This project discusses the role of public and public/private R&D institutions in strengthening national and regional innovation systems and increasing sectoral productivity performance. It examines institutions focusing on “translational research” – more applied research, often carried out in partnership with the private sector. The scoping paper clarifies what is meant in practise by this term, seeking to move away from excessively linear conceptions of the path between “basic research” and new products and processes in the market economy.
The research highlights the key factors that determine whether there are plausible ‘innovation pathways’ from regionally-generated R&D efforts to regional industrial value capture activities, or whether the R&D knowledge is developed into industrial resources and competences outside the region.
In particular, the paper examines the role of intermediate R&D institutes in providing key resources and competences to address barriers along this ‘innovation pathway’ to local industrialisation and value capture. Particular attention is paid to the role of intermediate innovation institutes in supporting the translation of regional R&D knowledge resources into local high value manufacturing capabilities.
The paper is based primarily on existing published and unpublished work and compares UK institutions, such as the Catapult Centres, with a variety of international comparators, including the institutes of the Fraunhofer Society in Germany and the Industrial Technology Research Institute in Taiwan.
Project leads Eoin O’Sullivan (University of Cambridge), Richard Jones (The University of Manchester)