This work investigates the obstacles that arise in the collaboration between Public Research Institutes (PRIs) and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), when they are involved in Big Science projects. PRIs are valuable scientific partners for industry and even more for SMEs. However, sometimes the collaboration with PRI is not as profitable as expected and the existing literature often focuses on university as scientific partners, without studing the peculiarities of PRIs. Specifically, the setting of our study is the collaboration between the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) and three SMEs, all involved in the ITER project (i.e., the main Big Science project in the field of nuclear fusion reaction). Thanks to an explorative multiple case study, our work enriches the evidence about the technology transfer practices by considering the entire process of collaboration (i.e., pre-transfer, development, post-transfer) and it suggests that the obstacles and the consequent solutions should be analysed according to the different phases of the process itself. Moreover, from a practical point of view, we illustrate how to shape some managerial levers in order to overcome the obstacles in the different phases of the collaboration process, for example adopting tools or practices such as roadmaps or exchange of personnel.

Successfully managing SMEs collaborations with public research institutes: the case of ITER fusion projects

Batistoni P.
2019

Abstract

This work investigates the obstacles that arise in the collaboration between Public Research Institutes (PRIs) and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), when they are involved in Big Science projects. PRIs are valuable scientific partners for industry and even more for SMEs. However, sometimes the collaboration with PRI is not as profitable as expected and the existing literature often focuses on university as scientific partners, without studing the peculiarities of PRIs. Specifically, the setting of our study is the collaboration between the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) and three SMEs, all involved in the ITER project (i.e., the main Big Science project in the field of nuclear fusion reaction). Thanks to an explorative multiple case study, our work enriches the evidence about the technology transfer practices by considering the entire process of collaboration (i.e., pre-transfer, development, post-transfer) and it suggests that the obstacles and the consequent solutions should be analysed according to the different phases of the process itself. Moreover, from a practical point of view, we illustrate how to shape some managerial levers in order to overcome the obstacles in the different phases of the collaboration process, for example adopting tools or practices such as roadmaps or exchange of personnel.
Big Science; Research-industry collaboration; technology transfer
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/53869
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