Typology of partnerships in the European research and innovation system

Typology of partnerships in the European research and innovation system: main report. Brussels: European Commission, Directorate General XII, Science, Research and Developments. ISBN 92-827-8548-3

Bandemer, Stephan von / Kalff, Paul / Suàrez, Miguel A. / Tellechea, Juan F. / Watson, John P.


Industrial R&D Partnerships, which the cooperative R&D programmes initiated at the Community level have largely contributed to develop, are now a well established component of European research and innovation system. The Commision, as a policy maker, attempts in this study to assess the efficiency and the contribution to industrial competitiveness of the existing types of partnerships, with a view to defining competitive partnerships of European interest

The “Typology of Partnerships in the European Research and Innovation System” project has identified 7 different types of research and innovation partnerships. These partnerships aredifferntiated by innovation generations, clusters and corporate governance structures. Key features of the types auch as contexts, strategies, implementation procedures and policy enviroments are described.

The analysis of these types of research and innovation partnerships allows the definition of adequate policy schemes (context, ends, and means). Present trends of innovation partnerships and of public policies are identified as well as the added value of the latter. Finallypolicy choises are identified and recommendations for increasing competitiveness of enterprises, industries, technologies and regions are made.

The analytical background of the project takes into account new growth theory and previous innovation research. The empirical bases of the project are 60 interviews with policy experts and 116 interviews with enterprises engaged in research and innovation partnerships. Additional case stidies of “best practice”, instruments, regions and context conditions, such as intellectual property rights, supplement and support the evidence from the interviews.

Several findings emerge from the study : most partnerships aim at the competitiveness of enterprises and follow a close to the market strategy; the more integrated the partnership type, the more relevant it is for most actors and strategies, and the more it allows for policy tools of an incentive rather than financial nature. Partnerships are an efficient tool to balance colletive and proprietary knowledge and, as such, policy makers could look at them as an objective to strive for. The typology can help to taylor policy instruments to the targeted actors or strategies.