THE GEOGRAPHICAL PROXIMITY CHOICE OF UNIVERSITY SPINOUTS IN IRELAND (PART 2)

(Continued from Part 1)

Table 1 below shows the locational characteristics of USOs for the 11 Irish HEIs (Appendix I breaks down into more details). If all institutions are taken into consideration, the average distance between a USO and its parent university in Ireland is 31.27 Km (about 19.43 Miles), while the median distance is much shorter which stands at 4.31 Km (about 2.68 Miles). Furthermore, in Ireland, the shortest distance between any USO and its parent university is only 230 Metres, with the longest distance being 229 Km (about 142.29 Miles). The fact that the median distance is less than 3 Miles seems to indicate a dominant presence of geographical proximity between Irish USOs and institutions.

Table 1 Locational characteristics of university spinouts in Ireland, 2007-2011

Institution Number of USOs Shortest distance (Km) Longest distance (Km) Average distance (Km) Median distance (Km)
DCU 10 0.25 66.10 13.66 9.11
DIT 6 0.77 57.50 15.04 9.77
ITTRALEE 1 2.29 2.29 2.29 2.29
NUIG 11 0.77 194.00 42.70 3.06
NUIM 9 0.23 185.00 44.98 23.00
RCSI 1 218.00 218.00 218.00 218.00
TCD 17 0.23 208.00 13.65 0.59
UCC 7 1.07 229.00 78.85 4.77
UCD 18 2.21 197.00 33.15 5.03
UL 6 1.50 76.80 15.23 2.91
WIT 4 0.32 17.20 5.22 1.68
           
All institutions 90 0.23 229.00 31.27 4.31

Source: Author’s own elaboration.

As two institutions – ITTRALEE and RSCI – have only a single spinout company during the period, their data should be treated with special cautions. For the rest nine institutions, some interesting patterns emerge. First, the longest distance between any spinout from WIT and the institution is 17.20Km, much shorter than the number for the other eight HEIs, suggesting that there is a strong tendency for academics based at WIT to locate their businesses within a relatively short distance from the institution.

Second, UCC shows the longest average distance from its spinouts among the nine HEIs, which could be understood as an indication that USOs from UCC, in comparison with their counterparts spun from other Irish HEIs, are less concerned about the importance of geographical proximity with their parent university. As explained, the underlying factors that determine the location choice could vary from one firm to another, but it could be argued that spinouts founded by academics based at UCC are relatively further away from the institution than the rest cases.

Last but not least, the median distance shown by TCD spinouts (590 Metres) is the shortest among the institutions. A closer examination of the locations of those spinouts reveals that many of them are housed by the Trinity College Enterprise Centre, which has circa 16,000 sq.m. of lettable space for small and medium-sized enterprises in the heart of Dublin. The Centre was purchased by Trinity College in 1999 to be converted to a knowledge-based company generation and support facility.

The availability of university-run incubation space, which has been claimed by many scholars to be an essential way to strengthen and support academic entrepreneurship, seems to explain, at least in part, why USOs from TCD tend to be agglomerated around the university. To this end, future study could investigate the scale and quality of incubation facilities which could be used by USOs in Ireland.

Appendix I Locational characteristics of university spinouts in Ireland, 2007-2011

Institution <1 Km 1-5 Km 5-10 Km 10-20 Km 20-50 Km >50 Km Total No. of USOs
DCU 3 1 2 2 1 1 10
DIT 1 1 1 2 0 1 6
ITTRALEE 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
NUIG 1 5 1 1 0 3 11
NUIM 1 0 1 1 4 2 9
RCSI 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
TCD 10 4 2 0 0 1 17
UCC 0 4 0 0 0 3 7
UCD 0 9 2 2 2 3 18
UL 0 4 1 0 0 1 6
WIT 1 2 0 1 0 0 4
               
All institutions 17 31 10 9 7 16 90

Source: Author’s own elaboration.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “THE GEOGRAPHICAL PROXIMITY CHOICE OF UNIVERSITY SPINOUTS IN IRELAND (PART 2)

  1. These two articles are very interesting and follow on a long series of papers that have been published over the years. However, I wonder if the perception of ‘distance’ is changing from kilometres to travel time given the improvement in roads in Ireland. So 200 km on a motorway is the same distance as 60km on a ‘regional’ road.

    Also, perceptions of distance is very dependent on where you live. In Canada, a two hour drive to a pizza shop is not exceptional , but would you drive from Dublin to Galway get a take-out Pizza.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s