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European Collaboration in Research and Development

Business Strategy and Public Policy

Edited by Yannis Caloghirou, Nicholas S. Vonortas and Stavros Ioannides

The contributions collected in this volume focus explicitly on cooperative R & D in Europe. The first part of the book offers empirical evidence on the extent, scope and direction of this collaboration and explores the motives and problems of the participating firms, as well as the perceived benefits they have enjoyed. The second part deals with the difficult policy issues that diverse national R & D regimes create for successful cooperative research and international convergence. The extensive survey results of European firms allow the authors to compare collaborative research policies in various EU countries and contrast the policy design that has emerged in the EU with that of the USA.
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Chapter 10: Collaborative Research and Technology Policy in France

Mireille Matt


Mireille Matt The aim of this chapter is to characterize the French technology and research system with a specific focus on R&D cooperation between the different economic actors. To provide an idea of the characteristics of the French S&T system this chapter underlines the following facts. France has developed a vast public research sector. More than 20 public research organizations and 160 universities and ‘Grandes Ecoles’ execute 37 per cent of the total R&D and employ 53 per cent of all researchers in the French economy. On the business side, R&D efforts are concentrated on a small number of sectors and a small number of firms, mainly large companies. In order to innovate, firms collaborate with the private sector but not very often with public research actors. The public support of industry is rather small: in 1999, 12 per cent of research conducted by firms was funded by public funds. Of these public funds devoted to industry, 85 per cent were distributed to carry out defence and large-scale programmes. Mission-oriented policy tools are largely predominant in financial terms. Moreover a very restrictive number of firms benefit from these funds: mainly the national champions created by these policies. The organization of these programmes, in which secrecy is important and subcontracting is not, entails few externalities. The general French industrial policy, which includes technology policy, reinforces this concentration effect: creation and control of large companies, public monopolies and protected cartels. The European Union...

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