Brussels, 05 Nov 2003
The public research base and its links to industry
Table of Contents:
Main on-going initiatives
Relevant documents and links
The links between industry and public research (either from university or public research organisations) are evolving from a dominance of 'sponsorship', in which companies funded public researchers to solve specific problems, towards more structured forms of partnership aiming at sustained, long term interaction. There is a growing awareness that public research institutions can be valued partners providing complementary expertise, knowledge and resources that are often unavailable within the industrial community. Such partnership offers a potentially powerful tool to make investment in research more attractive to business while also benefiting public research.
However, in Europe we are still at the beginning of the process. Many companies still see public research merely as a source of basic knowledge and highly-trained students. When it exists, the partnership process is not always managed properly. All in all, there is a widespread perception in Europe of a continuing gap between the respective performances of academic research and technology-based innovation.
Main on-going initiatives relevant to the 3 % objective
Initiatives to be derived from the consultation on the Commission communication "The role of universities in the Europe of knowledge", particularly on how to establish closer co-operation between universities and enterprises.
Pursue or initiate necessary regulatory and administrative reforms, and support measures, to enable public research institutions to develop more effective links with industry, in particular SMEs, while safeguarding their public mission in education and fundamental research. Issues to address include notably the establishment of incubators, science parks, seed funds and new types of public-private partnerships and the performance appraisal of researchers
(Implementation: Member States)
Increase the participation of industry and other stakeholders in the determination of priorities for public research.
(Implementation: All levels)
Develop guidelines to help Member States review - and, where appropriate, adapt - their national regimes governing the ownership, licensing and exploitation of IPR resulting from publicly-funded research, with the aim of promoting technology transfer to industry and spin-off creation.
(Implementation: Commission with Member States; 2004)
Develop European guidelines for the management and exploitation of intellectual property rights in public research institutions and public-private partnerships. These guidelines will help public research institutions to develop and enforce, on a voluntary basis, charters setting out the main principles to be applied regarding e.g. the ownership and licensing of research results, the sharing of revenues, etc.
(Implementation: Commission in co-operation with stakeholders; 2004)
Expert group report - Guidelines for the management of intellectual property in publicly-funded research organisations ( 254kB).
Relevant documents and links
The Proton network aiming at promoting the exchange of experience and good practices between the Technology Transfer Offices of European public research organisations
Commission Communication "The role of universities in the Europe of knowledge" (COM(2003)58)
WIPO paper (2002) on research and innovation issues in university-industry relations
Science and Society Action plan
University-industry cooperation in figures (Research DG - S&T indicators 2003)
Scientific publications per million population
Highly cited publications per million population
R&D performed by the higher education and government sectors (OECD 2001)
Last update: 04.11.2003