Impact of University Intellectual Property Policy on
the Performance of
University-Industry Research Collaboration

Hiroyuki Okamuro
Junichi Nishimura

May 2011


Despite various expected advantages, university-industry research collaboration (UIC), a relationship between two different worlds, often faces serious difficulties. Thus, the performance of UIC depends on the research partners' strategies to bridge the gaps between them according to the institutional environment. In Japan, UIC has developed rapidly since the late 1990s based on drastic institutional changes regarding universities. We pay special attention to the role of the university intellectual property (IP) policy introduced after 2003 and empirically examine its impact on the performance of UIC projects. A clear and equitable IP policy that can be applied flexibly to the needs of partners would be optimal for a UIC to be efficiently managed. Otherwise, the project might face serious conflicts of interests and low incentive for cooperation. Using a sample of Japanese firms from our original survey, we find that the IP policy of partner universities indeed has a positive and significant impact on various performances of UIC projects, controlling for firm and project characteristics and considering potential selection bias from UIC participation.

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