Evaluation of collaborative R&D published

Evaluation of collaborative R&D published

29 Sep 2011

In a new study, researchers found that 87% of respondent companies involved in collaborative research and development projects said new products or services had been or would be created as a result.

Of the companies participating in the research 42% said they had increased jobs and 40% said they had safeguarded jobs.
The report, which has just been published, is the result of a study which the Technology Strategy Board commissioned from independent consultancy PACEC to evaluate the impacts of a portfolio of 396 collaborative R&D projects which had been completed by the end of 2009. These projects were either inherited from the former Department for Trade and Industry or initiated by the Technology Strategy Board between 2007 and 2009. 

Participants in around one-third of the projects were contacted to seek information on both qualitative and quantitative impacts.  A representative spread of small, medium and large businesses was contacted as well as representatives of universities involved in projects.  

Results

Overall, participants were very satisfied with the contribution the projects had made.  Around half of responding  companies had launched products or services by the end of 2010 – but  timescales for taking products from R&D to market are generally long, with the median year for launch of new products being 2011.

Nearly 80% of businesses said that involvement in the projects had improved their reputation and more than half said they expected the projects to increase the value, turnover and productivity of their business.

The gross value added (GVA) to the economy generated by the projects was estimated at £6.71 per £1 of government funding for the whole programme.  The returns were highly skewed, as anticipated from highly successful investments in innovation, with 5% of the projects giving rise to 87% of the benefits.

A segmented analysis of the projects showed that those projects with:
• grants above £750k,
• fewer than four partners or more than six partners, and
• no academic partners

had produced lower returns for the taxpayer's investment than the average across the whole group.

The great majority of project participants said that their projects would not have gone ahead in the absence of government funding to support collaboration.  This was confirmed by interviews with a control group of project proposals which had been turned down for funding – only 2% of which said their projects had gone ahead anyway.  See the full report here

 

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Last updated on Thursday 29 September 2011 at 16:38

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