The central concern of this proposal is with the role of collective invention in European RTD and innovation policies. Public policies in this area need to be built upon a strong empirical foundation of how knowledge sharing and collaborative arrangements operate. In addition, and also key to concerns,is the need for and value of documenting, generalising, and diffusing knowledge of successful rules and norms among the different domains of scientific and technological research to reduce the costs of "reinvention" and to promote "best practice"in such arrangements whereever possible. COLLINE has developed several very practical plans for assuring that the results of our efforts will have direct beneficial impacts as well as improving the quality of -available knowledge.
The key motivation of this proposal is that the proliferation of experiments and new patterns of collective invention is generaating many new rules, methods,and mechanism of coordination whose value should be recognised and more broadly diffused. While some of these new practices seem to perform very well, they are most often local solutions designed in the particular context of a project. They are thus very difficult to genelise and to transfer to other contexts; and thus there is a potential for underperformance in institutional learning (selecting the "best practices" and generalising them).
The main objectives of COLLINE are to discover these local solutions, to document them, to assess their usefulness and performance in order to select those that appear to be exemplary in various ways, to explore the possibilities for their generalisation and to implement a schema in order to facilitate their practical generalisation among various contexts. The plan has four parts:
First it is necessary to create a conceptual method for
a) identifying local solutions to key problems in the collective invention process, and
b) evaluating the extent to which these solutions are "best practices" in terms of specific socio-economic criteria. The class of problems (and solutions) that we intend to examine include
i) the organisation of coordination and division of scientif and technological activities,
ii) the mediation of problems knowledge access and the retention of discover recognition or commercial interets, and
iii) the harmonisation of local rules and practices with legal and economic policies
Second, we plan to employ this methodology for identifying and evaluating "best practices" in the construction of surveys and case studies of European programmes and of private consortia. U.S. and Israel case studies will also carried out.
THird, we plan to develop an "Observatory of best practices" as means of disseminating our identified and evaluated local rules and practices including those identified as "best practices". The Observatory will also create a communication mechanism for the exchange of information on the issues raised by the COLLINE project.
Fourth, we plan to document our work and experience in ways that will make it possible for other researchers to contribute and build upon the experience of the COLLINE project.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
M15 6PB Manchester