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Participating in European R&D Networks: Experiences from Switzerland

: Bührer, S.; Reger, G.

SOCINTEC SA, Las Arenas Vizcaya; Manchester Federal School of Business and Management:
Technology Strategy and Strategic Alliances 1998
Las Arenas Vizcaya: SOCINTEC, 1998
Aufsatz in Buch
Fraunhofer ISI ()

Switzerland is participating in the European Framework Programmes for Research and Technology Development (RTD) as a non-member country. Swiss researchers can take part in joint European R&D projects on a case by case basis, with the financial support of the Swiss Federal Office for Education and Science (BBW). The goal of these funds was to strengthen the integration of Swiss industrial and academic research into European R&D networks. But has this goal been achieved? And, what are the benefits of participating in these European R&D networks. for Switzerland? This paper attempts to answer this question by analysing the structure of the Swiss participation and the benefits for the Swiss R&D organisations involved. The empirical results are based on a mail survey among the Swiss participants mainly in the Third Framework Programme. Additionally, in-depth interviews were carried out with participants from large and small companies, universities and other R&D institutions. The results of this research are compared with experiences from other European countries (Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Germany). The analysis of the Swiss participation in the European RTD Framework Programme shows that this is extremely concentrated. Two-thirds of all Swiss participants are from state universities and federal institutes of technology, whereas Swiss firms are more poorly represented, with a total of just 14 % of participants. Regarding the benefits for the Swiss R&D organisations of joining European R&D projects, the increase in scientific and technological performance was named in first place. Further, existing R&D networks were strengthened and new R&D cooperations were built up. Thirdly, new fields of research were established and fourthly, industrial participants benefited by developing marketable products or services.