Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research

A Firm Scientific Community

Baruffaldi, Stefano Horst; Poege, Felix (2019). A Firm Scientific Community, DRUID19 4936. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School.

The diffusion of scientific knowledge to industry is instrumental to technological change and productivity growth. In this paper, we investigate the extent to which firms participate in scientific communities' activities and whether this facilitates the exchange and transfer of scientific knowledge to firms' technological activities. We focus on two modes of interactions of firms with scientific communities: the participation to and the sponsorship of international scientific conferences. We exploit a newly constructed database comprising the set of all conference proceedings in computer science from 1996 until 2015 from a specialized computer science database (DBLP) matched to Web of Science and Scopus and conference ranking information. We track knowledge transfers by patent and science citations to these proceedings. First, we document that both conference participation and sponsorship by firms is frequent and concentrated in the events of the highest quality. Contributions of firms at conferences are of higher average quality, even within individual conferences. Second, we go on to find that firms are significantly more likely to cite in their patents and papers the scientific articles presented at a conference which they attended relative to comparable articles presented at other conferences. We use airline connectivity between researcher and conference locations in an instrumental variable strategy to establish causality.