How External Support May Mitigate the Barriers to University-Industry Collaboration
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Although university-industry collaboration has been analyzed following different per- spectives and approaches, some aspects are still scant and unexplored. This article assess- es, by referring to an inductive, exploratory case study of technology transfer offices (henceforth TTos), how external support may affect university-industry collaboration, and what characteristics both parties and intermediary units might facilitate in the success of this relationship. we considered two of the most active TTos in Italy, namely Politec- nico of Torino and University of Bologna, using various documents and twenty-five semi- structured interviews with academics, CEos’ and TTos’ employees. Tapping the subdivi- sion identified by van Dierdonck and Debackere (1988), different barriers to university- industry collaboration, pointed out by respondents, are proposed. additionally, our find- ings revealed previously underexplored aspects about TTos’ support to university-indus- try relationships. In particular, we argue that university-industry collaboration is more likely to succeed if parties resort to external support (such as that of TTos), and if specif- ic characteristics of both parties and TTos subsist. a summarizing model is proposed.