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The objective of this paper is to examine R&D collaboration between firms, on the one hand, and universities or public research labs, on the other, with particular attention to the role such collaboration plays among the determinants of product and process innovation in the Italian food and drink industry. The firm data are sourced from four waves of the Capitalia survey. The approach is a multivariate probit analysis in which the dependent variables are intra muros R&D investment, R&D collaboration with universities, public labs and private firms, process and product innovation. The independent variables consist of firm, territory and university characteristics. The results of the analysis demonstrate that R&D university–firm collaboration determines process innovation and, to a lesser extent, product innovation. A firm’s product innovation is positively affected by its geographical proximity to a university but negatively affected by the amount of its codified knowledge production.


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