Category: Innovation Systems

Mobility of Researchers

Under the headline of Two Sides of Brain-Circulation the role of researcher intersectoral and international mobility is discussed today in a conference organized by the EC and by the Austrian BMWFW.

The literature has shown that labor mobility is a determinant of firm performance (Boschma, Eriksson, & Lindgren, 2009; Balsvik 2012) and of innovation in particular (Herstad, Sandven, & Ebersberger, 2015). Additionally the a recent study commissioned by the EC has highlighted that there is considerable room for increasing researchers’ mobility:

  • 14 % – 18 % of EU HEI researchers of have been internationally mobile during their PhD
  • 30 % of EU HEI researchers were mobile (> 3 months) in the last 10 years after PhD
  • 31 % of EU HEI researchers have NEVER been internationally mobile post PhD
  • 23 % of EU researchers currently outside of EU consider returning to EU
  • 72 % of non-EU researchers formerly in EU would have liked to stay
  • 77 % of EU HEI researchers collaborate internationally
    • more with academic partners than with industry
    • collaboration happens more frequently in later career stages
    • previous mobility and collaboration correlate
  • Virtual collaboration technology is important for international collaboration / partially substitutes travel
  • 30 % of EU HEI researchers have been inter-sectorally mobile
    • 12 % industry
    • 7 % private / non-profit
    • 15 % government

The literature also highlights that mobility might not be so bad for the countries or the firms the mobility originates from. Considerable spillovers back to the origin are to be expected (Agrawal, Cockburn, & McHale, 2006; Oettl & Agrawal, 2008). The transmission mechanism is the social ties developed on a workplace that last longer than the contractual arrangements.

Gone but not forgotten. 

 

 

References
Agrawal, A., Cockburn, I. & McHale, J. (2006). Gone but not forgotten: knowledge flows, labor mobility, and enduring social relationships. Journal of Economic Geography, 6 (5), 571–591. doi:10.1093/jeg/lbl016.

Balsvik, R. (2011). Is labor mobility a chanell for spillovers from multinationals? Evidence from norwegian manufacturing. Review of Economics and Statistics, 93 (1), 285–297.

Boschma, R., Eriksson, R. & Lindgren, U. (2009. How does labour mobility affect the performance of plants? The importance of relatedness and geographical proximity. Journal of Economic Geography, 9 (2), 169–190. doi:10.1093/jeg/lbn041.

Boschma, R.A. (2005). Proximity and Innovation: A Critical Assessment. Regional Studies, 39 (1), 61–74. doi:10.1080/0034340052000320887.

Herstad, S.J., Sandven, T. & Ebersberger, B. (2015). Recruitment, knowledge integration and modes of innovation. Research Policy, forthc. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2014.06.007.

Oettl, A. & Agrawal, A. (2008). International labor mobility and knowledge flow externalities. Journal of International Business Studies, 39 (8), 1242–1260. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400358.

Foundations of Economic Change – Behavior, Interaction and Aggregate Outcome

Currently I am attending the 15th conference of the International Joseph Alois Schumpeter Society.

It is a marvelous event with a line up of speakers that is really breath-taking for all of the participants. Brian Arthur, David Audretsch, Giulio Bottazzi, Guido Buenstorf, Wesley Cohen, Herbert Dawid, Giovanni Dosi, Magda Fontana, Dominique Foray, Koen Frenken, DAniella Laureiro-Martinez, Mariana Mazzucato, John S. Metcalfe, Pierre Mohnen, Richard Nelson, Carlota Perez, Mario Pianta, Ulrich Witt, and of course the host Uwe Cantner.

I am presenting Sverre’s and my paper “KIS, Urban Location & Innovation”. Also I co-authored a poster with Christina Koller about the effect the experience of patent attorneys has on the quality of patents.

 

 

 

Recruitment, Knowledge Integration and Modes of Innovation

 

About a week or so ago we received the favorable editorial decision about our (Sverre, Tore and I) paper “Recruitment, knowledge integration and modes of innovation” has been accepted for publication in Research Policy.

In the paper we investigate how the intrinsic characteristics of firms’ knowledge bases and processing routines have evolved with the past inflow of employees into the firm. The empirical analysis is based on linked public register and innovation survey data for Norway merged with the Norwegian innovation survey. We find that recruitment from universities, research institutes and higher education institutions increases the capacity of the firm to generate technical inventions. Yet, the organizational knowledge bases and processing routines on which commercial innovation output depends, are strengthend only by the recruitment that has occurred from related industries. In the conclusion we draw implications for research, management and policy.

Recruitment, knowledge integration and modes of innovation

Today I give a presentation at the Public Policy and Global Affairs Programme Seminar at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. I present a joint paper with Sverre Herstad and Tore Sandven titled “Recruitment, knowledge integration and modes of innovation”.

Commodity trade, innovation collaboration and labor mobility are considered the primary channels through which knowledge diffuse between firms, industries and economies. As the commitment of firms to global production and innovation networks grows, it is becoming increasingly important to understand how the more localized knowledge spillovers, which are attributable to mobility flows, influence the innovativeness of firms and the growth of economies. This paper investigates how the intrinsic characteristics of firms’ knowledge bases and processing routines have evolved with the past inflow of employees. The empirical analysis is based on linked public register and innovation survey data for Norway. It finds recruitment from universities, research institutes and higher education institutions to have increased the capacity of the firm to generate technical inventions. Yet, the organizational knowledge bases and processing routines on which commercial innovation output depends have been found to be strengthened only by the recruitment that has occurred from related industries. Implications for research, management and policy are drawn.

The slides of the presentation are here:

University Business Cooperation in Austria

Is there a lot and systematic bridging activities between universities and businesses in Austria? Well, from an innovation systems point of view one would expect that there is. At least from a normative point of view there should be. Knowledge exchange between business and university does not only increase the economies innovation capabilities, it also helps universities to define their role and to fulfill their third mission. But the reality is somewhat more sobering.

The report on “the State of University-Business Cooperation in Austria“, which I had the pleasure to contribute to, has be release recently. In particular the study finds that there is a lack of commitment to university-business cooperation in Austria. The most developed form of university-busines interaction is collaboration and commercialization of R&D. University management and academics perceive the barriers to cooperation between universities and industry differently. Both believe to extract rather low benefits from university-industry cooperation.

The state of affairs in other European countries is well documented here.