This paper investigates the determinants of inter-firm cooperation in research and development (R&D). We analyse the impact of structural and firm specific characteristics, market performance, access to resources and managerial techniques on different types of inter-firm R&D cooperation. Based on a survey of 886 enterprises in manufacturing and industry/business-related services located in Germany, we estimate several models with different types of R&D partnerships as a dependent variable to find out which types of enterprises are more or less likely to form or join either type of R&D partnership. The findings suggest that the availability and the quality of a firm’s own R&D resources are
common factors driving R&D cooperation in general. Differentiating between cooperation activities in R&D among enterprises on the same production level on the one hand and vertical cooperation between enterprises and suppliers/customers or cross-sector alliances between enterprises and public research institutes on the other hand, we find cooperation type specific determinants of entry. The size of a firm, its location, access to financial resources and network experience seem to be most important.