Research grants, sources of ideas and the effects on academic research

Hanna Hottenrott, Cornelia Lawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (SciVal)


Based on a sample of research units in science and engineering at German universities, this study reports survey evidence on the relationship between research grants and research content. Research units that receive funds from industry are more likely to source ideas from the private sector. The higher the share of industry funding in a unit's total budget, the more likely it is that large firms influence the research agenda. Public research grants, on the other hand, are associated with a higher importance of conferences and scientific sources. What is more, the different sources of ideas impact scientific output. Research units that source research ideas from small- and medium-sized firms patent more, but are not more successful than others in terms of the impact of their inventions on future patents. If, on the other hand, research units source ideas from large firms, we find them to publish less and with lower impact on future scientific work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-133
Number of pages25
JournalEconomics of Innovation and New Technology
Issue number2
Early online date9 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • academic patents
  • research funding
  • scientific productivity
  • technology transfer
  • university research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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