Villasalero, M. (2014): “University knowledge, open innovation and technological capital in Spanish science parks: Research revealing or technology selling?”, Journal of Intellectual Capital, Journal of Intellectual Capital, 15(4): 479-496.

This study investigates the connection between university research and technological capital developed by science park firms in order to elucidate whether the causal linkage is owing to non-pecuniary research spillovers or pecuniary technology transfer activities.Two publicly available surveys, one dealing with the research and transfer activities of 45 Spanish universities and another with the patenting activities of 44 Spanish science parks, are matched in such a way that hypotheses can be tested using regression analysis.
The patenting performance of science park firms is positively related to the competitive R&D projects undertaken by the universities to which they are affiliated and negatively related to the technology transfer activities carried out by those universities. These findings suggest that the scientific knowledge produced by universities principally contributes to private technology-based firms’ technological capital through non-pecuniary research spillovers, whereas the pecuniary technology transfer agreements remain uncertain or may even prove to be detrimental. Firms that are considering locating or remaining in a university-affiliated science park should be aware that the university’s pecuniary orientation when managing its intellectual capital may become a barrier as regards the firm filling its technological capital shortages. From a university administrator perspective, the complementary or substitute role of technology transfer offices vis-à-vis science parks should be considered in the light of the selling or revealing approach adopted by the university in order to commercialize and diffuse potential inventions. This study contributes to existing literature by shedding light on the causal linkage between university research and firm innovation, obtaining evidence in favor of an upstream, non-pecuniary and revealing role of universities in support of the accumulation of technological capital amongst science parks tenant firms.