Assessing public-private research collaboration: is it possible to compare university performance?

Giovanni Abramo, Ciriaco Andrea D'Angelo, Marco Solazzi

It is widely recognized that collaboration between the public and private research sectors should be stimulated and supported, as a means of favoring innovation and regional development. This work takes a bibliometric approach, based on co-authorship of scientific publications, to propose a model for comparative measurement of the performance of public research institutions in collaboration with the domestic industry collaboration with the private sector. The model relies on an identification and disambiguation algorithm developed by the authors to link each publication to its real authors. An example of application of the model is given, for the case of the academic system and private enterprises in Italy. The study demonstrates that for each scientific discipline and each national administrative region, it is possible to measure the performance of individual universities in both intra-regional and extra-regional collaboration, normalized with respect to advantages of location. Such results may be useful in informing regional policies and merit-based public funding of research organizations.

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