- Elgar original reference
Edited by Patrizio Bianchi and Sandrine Labory
Jochen Lorentzen and Peter Møllgaard 1 Introduction Technological progress harbours the prospect of a future in which there would be cures for and vaccines against cruel diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cancer or malaria. People the world over would enjoy the beneﬁts of mobility in safe, zero-emission vehicles and make use of eﬀective, aﬀordable communication devices for both work and play. And industry would meet the growing demand for goods and services by an increasing global population while drastically reducing its negative impact on environmental sustainability. Making this future a reality requires innovations. To bring them about, ﬁrms as the major agents of technological change must invest in new products and processes. In so doing, they face costs associated with R&D that they often cannot bear individually. They confront technical risks and uncertainties related to market acceptance and, because of the increasing complexity of new applications, they come up against limits of their internal capabilities to solve a constantly evolving set of problems single-handedly. Firms have responded to this challenge through mergers and by cooperating with each other. For example, they have formed international technology alliances, including those with universities and science institutes. These partnerships aim to share costs, pool risks and complement or enhance individual capabilities through joint R&D or technology development. At the latest count there were almost 6000 of such alliances, concentrated in the Triad economies of the USA, Europe and Japan (NSF, 2004, Table 4.16). The tally is conservative in that...
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