Working Paper BETA #2008-02

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Title : Short-term effects of new universities on regional innovation

Author(s) : Robin Cowan, Natalia Zinovyev

Abstract : This paper analyzes empirically the channels through which university research affects industry innovation. We examine how the opening of new science, medicine and engineering departments in Italy during 1985-2000 affected regional innovation systems. We find that creation of a new univer- sity department increased regional innovation activity 3-4 years later. On average, an openning of a new department in a region has led to a ten per- cent change in the number of patents filed by regional firms. Given that this effect occurs within the first half decade of the appearance of a new depart- ment, it cannot be ascribed to improvements in the quality and quantity of graduates. At the same time, traditional measures of academic research activity can explain only around 30 percent of this effect.

Key-words : NA

JEL Classification : NA