Cooperative Research Centres and their role in Regional Innovation Systems: The Basque Case

GT 5.5 Políticas públicas para la sociedad del conocimiento: investigación, innovación y educación superior

Edurne Magro Montero (Orkestra)
Mikel Navarro Arancegui (Universidad de Deusto)
Sesión 2
Día: viernes,20 de septiembre de 2013
Hora: 11:45 a 14:15
Lugar: E2SEM2

Cooperative Research Centres or Centres of Competence are a new hybrid knowledge organisation that has appeared in the last decades in both literature and practice as a formula to increase university and science cooperation with industry through collaborative and multidisciplinary research activities (Adams et al., 2001; Arnold et al., 2004). In contraposition with other research organisations, CRC research is characterised by excellence and relevance for industry and society (Cruz Castro et al., 2012) and therefore it is “problem-oriented” research (Arnold et al., 2004).

In the systemic innovation models it is clear that knowledge is not generated by some agents and then transferred to industry and society (Mode 1 of innovation) but it is a consequence of a co-generation process in which knowledge agents and industry should work together (Mode 2 of innovation (Gibbons et al., 1994). This new mode of innovation requires new organisations as the CRCs. These organisations are embedded in Innovation Systems in which traditional types of science and technology organisation such as universities or technology centres can also be found, so it has to be clear which role each organisation is fulfilling and which is the added value of CRC in that system.

As every system is different we can find many types of CRCs with different characteristics and dimensions (physical versus distributed; scientific oriented versus industrial-oriented, etc.). Previous evaluations of this type of centres in the literature (CREST, 2008; Boekholt et al., 2010) focused on the role these centres have to fulfil according to the literature but have forgotten the characteristics of the system and the context in which they are embedded as well as the underlying policies and territorial strategies.

In this paper we explore the CRC concept and its link with (Regional) Innovation Systems and territorial strategies. We use the Basque Case for illustrating the different types of CRCs we can find in a system as well as for providing a framework analysis of their role in those systems according to the regional strategy. 

Palabras clave: Cooperative Research Centres, Regional Innovation Systems, Territorial Strategies