Knowledge intensive services (KIS) have a key role in the creation and commercialisation of new products, processes and services. They are fundamental as carriers and creators of both technological and organisational innovation. Furthermore, the availability to firms of KIS in their surroundings positively affects their ability to innovate and contribute to the regional development. Nevertheless, a little is known about the factors that explain, why some firms use these services (technological advice, applied research, strategic consultancy, engineering, etc.) more frequently than other firms. This article, reporting from a database of more than 2,000 firms and with the use of binary models, analyses the factors that explain the use of KIS by small and medium-sized firms. Specifically, the services supplied by technological centres with the purpose of improving regional innovative potential are examined. The results show, in a similar way to the most consistent conclusions of the available studies, that demand for services increases with the size of the user firms. Spatial proximity between the user and the supplier of the KIS also seems to be a relevant factor. Other variables such as age, sector, innovation level and exports are also examined.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2008
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