University-Business Cooperation (UBC) beyond Research & Development

Maria Vivar
Mondragon Unibertsitatea

LinkedIn profile

Errasti, Nekane
Mondragon Unibertsitatea

Markuerkiaga, Leire
Mondragon Unibertsitatea

In view of the multiple changes caused by globalization and the development of technology in current markets, numerous studies analyse the role of universities in the socio-economic development of regions (Uyarra, 2010). Within this research field we also find the analysis of University-Business Cooperation (hereafter UBC), which leads to the improvement of territorial competitiveness (Davey et al., 2018).

Due to the importance and impact caused by this cooperation in various social and economic spheres, as well as the multiple stakeholders it brings together, among other multiple causes, the UBC is a complex field of study. Even if there is a huge quantity of literature on the topic, existing literature is fragmented (Galán-Muros, 2015) and it only shows various islands of knowledge. These studies address different areas of the UBC, analysing the phenomenon from either the perspective of the company or the universi-ty. Moreover, this fragmentation is aggravated by the lack of consensus among authors both on the use of key terms and on the very definition of UBC.

This lack of synthesis presents an opportunity for the realization of an integrative framework that ap-proaches cooperation from a global perspective, setting the way for future lines of research that generate knowledge in the different areas of cooperation.

With the aim of contributing to the UBC literature body, an exhaustive literature review was carried out, identifying some of the guidelines that must be taken into account for the development of a systematic integrative framework. However, owing to the huge magnitude of UBC and the multiple areas that the process of UBC covers, the present article is focused on the diverse and numerous UBC activities as well as their corresponding barriers and drivers.

Along with the development of the university's missions (Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff, 2000), the universi-ty's cooperation with the business sphere has also been transformed and it has evolved, together with the needs of markets and society, giving rise to new types of activity in the fields of education, research, valorisation and management (Davey et al., 2018).

The analysed literature includes both quantitative and qualitative peer-reviewed articles of high quality, published in journals on the Web of Science and Scopus databases and specialised technical reports. The research was developed using a combination of several keywords such as: university*, high* education*, business*, firm*, industr*, enterpris*, cooperation*, collaboration*, link*, interaction* and activit* in title, abstract and/or keywords fields with no temporal restrictions.

As a result of the review, we ought to highlight the need to take into account both business and university┬┤s perspective on the drivers and barriers that have an impact on the different UBC activities, along with the dynamic interaction between informal interactions and activities.