Geographic proximity and firm-university innovation linkages: evidence from Great Britain


We investigate evidence for spatially mediated knowledge transfer from university research. We examine whether firms locate R&D near universities, and whether those that do are more likely to co-operate with, or source knowledge from them. We find that pharmaceutical firms locate R&D near to frontier chemistry research departments, consistent with accessing localized knowledge spillovers, but also linked to the presence of science parks. Chemicals R&D exhibits co-location with materials science departments, with firms within 10 km more likely to directly engage with universities. In other industries we find less, or no evidence of co-location with university research.


Helen Simpson and Laura Abramovsky