International research collaborations have become important, as more countries in the world have significantly strengthened research capability and as firms globalize their research operations. They may also become more important as R & D tasks become more complex and require more knowledge input and experiences (Jones 2009). This chapter analyzes how international research collaborations may affect invention process, based on triadic patent data. Patent data provides essential information in this regard: the addresses of the inventors and the owners (or assignees). If inventors of more than two different national addresses work together, it implies that the inventive human resources of different nations are combined. If firms of more than two different national addresses share the ownership of the patent, it implies that these firms collaborated for the R & D in terms of finance, human resources or other matters. Although co-invention and co-ownership do not cover all research collaborations, they would cover a vital part of research collaborations, involving the combination of significant resources. Research collaboration defined in these terms has grown in importance in recent years. Do international research collaborations affect the research process, and if so, how? The combination of inventors of different countries allows a firm to undertake research which might not have been possible if only the resources of a single nation inventor could be used, and enlarges the pool of technological or scientific knowledge available.
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