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A Study on Industry-University-Public Research Institutes Collaboration and Policy Issues

Author Cho Yoonae, Kang Minji, Sung Yeolyong, Choi Younhee Date 2016.12.27 Page
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Industry-University-Public research Institutes(IUP) collaboration is recognized as a key factor  through which business in industries can enhance their competitiveness in the face of increasing market uncertainty, technological innovation, and the growing cost of research and development (R&D). However, few IUP projects achieve the intended outcomes or succeed in coordinating voluntary participation from of all actors involved innovation, due to various conflicts of participants’s interest. Despite these limitations, the strategic approaches to IUP collaboration is needed more, in consideration of the need to create new engines of economic growth, the significance of effective technological convergence, and the uneven distribution of R&D resources. 


In response to these factors, innovation actors(business, university, government etc) have turned to more open-minded paradigms of innovation. There has been a gradual, but irreversible, paradigm shift in terms of technological innovation by businesses, from the traditional closed innovation to open innovation. With the expanding and evolving network of open innovation coming to accept participation from increasingly diverse actors, including businesses, universities, and research institutes, IUP collaboration that is open to multiple innovative actors is becoming increasingly important.  


Such IUP collaboration is even more significant in new industries(ICT, bio, nano etc.)  that are facing market uncertainty and undergoing destructive innovation. The open innovation taking place in these new industries, the evolution and growth of which crucially depends on creative destruction and technological convergence, requires increasing ranges and quantities of innovation resources (including ideas and early R&D) and features increasingly complex and extensive matchmaking mechanisms among innovative actors seeking partners and technology. The success of businesses today is depend on finding appropriate collaboration partners in a cost-effectiveness, so businesses are looking for ways to establish and design more cost-effective systems of innovation.  


As the demand for effective and efficient IUP collaboration systems continues to rise, it is necessary to develop such systems in order to maximize the positive synergy among all participants in collation. Especially, it is important to ensure consistency and partnership between Korea’s policy and business’s demand on IUP collaboration.  


The purpose of this study is to identify the characteristics and features of the IUP collaboration system for Korean businesses, so that the Korean government’s R&D investment can effectively support all stages of the innovation, from R&D to commercialization.  


The main subjects of our analysis are businesses, as the leading actors of collaboration, and their partners, i.e., other collaborating company, universities, and public research institutes in Korea. Businesses, universities, and public research institutes abroad are not considered in this study. As the expectations and goals of IUP collaboration differ significantly depending on the perspective adopted (that of the university’s, the public research institute’s, or the business’), the issues and characteristics of IUP collaboration also differ significantly depending on whose side we take.  


This study considers various types of IUP collaboration, including R&D, technology transfer, commercialization, human resource development, human resource exchange, and information exchange. These different types of IUP collaboration may take place individually or in conjunction with one another, which makes it difficult to differentiate between the different types of collaboration with perfect clarity in every case. R&D tends to be the most common type of IUP collaboration, and is thus given a more extensive treatment in this study than the other types.