فناوری و بازارگرایی در مشارکت شرکت در برنامه چارچوب اتحادیه اروپا
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|18718||2002||19 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Research Policy, Volume 31, Issue 3, March 2002, Pages 437–455
This paper will analyse the nature of the EU framework programme, particularly its degree of market-orientation and precompetitiveness, at the time of the fourth framework programme. The paper will show that precompetitiveness as a project or participation attribute is independent of technology or market orientation, where technology orientation means that the motive for participation in the framework programme is learning and knowledge and market orientation means that the motive is based on commercial objectives. Technology or market orientations appear almost equally as basic motivations for company participation in the programme. However, companies usually choose one of the two as their collaboration mode. The paper will further show that the framework programme participation by firms continues to be mainly precompetitive. This is due to the special circumstances and the contract principles of the framework programme.
Originally, the EU framework programme, or rather its flagships from the second framework programme onwards, the information technology programme, ESPRIT, and its parallel programme in telecommunications, RACE1, represented programmes that were supply- or technology-oriented: they had a mission to enhance the competitiveness of European industries by raising their technological level. The means was collaborative R&D among European information technology firms and public sector research institutes. Joint research was expected to help companies raise their technological knowhow and solve generic research problems that had wide applications across many industrial sectors. The model was originally taken from Japan where it was perceived to be successful (Peterson and Sharp, 1998). In the very beginning, the participating firms in the collaborative programmes were major competitors (see e.g. Peterson, 1991). Over time, there have been changes in the general objectives and in the emphasis on technology orientation. Today the framework programme encompasses a wide range of targets from cohesion and job creation to the contribution of the programmes to the implementation of the various Community policies (DNO, 1999). In the programme documents, the technology or supply orientation has given way to a greater emphasis on diffusion and demand oriented research collaboration. This means helping European companies transfer research results to marketable products and improve their business performance, thus enhancing their turnover and employment (GCE, 1994 and GPI, 1995). The extent to which this has indeed happened in programme practice has been little studied. According to the studies on the impact of the second framework programme, in the early stages, knowledge-related factors, which correspond to technology or supply orientation, motivated the participation of companies (Luukkonen, 1998 and Reger and Kuhlmann, 1995). However, the extent to which the above changes in the overall policy aims have influenced the orientation of projects in terms of precompetitiveness and market orientation has not been studied. There are some recent findings indicating that firm participation in the framework programme has been somewhat more motivated by commercial objectives than before (Ohler et al., 1997 and Luukkonen and Halikka, 2000). We still do not know whether this signals a fundamental change in the orientation of the framework programme.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study has shown that technology-related and market-related aspects are nearly equal as important motives for companies to participate in R&D alliances within the EU Framework context. Even though there was an overlap, over half of the companies chose differentiated orientation; they participated in EU Framework co-operation either to enhance the technological capabilities of the company or to develop particular products and processes and to develop the markets for their products. Large companies were more inclined to participate with a technology orientation than SMEs, which were more market oriented. It was somewhat of a surprise that high R&D intensive companies were more market-oriented while low R&D intensive companies were more technology oriented. This was explained by the fact that the EU framework programme provided the low-tech firms with an opportunity to carry out longer-term and more technology/knowledge-oriented research. Their own research is short-term and usually takes place with customers. It is therefore too confidential to be done in the EU context. Another reason was apparently the role of public programmes in the promotion of longer-term and more risky research projects. The above results concerning technology or market orientation in EU collaboration cannot be directly compared with those of Florida or Kuemmerle, referred to above, since their findings relate to very different types of cases. As said, Florida (1997) analysed foreign-affiliated R&D laboratories in the USA and Kuemmerle (1999) foreign direct investment in R&D by a sample of multinational firms. Florida noted that while both types of orientation were important for the R&D laboratories surveyed, those related to the technology oriented motives were mentioned as very important more often than those related to the market-oriented motives (ibid.). Kuemmerle also noted the importance of both motives in the establishment of R&D facilities abroad, but there was a clear differentiation in the orientation of particular institutions while the market-oriented institutions represented somewhat more than half of the total (ibid.). These studies concerned longer-term engagements than just project-based alliances, as is the case with EU collaboration. They were also carried out in the context of arguing about why companies invest in R&D across borders and brought new evidence in this context (see for example, the special issue of Research Policy, 1999). However, at a general level, the findings of this study on the EU framework programme coincide with those of Florida and Kuemmerle. This study confirms the importance of both technology and market orientation as motivations for cross-border R&D. It can be claimed that all three cases represent to some extent a special case. The EU case represents alliances of shorter duration with special conditions and rules concerning collaboration. Compared with other shorter-term alliances, it might represent a much higher-percentage of technology-oriented collaboration. However, we do not have comparable data for short-term R&D alliances of firms which have not been publicly subsidised. Neither could we compare the market versus technology orientation the companies had in their direct R&D investments abroad with that in their EU R&D collaboration, since this question was not explored. It turned out that only large companies had direct R&D investments abroad and their existence was not related to the R&D intensity of the firms. This study has shown that precompetitiveness as a project or participation attribute is independent of technology or market orientation and that framework programme participation by firms continues to be mainly precompetitive. Since the great majority of the interviewees said that their projects were precompetitive, we can assume that there have not been great changes in this respect over time. The fact that the framework programme continues to be precompetitive is due to the special circumstances and the contract principles of the framework programme, discussed in the paper. That precompetitiveness and market orientation are different matters in participation in the EU framework programme has important research policy implications. The study has shown that the EU type of R&D co-operation has most value for companies when it is precompetitive. Doing near-market research in an EU project seems very difficult in practice because of reasons related to confidentiality, IPR and related issues. The slowness of the decision-making process on the funding of the projects may also be more irksome for near-market research. However, funding such near-market research is almost contradictory to the basic principles of EU collaboration, which presume some degree of openness and sharing information. To carry out confidential research within the EU frame, we would need a change in the contract rules concerning the Framework projects. Nevertheless, it is questionable whether such confidential research by a company should be funded from the public purse, be it European or national. In spite of the fact that the large majority of EU R&D collaboration involves precompetitive projects, around third of the companies reported commercial utilisation of the results quite soon after the project or even during its lifetime. The explanation for this potential conflict is the possibility that firms can carry out parallel projects internally, in which they utilise the findings obtained in the EU project, as in the words of one of the interviewees: It [EU research] is not a suitable forum for business activities. Exploitation is usually indirect and may be based on the parallel work done in the company. The essential result is the production of intangibles, knowhow and learning that can make a commercial product. It is a misconceived idea that the projects would produce something that will directly be commercialised. The EU framework programme has a special role as a frame for making co-operative R&D alliances. It provides rules which facilitate the making of contracts and the companies do not need to start negotiating over IPR every time. These rules (patent rules, IPR rules) also limit the applicability of the EU FP to certain types of R&D. The framework programme can have an important role in issues that have great industrial policy importance such as standards in telecom. Nevertheless, as pointed out, development in the telecom industry has become so fast that the EU frame may have become too slow. It may still have a potentially important role in the promotion of very long-term issues, such as in the creation of consensus of future standards. The framework programme has another important role as a catalyst in network building. Its additionality is difficult to study and establish accurately. However, one conclusion on the basis of the current study and many earlier studies (see, e.g Guy et al., 1999) is its role in providing opportunities for doing things differently, in larger networks, with European partners that have special expertise in the issues studied. Limited personnel resources in firms guarantee that companies have to consider carefully the projects in which they engage themselves and there is a disincentive for them to embark upon projects without clear motives, whether they are publicly-subsidised or not.