AN INTERNATIONAL SURVEY OF TEXTILE AND TEXTILE-RELATED INDUSTRIES IN GERMANY, BELGIUM AND THE NETHERLANDS
With regard to the increasing competitive situation in many industries due to continuous globalisation, companies more and more have to take into account external research support in order to maintain or even improve their competitiveness. In order to gain new and more detailed insights into the actual experiences and perceived benefits of companies cooperating with universities and other external research institutions concerning particularly innovation-related support like product or prototype development, we conducted a transnational empirical survey in 2009. It addressed companies from textile and textile-related industries in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Based on a genuinely market-oriented perspective, the main focus of our study lies on the perceived benefits of industry-university collaboration from the point of view of the companies addressed. These benefit perceptions provide the core for a proposed segmentation framework concept for universities as suppliers on research markets. Following this idea, combined with the theoretical framework of market segmentation and transferring the customer segmentation approach to research markets, our paper gives concrete managerial implications for university research suppliers in order to meet the specific needs and benefit expectations of companies better than so far.