SOTA Review

Collaboration and Knowledge Transfer between SMEs and Universities. SOTA review No 42

ERC SOTA review No 42

Associated Themes
  • Innovation
  • Productivity and performance

Collaborative links between firms and universities are regarded as an important mechanism for the pursuit of R&D activities within an economy and encouraging innovation among firms. Due to their relative resource constraints, SMEs potentially stand to benefit from these collaborations as a means for leveraging new knowledge and expertise into the firm. This review examines the factors that underpin these collaborations, revealing it to be a socio-technical process reliant upon the ability of those involved to interact and understand one another. Thus, cognitive and relational similarities, i.e. sharing characteristics in terms of mutual networks and a common technical language, facilitate the formation and function of these collaborations.