Universities, Joint Ventures, and Success in the Advanced Technology Program
NBER Working Paper No. 9463
America's most innovative firms participate in the U.S. Commerce Department's Advanced Technology Program (ATP) those that participated at least once accounted for over 40 percent of U.S. patents to U.S. entities during 1988-1996. Many firms are repeat participants. ATP participation has significant and robust effects on innovation in firms, generally increasing firms' patenting during the time they are receiving ATP support, when compared to patenting by the same firms prior to and after the ATP award. ATP participation increases firms' patenting on average by between 5 and 30 patents per year during the period of ATP participation. This represents a 4 to 25 percent increase in firms' patenting compared to the period before ATP participation. Furthermore, joint-venture (JV) project participation and university participation in a project both appear to have a positive impact on firm patenting. The amount of funding received by the firm is crucial for single participants, with the positive impact concentrated in those firms with large grants. Single participants are more likely than JV members to be small startups for which ATP funding is large relative to the total R&D budget. For JV participants, participation is more important than the level of funding.