Creating Competencies Through Collaboration: -The Case of EUREKA R&D Consortia

B. QUÉLIN, C. Mothe

European Management Journal

December 2000, vol. 18, n°6, pp.590-604

Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: Competence, Technological resources, R&D; Consortium, Co-operation

This article discusses the originality of European EUREKA consortia. Formed at the initiative of member firms, these consortia generally adopt a decentralised structure. Their main purpose is to conduct applied research, with the ultimate goal of exploiting its commercial opportunities. The consortia strive to ensure collaboration among firms in different countries, and at times, from different industries. Examining the management of R&D consortia, this article focuses primarily on the creation of new knowledge and competencies and on the benefits that member firms can reap from collaboration. Based on 20 interviews with project managers, the article brings to light two main observations: (1) the leader's positioning is a determining factor, and (2) a perfect balance between the firm's technological development and the consortium's strategic orientation facilitates the acquisition of competencies