The Innovation Influence of Cluster Cooperation Between Universities and Companies

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The Innovation Influence of Cluster Cooperation between Universities and Companies

M. Papalová

Abstract: Small and medium-sized enterprises create alliances, associations, networks or clusters, for to obtain contracts, better use of production capacity, spreading the cost of marketing, etc. The highest stage of networking is chaining, such as by cluster for joint development and research. The cost of the innovation process significantly burden small firms than large firms. The clusters generally operate small and medium-sized companies, but also large companies. Common activities bring positive and negative relationships and effects. In article will be examined cooperation of companies associated in clusters and universities, the influence of co-operation on companies innovation. Universities play an important role in the development of innovation. Close cooperation between university and group of companies specialized in the one sector offers the possibility of improving knowledge and understanding of business processes and needs. This kind of cooperation causes firms benefit from the intellectual capital of students, which undoubtedly has an impact on the innovation potential of companies and on the other hand university graduates are better prepared for industry and study plans for students are better suited. The results of questionnaire show, given the large number of applied research co-projects of companies and universities (more than 1/3 companies), that this cooperation affects the ability of firms to innovate and it makes sense to vigorously promote the cooperation of universities and companies.

Key words: Cluster, Innovation, University, Co-operation

Introduction
The basement of every economy are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs´). They occupy an important role as the largest employer, they can create jobs at low capital cost, are a source of innovation. SMEs´ can to decentralize business activity, help to the region's growth and last but not least help to reduce the negative effects of structural changes (Malach, 2004). The size of SMEs´ brings not only positive benefits, such as flexibility, adaptability, ability to fill the market niche, but it is also burdened on negative characteristics - SMEs´ have little economic power, operates with a high administrative costs and their access to capital is difficult. Other negative factors driving small and medium enterprises is one particularly weak position when competing for public contracts, limiting sales to the domestic market, ignorance on the part of retail chains, restricted access to vocational education, etc. Small and medium enterprises to overcome some negatives form alliances, associations, networks or clusters. They can together easily to get a contract, to improve of use of production capacity, to share marketing costs, etc. The highest degree of connection is a cluster based on the joint development and research, because the cost of the innovation process to a considerable burden on small businesses more than big companies. Clusters as regional cooperation of enterprises, universities and research institutes meet the demands of a new business models. They prefer cooperation, although not escape from competition. These groups are concentrated locally, inter alia, an effective instrument for regional development and for increasing of competitiveness, both at macro and at micro level. It helps them as well as cooperation with research institutes and universities (Ludvík, Mikoláš, Papalová, 2005). Materials and methods

Cluster
Cluster is the network of interconnected firms, knowledge producing institutions, supporting institutions, or connected customers in the value chain. It is an association of cooperating companies and this association is concentrated in a particular location and industry (Cluster - definition, 2006). The foundation for defining the concept of cluster was posed by M. Porter in his book The Competitive Advantage...
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