Governmental Support Measures for University–Industry Cooperation—Comparative View in Europe

Research paper by Marge Seppo, Kärt Rõigas, Urmas Varblane

Indexed on: 02 Mar '14Published on: 02 Mar '14Published in: Journal of the Knowledge Economy


This paper aims to compare governmental support measures toward enhancing university–industry cooperation in Europe. We intend to identify patterns and dynamics of governmental support measures comparing policies in 23 European countries. The main database used is the Inventory of Research and Innovation Policy measures provided by Erawatch and INNO-Policy TrendChart. The database provides in-depth overviews about policy measures across European countries. For evaluating the university–industry cooperation the perception of universities on their cooperation with industry (study of European University–Business Cooperation, Davey et al. 2011), the perception of enterprises on their cooperation with universities (Community Innovation Survey 2006–2008), university–industry co-publications (Innovation Union Scoreboard 2011) and higher-education expenditure on R&D financed by the business sector (Eurostat 2012) are used in the analysis. The intensity and scope of university–industry cooperation support measures varies heavily in Europe. The analysis reveals that Finnish, Austrian, Belgian, Danish and Swedish support systems are the best balanced and provide high university–industry cooperation intensity. Estonia, together with Bulgaria and Italy are at the other end of the scale, having a small number of cooperation measures as well as a weaker cooperation from the firms’ side. The experience of countries with the highest university–industry cooperation reveals that the important is the amount of different support measures, more co-financing from the private sector and depend less on the EU structural funds. Concerning the targeted research areas, it is important to keep balance between measures directed to problem solving basic research, networking and applied research.