Rethinking the Rationales for Funding and Governance
New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series
Edited by Aldo Geuna, Ammon J. Salter and W. Edward Steinmueller
Chapter 8: The Economics of Scientific Research Coalitions: Collaborative Network Formation in the Presence of Multiple Funding Agencies
8. The economics of scientiﬁc research coalitions: collaborative network formation in the presence of multiple funding agencies* Paul A. David and Louise C. Keely 1 INTRODUCTORY OVERVIEW: MOTIVATION, APPROACH AND RESULTS A global trend towards the formal collaborative organization and conduct of scientiﬁc and technological investigations has been promoted by the increasing scale, ‘lumpiness’ and complexity of research and development opportunities.1 Understandably enough, there has been a corresponding increase in the attention and eﬀort devoted by economists to describing the various phenomena associated with the proliferation of cooperative R&D agreements among ﬁrms, multi-institutional research partnerships, and international scientiﬁc consortia; as well as to accounting for the characteristics of the entities (whether business ﬁrms, university schools and departments, or public institutes) that exhibit strong propensities to enter into coalitional arrangements of this kind.2 This is very much in order, in as much as the increasing ubiquity of collaborative modes of research that transcend national boundaries calls for some critical rethinking of traditional national science and technology policies, an undertaking for which there is none too ample a supporting basis of empirical ﬁndings and analytical constructs.3 The growing recognition of the collaborative context within which individual researchers typically function, and the respects in which their organizational arrangements do not conform to the ideal of a ‘perfect team’ organization within which the incentives of the constituent agents have been so aligned that the collectivity can be viewed as a monolithic entity, are new and welcome departures from past...
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