Science linkages and innovation performance: An analysis on CIS-3 firms in Belgium
This paper examines the diversity of linkages of firms to science and their effect on innovation performance for a sample of Belgian firms (CIS-3). While at the sectoral level links to science are highly related to the R&D intensity of the sector, we show that there is considerable heterogeneity in the type of links to science at the firm level. Overall, firms with a science linkage -which can be of various sorts- have superior innovation performance, in particular with respect to innovations new to the market. At the invention level, our findings confirm that patents from firms engaged in science are more frequently cited and have a broader technological and geographical impact, but we show that it is crucial to distinguish between direct science links at the invention level and indirect science links at the firm level to encounter these distinct positive effects of science links. Therefore, Science & Technology indicators should control for both invention-level and firm-level science links to really account for the effect of these industry-science links.
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