Open innovation and the formation of university–industry links in the food manufacturing and technology sector: evidence from the UK

JOHNSTON, Andrew (2020). Open innovation and the formation of university–industry links in the food manufacturing and technology sector: evidence from the UK. European Journal of Innovation Management.

Johnston_OpenInnovationAnd(Am).pdf - Accepted Version
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (400kB) | Preview
Official URL:
Link to published version::


Purpose Despite typically being regarded as ‘low-tech,’ the Food Manufacturing and Technology Sector is increasingly turning to open innovation practices involving collaboration with universities in order to innovate. Given the broad range of activities undertaken by this sector and the fact that it utilises analytical, synthetic, and symbolic knowledge for innovation, it makes an interesting case study on the factors that influence the formation of University-Industry links. Design/methodology/approach Using data from 249 collaborative projects that occurred between UK universities and food manufacturing and technology firms, the analysis utilises a logistic regression model based on a ‘synthetic counterfactual approach’ to modelling the probability a collaborative link will be established with one university and not others. Findings The results suggest that organisational proximity, conceptualised through the presence of prior ties between actors, have the largest influence on the formation of U-I links. In addition, spatial and technological proximity between actors also have a positive influence on link formation. This result suggests that the specificity of knowledge to the food sector is important in the formation of these U-I links. Research limitations/implications 2 The results suggest that the open innovation practices of food manufacturing and technology firms are like other sectors, even though their innovation practices are considered to be different. However, the limitations of the paper mean that these findings may be specific to firms in the food manufacturing and technology sector in the UK. Originality/value The food sector is under-represented in empirical studies on university collaboration; this paper addresses this and provides new insights into the formation of these links.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Business & Management; 1503 Business and Management; 1505 Marketing
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2020 16:23
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 23:46

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics