The Emergence and Survival of High-Technology Ventures in Europe
Edited by Jan Ulijn, Dominique Drillon and Frank Lasch
Chapter 7: The Importance of Cooperation and Support for Technology Start-ups: A Comparison of the Eindhoven and Darmstadt Areas
Johannes Halman, Jan Ulijn, Vareska van de Vrande and Frank Umbach* INTRODUCTION The EU Lisbon agreement of 2000 sets a target for the European Union (EU) to be the most competitive knowledge market in the world in 2010. To achieve this, one of the elements would be the creation of a lot more successful technology-based start-ups. The integrated European regions play a key role in this context and have therefore enjoyed substantial support since the last ﬁve-yearly framework programmes proposed by the European Commission (EC) in Brussels. However, do these programmes really help and is support in this sense appreciated? Although support can be seen as a kind of cooperation (but not so much on an egalitarian basis, since the sponsor might determine the outcome!), the argument against it is that too much incubation and support ‘falsiﬁes’ the natural competition of markets (see also Drnovs ek et al., ch. 3 in this book). It might ˇ also kill survival initiatives. On the other hand, the preparation of technology start-ups in particular demands a lot of pre-competitive R&D eﬀort that has nothing to do with the jungle of the market: the survival of the ﬁttest. Being too much on your own as a techno-starter in the beginning might put you oﬀ from cooperating with your former colleagues from a research and development (R&D) environment of a large multinational corporation (MNC) or from the university you graduated from. It might have an ‘alienating’ eﬀect from the original source...
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