capital. Network resources account for decisions to outsource R&D which co-depend on informal incoming knowledge spillovers. Appropriation accounts for formal and informal knowledge protection mechanisms. This empirical study discusses the determinants of R&D outsourcing with respect to various theories of the firm that complement each other. Data from the Third and Fourth European Community Innovation Survey for Belgium reveal internal R&D intensity to exert a strong positive association with R&D outsourcing intensity, emphasising the importance of absorptive capacity and the complementary nature of internal and outsourced R&D. Network resources are also positively associated, suggesting that firms involved in a mixture of informal and formal networks tend to outsource relatively more R&D. In terms of appropriation mechanisms there is a positive association formal and informal protection, but this last mostly through complexity of design. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

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