Dating or mating? On the relationship of SMEs with an RTO in Finland

Pekka Pesonen, Robert van der Have, Jani Saarinen, Nina Rilla

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are widely recognised as forming a vital set of actors within economies. Moreover, the interaction between industry and the public sector is generally highlighted as being a key factor in sustainable economic development and innovation-driven competitiveness. In this paper, we focus on this pattern and study SMEs and their collaboration activity with a large research and technology organisation (RTO) in Finland, VTT. We base our analysis on a comparison of two different collaboration strategies; maters and daters. Half of the collaborating SMEs are conducting consecutive RTO cooperation (i.e. maters), while the other half have a more occasional relationship with the RTO (i.e. daters). We discover that the consecutive collaborators are, compared to the occasional ones, more often larger in firm and project size, have subtle growth, are active in patenting, are relatively older and are more R&D experienced. While the occasional collaborators are more often experiencing high growth, the consecutive collaborators dominate in the group of patenting and growing firms. VTT's role in the Finnish innovation system is significant as it serves a relatively large share of SMEs from various sectors and across different size classes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages41
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-6986-1
    ISBN (Print)978-951-38-6985-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes


    • Small and medium -sized enterprises (SMEs)
    • Research and Technoogy Organisation (RTO)
    • collaboration
    • Innovation system


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