The Danish Model and the Globalizing Learning Economy – Lessons for developing countries


Networking, interactive learning and knowledge integration



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4.3.2 Networking, interactive learning and knowledge integration

According to the CIS3 survey for Denmark, 40% of innovating firms collaborated with one or more other partners in relation to their innovation activities in 1998-2000. As indicated in Table 4.3.1, nearly half of the firms (47%) collaborated with their domestic (Danish) clients and customers and 26% had collaborations with their foreign clients and customers. From a globalization perspective, it is interesting to notice that most of the foreign co-operation partners were located in the near EU/EFTA countries.

Table 4.3.1: Collaboration partners 1998-2000. % of firms with collaboration. DK

Collaboration partner

Domestic (DK)

Foreign

Total CIS3-DK

Total CIS3-EU

Firms within same concern

42

29

65

42

Suppliers

48

23

60

61

Clients and customers

47

26

55

50

Competitors

22

14

34

29

Consultants

39

15

46

41

Private labs and R&D firms

17

7

22

22

Universities and others higher education

23

9

29

31

Public and private non-commercial research centre

19

3

21

20

Note: CIS3-DK is based on an extended population including supplementary data from construction and selected service industries in order to fit the Danish R&D statistics. CIS3-EU is equivalent to the Eurostat dataset.

Source: The Danish Institute for Studies in Research and Research Policy (2003), CIS3-DK, Table 15 & CIS3-EU, Table 32a.

Although suppliers and customers are the most frequent collaboration partners, it is interesting to notice that around 30% of the firms state that they have collaborated with universities. This indicates an important increase compared to earlier studies. The DISKO survey carried out in the l998 found, for instance, that only 17% of the Danish firms collaborated with universities in relation to product innovation, while 38% collaborated with technological service institutes.4 It is still too early to conclude to what extent the registered marked increased importance of universities as collaboration partner reflects an emerging transformation of the firms in general to pay more attention to R&D or whether it instead indicates that universities become more engaged in consultancy and various technological service activities. The increasing private R&D (see Section 4.1) expenditures could support the former interpretation, and the growing pressure on universities to increase collaboration with private industry might support the latter.



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