Interactive Relations Between Universities and Firms: Empirical Evidence for Austria

Research paper by Doris Schartinger, Andreas Schibany, Helmut Gassler

Indexed on: 01 Jun '01Published on: 01 Jun '01Published in: The Journal of Technology Transfer


In recent years interaction between universities and the business sector and the role of these collaborations in fostering innovation has received greater attention. This paper analyzes different types of interactions between the two sectors from the perspectives of universities and firms. The three major research questions address the frequency of different types of interactions, the benefits that companies derive from interaction with universities and determinants of interaction for both sectors.Two different surveys form the empirical base for this paper: One among innovative firms in Austria, one among all Austrian university departments. The methodologies we use are analyses of variance and logistic regressions. Our results demonstrate that the main channel of knowledge transfer from universities to the business sector still occurs through the mobility of human capital. The major barriers of interaction lie in the differences between “cultures” of the two spheres as well as lack of information at the side of firms.