Mapping the Emergence of International University Research Ventures

Sergey Kolesnikov, Seokkyun Woo, Yin Li, Philip Shapira, Jan Youtie

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Research universities are expanding their institutional research presence overseas through the creation of research centers, facilities and partnerships outside of their home countries. We argue that such international university research ventures (IURV) are a distinct type of intermediary node in global knowledge networks occurring at the intersection of three trends: (1) expanding international research collaborations, (2) globalization of higher education, and (3) growing demand for capacity building in science, technology and innovation in emerging economies. To understand and characterize the scope and scale of this phenomenon we undertake an exploratory study of IURVs of 108 research-intensive universities in the United States. Data on U.S. IURV locations and their characteristics is collected from university websites and other secondary sources. We find that 54 US research universities have established at least one IURV, with 183 IURVs in total created in 59 countries. A conceptual framework based on motivations and pathways of IURV emergence is developed. It distinguishes between strategy-driven, collaboration-driven, policy-driven and problem-driven IURVs. Insights from the mapping of US IURVs are discussed, along with implications for future research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Technology Transfer
Early online date17 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • university internationalization
  • globalization of R&D
  • global knowledge networks
  • joint research venture

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Policy@Manchester


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