Science and Innovation

Science and Innovation

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

This book re-examines the rationale for public policy, concluding that the prevailing ‘public knowledge’ model is evolving towards a networked or distributed model of knowledge production and use in which public and private institutions play complementary roles. It provides a set of tools and models to assess the impact of the new network model of funding and governance, and argues that governments need to adapt their funding and administrative priorities and procedures to support the emergence and healthy growth of research networks. The book goes on to explain that interdependencies and complementarities in the production and distribution of knowledge require a new and more contextual, flexible and complex approach to government funding, monitoring and assessment.

Chapter 8: The Economics of Scientific Research Coalitions: Collaborative Network Formation in the Presence of Multiple Funding Agencies

Paul A. David and Louise C. Keely

Subjects: innovation and technology, innovation policy


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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