A New Agenda
Chapter 8: R & D Collaboration by ‘Stand-Alone’ SMEs: Opportunities and Limitations in the ICT Sector
8 R&D collaboration by ‘stand-alone’ SMEs: opportunities and limitations in the ICT sector INTRODUCTION The closing decades of the last century have seen fundamental changes in economic realities, often referred to as the process of globalization. In particular, there has been an increasing enforceability of cross-border agreements (due in part to growing de facto and de jure regional and global economic integration), a convergence in technological trajectories across countries, and an increased cross-border competition. In the context of this chapter these developments have changed the way ﬁrms arrange their innovative activity both spatially and organizationally. There is also an increasing international aspect of R&D activity, and a growth in the use of collaborative R&D between ﬁrms, both within and across borders (for a comprehensive survey, see Hagedoorn, 2002). From a technology perspective, there has been a growing knowledge content of products and processes, such that an increasing breadth of technologies and a growing level of competence in each of these technologies is required. Cars have more computing power than most desktop computers. Fridges are nowadays Internet-enabled. And so on. This is associated (inter alia) with the pervasive role of information and computing technologies (ICT) in sectors other than purely ICT products, as an enabler of fusion of technology and as a means to coordinate spatially dispersed operations efﬁciently (Santangelo, 2001). The need for multiple technological competences is partly responsible for the need for higher R&D resources. One response to the growing breadth of knowledge requirements...
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