Drivers of University–Industry Links: The Case of Knowledge-Intensive Business Service Firms in Rural Locations

Andrew Johnston, Robert Huggins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Establishing collaborative links with universities is a difficult task with an uncertain outcome and influenced by many factors including location, geographic distance, compatibility of interests, shared understanding and prior experience of collaboration. Drawing on an analysis of knowledge-intensive business service firms (KIBS) located in predominantly rural districts of the UK, this paper examines the influences on partner selection when developing formal university linkage through knowledge transfer partnerships. The findings indicate that both geographic and organizational proximity are significantly associated with partner choice, indicating that the formation of university–industry links is the result not only of spatial factors but also of prior experience of collaboration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1330-1345
Number of pages16
JournalRegional Studies
Issue number8
Early online date5 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

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