Virtual Special Issue - Regional innovation and entrepreneurship

To celebrate the journal's 40 years anniversary, RRR will present a series of three virtual special issues from December 2020 to February 2021. Each virtual issue is dedicated to one of the journal's core topics, and covers a selection of previously published articles. The third virtual special issue is on "Regional innovation and entrepreneurship ", with a collection of four articles published in RRR since 2017.

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The innovation efficiency of German region – a shared-input DEA analysis
The paper contributes to the debate on how to measure regions’ innovation performance. On the basis of the concept of regional innovation efficiency, we propose a new measure that eases the issue of choosing between industry-specific or global measures. We argue for the use of a robust shared-input DEA-model to compute regions’ innovation efficiency in a global manner, while it can be disaggregated into industry-specific measures.
We illustrate the use of the method by investigating the innovation efficiency as well as its change in time of German labor market regions. It is shown that the method treats regions that have industry structures skewed towards industries with high and low innovation intensities more fairly than traditional approaches.
Tom Broekel, Nicky Rugge, Thomas Brenner | RRR 2018

University-industry collaborations – The key to radical innovations?
Radical innovations are an important factor for long-term economic growth. Universities provide basic research and knowledge that form the basis for future innovations. Previous research has investigated the effects of universities, university-industry partnerships and proximity on factors such as innovations, knowledge spillovers, entrepreneurial activities, as well as regional growth, wealth and competitiveness. However, the role that university-industry collaborations play in radical innovations, mediated by various measures of proximity such as cognitive or geographic distance, has not yet been explored. With this study, we illuminate the conditions under which university-industry collaborations are the key to radical innovations in German firms.
Combining firm, patent and subsidy data, we built a data set consisting of 8404 firms that patented between the years 2012 and 2014. Based on the patent data, we identified the emergence of radical innovations by using new technology combinations as a proxy for (radical) novelty. As our main independent variables, we computed the cognitive distance of firms, universities and research institutions as well as the geographic distance between these partners. We identified formal relationships through publicly supported R&D collaborations between universities, firms, and research institutions using the German subsidy catalogue.
Our research is vital for understanding the conditions under which university-industry collaborations contribute to the creation of radical innovations. While not only closing a research gap, this paper has practical ramifications for companies, universities as well as policy-makers by evaluating the concrete effects of university-industry collaborations on the probability to generate radical innovations.
Willian Arant, Dirk Fornahl, Nils Grashof, Kolja Hesse, Cathrin Söller | RRR 2019

How entrepreneurial are students who intend to become academics? – A study of career motives
The aim of this paper is to ascertain how students who intend to work as academics differ in their entrepreneurial attitudes and career motives from students who intend to become entrepreneurs. The study is based on quantitative data from two German universities. Our multinomial logistic regression analyses show that some career motives that can be associated with the intention of starting a business can also be associated with the intention of starting an academic career. However, students with academic career intentions are by and large not more likely to develop entrepreneurial intentions than students who intend to become employees outside the academic world. Particularly, compared to students with entrepreneurial career intentions, academic-bound students tend to lack entrepreneurial attitudes, and have a lower desire to achieve financial success and a stronger desire to receive recognition in their future career. These differences should be considered when designing policies that aim at fostering the creation of university spin-offs.
Nora Hesse, Jürgen Brünjes | RRR 2018

The emergence of entrepreneurial ideas at universities in times of demographic change: evidence from Germany
The recent demographic trends in Western Europe imply tremendous structural change and are likely to heavily impact regional development. Against this background, we focus on entrepreneurial activities at universities and analyze regional and university specific determinants of the emergence of university entrepreneurship across regions that are differently challenged by demographic change. We underpin this quantitative assessment with interviews conducted in six case study regions with university staff responsible for technology transfer and the promotion of entrepreneurship to get some tentative insights about the perception of how demographic change might impact the entrepreneurial potential of universities. The results demonstrate that regional population decline is negatively related to entrepreneurial activities at universities. Furthermore, even university start-ups whose business idea is driven by detecting market opportunities related to demographic change are not more likely to emerge in regions that are especially challenged by demographic change. Finally, our interviews suggested that demographic change seems to play no role in the day-to-day work of technology transfer offices.
Matthias Piontek, Michael Wyrwich | RRR 2017

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