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Demand-pull innovation in science : Empirical evidence from a research university’s suppliers

Abstract : The paths via which university-generated knowledge reaches final users and creates value are traditionally considered to be the supply-side channels of the commercialisation of inventions, consultancy, and R&D contracts. Yet, this focus limits universities to being “providers” of knowledge and technology for industrial applications and fails to account for the diversity of mechanisms responsible for the diffusion of academic activities. This paper aims to complete the existing understanding of the contribution made by universities to the corporate innovation process by recognising the impact of university demand on the innovative performance of firms in the scientific value chain. We study the impact of a large French public university on the innovative performance of its suppliers of scientific equipment. We perform micro-econometric analyses showing that university suppliers have a higher propensity to introduce new-to-the-market product innovations than do other firms belonging to the same sectors and with similar characteristics. Our results provide support to the conjecture that innovations and technological changes are the result not only of scientific and technical discoveries, but also of a complex chain reaction triggered by the interplay between specific demands and solutions designed to overcome technology bottlenecks.
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Stefano Bianchini, Patrick Llerena, Sofia Patsali. Demand-pull innovation in science : Empirical evidence from a research university’s suppliers. Research Policy, Elsevier, 2019, 1, pp.100005. ⟨10.1016/j.repolx.2019.100005⟩. ⟨hal-02310564⟩



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