Knowledge for Development

Drivers of international collaboration in research


Date: 30/04/2014


Authors:          European Commission   

Publication:     Report, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium   

Date:                2009   

International research collaboration (IRC) is getting more policy attention in all countries. There is a ‘narrow paradigm’ (stemming from the dynamics of science and research) and a ‘broader paradigm’ (stemming from additional policy objectives that use science, technology and innovation (STI) collaboration to achieve wider economic and social goals). IRC policies and programmes that combine various policy drivers usually have indistinct goals that are hard to measure. While policy makers and research funders apply many assumptions about how IRC affects policy goals, these are rarely specified. In the ‘broad paradigm’, the causal relationships between goals and programmes cannot be established. Given the variety of actors, drivers, and national starting position relating to STI IRC and the parallel use of bottom-up and more top-down strategies, a coherent evaluation and indicator framework will be difficult. However, such a ‘bottom-line’ framework and ‘narrow’ paradigm key indicators would be a necessary first step.