The study analyzes the characteristics and results of industry-university (I-U) collaboration related to innovation oriented to sustainability, based on the analysis of an original database of more than 350 consulting and research contracts carried out by more than 70 professors specialized in disciplines related to environmental sustainability at the University of Padua (2008- 2012 period). It emerges that the economic and financial performance of collaborating companies is positively associated with collaboration with the University; the higher the number of contracts, the better the economic performance. This advantage is greater for smaller, nonmanufacturing companies located outside Veneto. On the contrary, the involvement of professors with companies to support environmental innovation does not contribute to better research performance, measured in terms of publications. The characteristics of the professor’s network, on the other hand, have an impact on his research performance.
Keywords: Academic Engagement, University-Industry Collaboration, Eco-Innovation, Performance, Sustainability
Jel Code: Q56, L20, R11