University-industry cooperation in the Research Framework Programme

JRC Scientific and Technical Reports

University-industry cooperation (UIC) in research is an important vector of innovation and growth, being one of the avenues to foster a dynamic research sector while strengthening the so-called third mission of universities. Based on budgetary data from the 6th EUR&D Framework Programme (FP6), this paper aims at identifying the main patterns derived from budget allocation to UIC projects versus other forms of collaboration (e.g. academiconly networks, intra-firms networks, etc). The main findings show that for the EU average, a UIC contract involves a funding four times bigger than other forms of collaboration. The results also show that countries getting the lion§s share of FP6 UIC projects and value are usually Western, Northern and, to a minor extent, Southern member states, while Eastern and most Southern countries tend to rank low in both the number and value of projects.
When correlating the average value of FP6 UIC projects with GDP, this pattern is even clearer. Considering that the FP allocates funds on the basis of the quality of the proposal, these findings could be attributed to the self-reinforcing nature of UIC, and open
perspectives on possible ways of better involving the new member states in an increasingly important knowledge-oriented future for Europe.