Full citation

Perkman, Markus & Walsh, Kathryn. (2007). University-Industry relationships and open innovation: Towards a research agenda. International Journal of Management Reviews, 9(4), 259-280.

Format: Peer-reviewed article

Type: Research — Non-experimental

Experience level of reader: Fundamental

Annotation: A literature review explores the various types of university-industry relationships, in the context of inter-organizational or open innovation. Different types of relationships result in different levels of interaction between the organizations, and define the flow of benefits and incentives.

Setting(s) to which the reported activities/findings are relevant: Federal lab, Government, Large business, Small business (less than 500 employees), University

Knowledge user(s) to whom the piece of literature may be relevant: Brokers, Manufacturers, Policy Makers, Researchers

Knowledge user level addressed by the literature: Sector

This article uses the Commercial Devices and Services version of the NtK Model

Primary Findings

Method: The relationship established between academia and industry determines the flow of benefits and incentives. For example, Research Partnership relationships are cooperative R&D activities with high academic and industry incentives, but less focus on specific deliverables. In contrast, Research Service relationships (i.e., contract research or consulting), have lower academic incentives but tend to focus on specific deliverables (see Table 1).
Review of 49 articles identified through search of literature from 1990 to present using thirty key terms.
Occurrence of finding within the model: Step 4.1

Secondary Findings

Model: Bi-directional knowledge interactions, those based upon continuing relationships, are judged by academic and industrial scientists alike to be more important than unidirectional knowledge transfers. This is important for the KTA activities. (Meyer-Krahmer and Schmoch [1998].)


  • Consulting and Contract Research relationships tend to provide more common yet specialized expertise that is required in the latter stages, such as product differentiation and improvement. (Meyer-Krahmer & Schmoch [1998].)
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Stage 8, Stage 9
  • Open science relationships are far more relevant to industrial R&D laboratories, than are the commercial activities of universities, such as licensing or cooperative ventures. (Cohen et al [2002])
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Step 4.1