Influences of the regional and national economic environment on the technology transfer performance of academic institutions in Europe
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The paper looks how the national and regional environment influence the knowledge and technology transfer (KTT) performance of universities and public research institutes. We regress a number of institutional control variables, country dummies and variables for region size and economic structure, per capita income, technology intensity, andR&Dintensity on four different tech transfer performance measures (R&D agreements with companies, patent applications, start-ups, licence agreements). Drawing on data from a survey of more than 200 European institutions we find: (1) Country differences are related to differences in the institutional set-up of technology transfer and to the (regional) economic environment which suggests multi-level analyses to properly take these interactions into account. (2) Institutions in a country usually excel for one performance measure which we take as a supporting argument for the development of transfer strategies. (3) Having manufacturing companies and a large share of governmental R&D expenditure in the region matter more than the technology intensity and R&D intensity of the regional economy. The latter result is counterintuitive and indicates that further research is needed in order to understand better where the clients of university technologies actually come from.