Enablers and barriers to university and high technology SME partnerships

  • Collier A
  • Gray B
  • Ahn M
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While technology-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face many challenges, effective collaboration with universities can provide access to ideas and resources that can be important determinants of firm performance and growth. A case study approach is used to explore SMEs in the electronics industry in Brisbane, Australia, to identify the enablers and barriers to firms' research partnerships with universities. The results show that collaborations with research entities, particularly universities, have been important to each of the five companies that are the focus of this study. Firms appear to select university partners based principally on expertise and social capital (i.e. the specialized research skills that universities have as well as the personal relationships that company staff have with particular university faculty). The main barriers to improved research partnerships between universities and SMEs relate principally to differences in organisational culture (e.g., differing aims, levels of formality, value and risk perceptions, temporal concerns). This study extends the literature on key factors that drive the interactions between technology-based SMEs and universities, as well as the routes through which these interactions develop. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Small Enterprise Research is the property of eContent Management Pty. Ltd. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

Author-supplied keywords

  • HIGH technology
  • INFRASTRUCTURE (Economics)
  • PARTNERSHIP (Business)
  • SMALL business
  • TECHNOLOGY transfer
  • UNIVERSITIES & colleges
  • Universities
  • commercialisation
  • small and medium-sized enterprises
  • technology transfer office

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  • Alan Collier

  • Brendan J Gray

  • Mark J Ahn

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