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Networks of inventors and the role of academia: an exploration of Italian patent data

Book or journal references : Research Policy, vol. 33, pp. 127-145 (2004).

Author(s) : Balconi , M. and Breschi , S. and Lissoni , F.

Abstract :

This paper proposes a quantitative analysis of social distance between Open Science and Proprietary Technology. A few general properties of social networks within both realms are discussed, as they emerge from the new economics of science and recent applied work on "small worlds". A new data-set on patent inventors is explored, in order to show that social networks within Proprietary Technology are much more fragmented than Open Science ones, except for science-based technologies. Two propositions are then put forward on the "open" behaviour expected from academic inventors, namely university scientists getting involved in Proprietary Technology networks by signing patents. Both propositions are confirmed by data, which show academic inventors to be more central and better connected than non-academic ones. The database and methodology produced for this paper are suggested to be relevant for the more general debate on the role of geographical and cognitive distance in university-industry technology transfer. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Keywords :

patents; university-industry linkages; social networks; academic inventors SCIENCE; TECHNOLOGY; UNIVERSITIES; DISCOVERY; KNOWLEDGE; ECONOMICS

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