International R&D cooperation: the perceptions of SMEs and Intermediaries
Despite the large number of studies on Research and Development (R&D) cooperation, this is, in general, focused on the firms’ perceptions, neglecting the perception of the R&D Intermediary (e.g., universities, technology centres, R&D institutes, intellectual property supporting offices). Moreover, cooperation has been analyzed on a national perspective with cooperation projects in R&D involving entities from different countries being rarely studied. In the present paper we gathered empirical evidence on the motivation, obstacles and outcomes of international R&D cooperation projects based on the perceptions from both firms and intermediaries. Resorting to an unique database that includes 473 R&D international cooperation projects, developed within the 6th Framework Programme, we demonstrate that the heterogeneity is quite large as far as the motivations are concerned for the international R&D cooperation. This high heterogeneity might explain the high failure rate of R&D partnerships, namely the ones involving firms and universities. Not losing sight of the necessary enhancement of the scientific and knowledge basis, essential for the technological progress of nations, evidence gathered seem to advise an attitude on behalf of Intermediaries more focused on firms’ intended results.
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