Geographical distance constitutes friction of searching research collaborators. Taking advantage of a quasi‐natural experiment featured by High‐Speed Railway (HSR) lines in China, this paper employs the difference‐in‐differences model to identify the causal impact of a substantial improvement in the intercity transportation infrastructure on collaborative innovation across cities. The data pertain to a universe of patent applications filed by Chinese universities and their citations. We find that HSR contributes to a substantial increase in the innovation quantity and quality of collaborative patenting innovation between universities and corporates. It contributes to industry collaboration by utilizing university academic disciplines in the related technology fields. Lastly, HSR facilitates universities to search for new research partners with better quality beyond the geographical boundary.
Media Coverage: Duke kunshan University