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Shifting sands: regional perspectives on the role of social capital in supporting open innovation through knowledge transfer and exchange with small and medium-sized enterprises

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>05/2013
<mark>Journal</mark>International Small Business Journal
Issue number3
Volume31
Number of pages23
Pages (from-to)296-318
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date20/12/12
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

This article explores the role of social capital in enabling knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) between higher education institutions (HEIs) and spin-off (academic and non-academic) small and medium-sized enterprises in the context of open innovation, in order to convert knowledge into innovation within regional innovation systems. It presents the findings from 18 in-depth interviews with related stakeholders, and social network analysis of relationships in an exemplar technology park in Andalucía, southern Spain. The main findings suggest that there are many challenges to achieving successful KTE in regional innovation systems: recognition, intellectual property contracts and timescales. Similarly, there are opportunities related to intermediaries, joint teams and market impact. Significantly, the study highlights the importance of both formal and informal relationships as enablers of successful KTE involving HEIs and spin-off small and medium-sized enterprises in the context of open innovation.