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Title: A framework for the effective management of collaborative R&D projects : executive summary
Author: Barnes, Tina Angela
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2000
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There is a growing trend toward collaboration, both between companies, and between academia and industry. Studies have linked the use of external sources of information and expertise to the enhanced generation of innovation. Innovative companies, in turn, have been shown to out-perform non-innovating companies in terms of both growth and profit. Therefore, against a background of increasing international competition and rapid technological change, governments are actively encouraging collaboration as a means of improving innovation efficiency and thereby enhancing wealth creation. Collaboration provides companies with the means by which to advance technologically, at lower cost and with less inherent risk. Collaboration also provides access to a greater breadth and depth of knowledge and technologies than would normally be possible through internal development. For universities the benefits include additional public and private funding, and increasingly, licensing and patenting income, as a result of technology transfer activities. However, these considerable potential benefits are often not realised in practice. The major reason is that collaborations between, often diverse, organisations, need considerable management effort in order to be successful. To this end, considerable research (reported in the literature) has been devoted to identifying management "success" factors, factors which where present, enhance the probability that a collaboration will be successful. This information was used by the author to develop a best practice model for collaboration management that is more comprehensive than has previously been reported in the literature. To date however, the literature provides no guidance as to how the full range of these success factors could be applied in the every day context of managing a collaboration. The Framework presented here provides a mechanism for achieving more effective collaboration management in the form of a simple-to-apply management tool. The Framework was developed on the basis of case study research and disparate sources of relevant published research. Essentially, it provides a means of applying the current body of knowledge in a way that does not assume prior experience of collaboration management on the part of the user. Through the provision of reference material and diagnostic features, the Framework encourages an awareness of the key issues affecting the success of collaborations and prompts the manager to take appropriate and timely action to prevent the occurrence of problems later on. The main feature of the Framework's feedback mechanism, the Collaboration Chart, enables the user to identify quickly, specific areas where problems could arise. The concept of the Framework is new to the collaboration field and as such it constitutes the main innovation to result from this research. Furthermore, while ihe Framework was originally conceived as a specific aid to collaboration between WMG and its industrial partners, this research indicates that it is potentially much more widely applicable. The Framework is certainly shown to be applicable to other university-industry collaborations, and with some modification, could also be applied to industry-industry collaborations. In addition, the Framework would lend itself to development into an evaluation tool that funding bodies could use to assess research proposals. The potential value of the Framework therefore extends beyond industry and academia, to ensuring the efficient use of public funds.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) ; Rover Group (Firm)
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Eng.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LC Special aspects of education ; T Technology (General)