Access to public knowledge is a prerequisite for the good functioning of developed economies. Universities strive and are also requested to contribute to this knowledge both locally and internationally. Traditional studies on the geography of knowledge flows have identified a localisation effect; however, these studies do not use the country as the unit of observation and hence do not explore national patterns. In this paper, we hypothesise that the localisation of university knowledge flows is directly related to share of firm expenditure on research and development. To test this hypothesis, we use references to universities in patent documents as indicators based on a data set of around 20,000 university references, for 37 countries in the period 1990–2007, resulting in panels of around 300–500 observations. We build indicators for the university knowledge flows both inside and outside the applicant country, which we explain as a function of some proxies for national size and research structure based on econometric estimations. We draw some conclusions as to the importance of national business scientific strength for fostering increased domestic university knowledge flows.
Within the field of the organisation of science, concerns about how academics generate patents tend to focus on a single set
of either national or international patents. The main aim of this research is to study both national and international patenting
in order to understand their differences. We have approached this issue from both a historical and an economic perspective,
using data from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the largest PRO in Spain. Three periods can be distinguished
in the CSIC’s history, according to the political context, namely the dictatorship (1939–1975), the transition to democracy
(1976–1986) and democracy (1987-to date). The prevailing legal and institutional framework has marked the way in which patenting
by CSIC has evolved in each of these periods. The current situation is one in which there is strong internationalisation of
patenting activity, and in this most-recent period we explore trends in some of the economic influences on patenting activity.
We conclude that the political and normative context may shape the culture of international patenting at PROs like the CSIC
and that increasing technological cooperation has supported this internationalisation. However, very often foreign partners
are included in the application in order to extend protection abroad for commercial reasons, so their number may not be a
good indicator of inventive activity.
The main objective of this contribution is to test whether university patents share common determinants with university publications
at regional level. We build some university production functions with 1,519 patents and 180,239 publications for the 17 Spanish
autonomous regions (NUTS-2) in a time span of 14 years (1988–2001). We use econometric models to estimate their determinants.
Our results suggest that there is little scope for regional policy to compensate the production of patents vs. publications
through different university or joint research institutional settings. On the contrary, while patents are more reactive to
expenditure on R&D, publications are more responsive to the number of researchers, so the sustained promotion of both will
make it compatible for regions their joint production. However, standing out in the generation of both outputs requires costly
investment in various inputs.
We estimate the determinants of university patents by route in Spain. National patents are an indicator of R&D efforts when
we focus on the region, but not of how regions organize their university or joint research structure. International patents
are a stronger indicator of R&D efforts, so they express confidence in the potential of the patent. Neither set is an indicator
of proximity to the region's competencies in technologies other than for production-intensive sectors, so they will not always
foster regional technology transfer. Since the driving forces of national and international patents differ, the use of both
Most studies of patents citations focus on national or international contexts, especially contexts of high absorptive capacity,
and employ examiner citations. We argue that results can vary if we take the region as the context of analysis, especially
if it is a region with low absorptive capacity, and if we study applicant citations and examiner-inserted citations separately.
Using a sample from the Valencian Community (Spain), we conclude that (i) the use of examiner-inserted citations as a proxy
for applicant citations, (ii) the interpretation of non-patent references as indicators of science-industry links, and (iii)
the traditional results for geographical localization are not generalizable to all regions with low absorptive capacity.