Keywords: biotechnology, knowledge bridging, business services, knowledge-intensive industries, nanotechnology, technical services, scientific services, technology bridging, knowledge transfer, innovation systems, value-added
The knowledge-bridging role of Technical and Scientific Services in knowledge-intensive industries
Technical and Scientific Services (TSS) have been largely acknowledged by scholars and policy makers as means of knowledge transfer and diffusion within an innovation system. The paper argues that TSS play a critical technology bridging function especially in knowledge-intensive industries, significantly contributing to their development and growth. This issue is investigated through an extensive analysis of the Italian biotech and nanotech industries. The results demonstrate that TSS actually serve as technology bridges along the stages of the technology-intensive industry's life cycle, connecting sources of technical knowledge (e.g. universities) with recipient organisations (e.g. large private companies), that use the transferred technology to innovate their products or services. The major achievement is that TSS do not play just a brokering function; they perform on the acquired technology value-added activities (i.e. personalisation or recombination) the recipient organisations are willing to pay for, thus ensuring the sustainability of the TSS firm business model.