Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Strategic Analysis of the Innovation Relay Centre (IRC) Network

Funded under: FP5-INNOVATION-SME


The current Innovation Relay Centre (IRC) network (2000-2002) consists of 67 IRCs and spans 30 countries, including EU15, 10 Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC), Iceland, Norway, Israel, Cyprus and Switzerland. It involves 210 organizations as partner organizations (an average of just over 3 per centre), and these include public bodies, such as Chambers of Commerce, technology transfer centres from universities, regional development agencies, semi or quasi-public organizations, private non-profit making organizations and other types of organizations.

This study examines the objectives, context, achievements and possible futures of the IRC network. It identifies 3 distinct objectives within the overall mission of the IRC network and highlights some notable achievements that relate to these objectives. It examines the strategic gaps that have emerged when the IRC programme is viewed in its context and suggests some strategic, operational and financial options for consideration by policy makers and programme managers. Finally, it develops 3 possible scenarios for the future, based on what are referred to as entrepreneurial, professional and structural approaches. It suggests a preferred option for the network that includes elements of all 3, draws some final conclusions, presents a series of recommendations, shows how these address the objectives set for the study and undertakes a sensitivity analysis.

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