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PROKNOW — Result In Brief

Project ID: 28577
Funded under: FP6-CITIZENS
Country: Germany

Making sense of knowledge in research

Research centres that have spun off universities may be changing the way that research knowledge is emerging. Making sense of how this knowledge is being produced will help research and exploitation of results.
Making sense of knowledge in research
The relationship between the corporate world, public research and academia is a complex one, particularly when it comes to academic spin-offs that undertake different research initiatives. The EU-funded project 'Production of knowledge revisited. The impact of academic spin-offs on public research performance in Europe' (Proknow) analysed this relationship, delving into the impact of business and industry on academic research. The project looked at how public and private institutions produced knowledge to elaborate new concepts regarding science-industry relations.

Proknow closely investigated interactions between public research institutions and academic spin-offs, including flows of people, flows of financial resources and joint activities. Special emphasis was placed on links between public research organisations and firms which originated from these, covering the areas of information technology, biotechnology and nanotechnology.

Keeping in mind that public policy has often failed to encourage research, the project recommended tightening of policies related to economic and industrial growth. This involves identifying areas that will likely produce financial returns for parenting research organisations and providing large incentives. Proknow also recommended reworking the policy agenda with regard to science policy goals, fostering interaction between academic spin-offs and their parent institutes.

The project concluded that academic spin-offs have a positive effect on parenting research institutes and that they should be encouraged. In summary, understanding the relationship among stakeholders in this sector will help produce better quality of knowledge and research, with a positive impact on industry and exploitation of research.

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