At a time when scientific and technical innovation now requires a multitude of heterogeneous inputs and expertise from the public and private sectors alike, cooperative research centers (CRCs) have emerged as the predominant vehicle for cross-sector collaboration. In the U.S. alone, there are thousands of CRCs on university campuses, and agencies like the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and more recently the Department of Energy fund CRCs to address some of the nation's most formidable challenges with science and technology, including cancer and other diseases, terrorism surveillance and the detection of weapons of mass destruction, and new energy technologies and smart energy grid development. Industry oftentimes participates in CRCs for access to knowledge, capacity development, and to mitigate risk. This volume includes research investigating CRCs from North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia to explore the dynamics of CRCs, including but not limited to resource allocation, structure, level of sponsorship, organization and membership, management and operations, objectives and goals, and in doing so identifies both differences and similarities across institutional and national contexts. The volume sheds light on the role of CRCs in promoting innovation, S&T policy, and economic development, and on the practical aspects of successful CRC management. Moreover, the works included in the volume consider the implications for the various stakeholder groups (firms, universities, researchers, students, policymakers) invested in CRCs.
Today in most scientific and technical fields more than 90% of research studies and publications are collaborative, often resulting in high-impact research and development of commercial applications, as reflected in patents. Nowadays in many areas of science, collaboration is not a preference but, literally, a work prerequisite. The purpose of this book is to review and critique the burgeoning scholarship on research collaboration. The authors seek to identify gaps in theory and research and identify the ways in which existing research can be used to improve public policy for collaboration and to improve project-level management of collaborations using Scientific and Technical Human Capital (STHC) theory as a framework. Broadly speaking, STHC is the sum of scientific and technical and social knowledge, skills and resources embodied in a particular individual. It is both human capital endowments, such as formal education and training and social relations and network ties that bind scientists and the users of science together. STHC includes the human capital which is the unique set of resources the individual brings to his or her own work and to collaborative efforts. Generally, human capital models have developed separately from social capital models, but in the practice of science and the career growth of scientists, the two are not easily disentangled. Using a multi-factor model, the book explores various factors affecting collaboration outcomes, with particular attention on institutional factors such as industry-university relations and the rise of large-scale university research centers.
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