Innovation Networks and Knowledge hubs in IST-RTD
Networks are increasingly recognised as important components of the research process through their role in knowledge sharing and innovation and we need a better understanding of these networking aspects. Network analysis helps us unravel the complexities of how networks function.
The Evaluation and Monitoring Unit of INFSO is commissioning a series of evaluative studies that employ network analysis to examine the nature of networking in IST RTD, as well as innovation and deployment. The first of these studies ‘Evaluation of Networks of Collaboration among Participants in IST Research and their Evolution to Collaborations in the European Research Area’ was carried out by RAND Europe in 2004 and early 2005.
The second (current) study ‘Evaluation of progress towards a European Research Area for Information Society Technologies’ is being carried out by CESPRI (Bocconi University) and is employing network analysis to observe how the EU 6th Framework Programme (FP) IST-RTD networks complement global networks and how they influence the production of new knowledge.
The main objectives of this study include:
- To assess whether and in what domains European research organisations are leading “knowledge hubs” in global collaboration networks for IST-RTD, and how the projects and supported at EU-level are positioned in global networks;
- To analyse what makes these leading “knowledge hubs” effective, what are their success factors and key characteristics;
- To assess whether this “collaboration leadership” defined in terms of networking links matches EU research leadership in terms of outputs, results and impacts (e.g. standards, patents, scientific papers etc.) and to recommend what might be done to optimise the role of “knowledge hubs” in exploitation of research through innovation;
A Knowledge hub is a term used here to indicate an organisation that works as a knowledge depository and a source of information and ideas, an organisation having many links and being able to connect the otherwise unconnected.
According to the results so far of the study:
- The majority of global Knowledge Hubs in IST are not European (see attached extract from one of the study Reports). However, FP projects are able to attract some of these global Knowledge Hubs.
- Very few of these organisations are also Knowledge Hubs in the context of FP6. The Knowledge Hubs in FP are largely European Higher Education organisations.
- The FP is able to directly connect global Knowledge Hubs to FP Knowledge Hubs and, through them, to other European organisations. In a sense, the FP does not mimic the global partnership network, but it adds new links allowing many organisations to gain at least an indirect access to it.
Starting from these empirical (data driven) observations, CESPRI would like to discuss in this workshop the following four questions:
- What makes the leading knowledge hubs effective (e.g. size, excellence, global reach)?
- What can be done to facilitate the development of new leading “knowledge hubs” in IST?
- Does global “collaboration leadership” match EU research leadership in IST?
- How could collaboration patterns be improved to better facilitate innovation leadership in IST?
Objectives and Format
The main aim of the workshop is to present participants (from industry, research and academia) with results from CESPRI’s empirical analysis to date, and through discussion and debate with participants validate as far as possible the above results and findings. Discussions will also address important strategy and policy implications.
The workshop will start with a presentation the ongoing study carried out by CESPRI. CESPRI team will present core results of the study and will open the discussion on the questions briefly mentioned in the previous section. This part of the workshop is intended to be very interactive and participants are encouraged to actively make contributions to the discussions and brainstorming.
Follow-up to the workshop will include a workshop report and individual interviews by CESPRI study team members with selected participants (by telephone at their own convenience).
Date and Venue
Thursday 6 October 2005
Rue Joseph II, 30 Floor 0 Room 21
1040 Brussels, Belgium
Not yet available
Directorate General Information Society
Information Society Technology Policies
Evaluation and Monitoring
tel no.: +32 2 296 81 19
fax no.: +32 2 296 66 13
email: infso-c3 in the domain cec.europa.eu