Lost in translation or lack of translation? Replication of co-innovation in international research collaborations

Speaker: Laurens Klerkx # Wageningen University

23rd Oct 2017

15:30 - 17:00

Chrystal MacMillan Building, 6th Floor staff room

In view of funding schemes such as H2020, as well as internationalization efforts of research organizations in view of procurement needs, large international research collaborations in which organizations from multiple countries are involved have become commonplace. Concurrently, trends towards transdisciplinary research and a drive (or funder’s demand) to achieve societal impact, have led to research increasingly being done more interactively, in a ‘co-innovation’ fashion. This may lead to the situation that in international research collaboration co-innovation approaches invented and applied in one setting, are ‘replicated’ in other settings (e.g., through a work package led by one partner in a H2020 project, executed in all other partner countries). Or, that collaborative research centres are being set-up, in which partners bring in their own ‘co-innovation’ cultures. Informed by institutional theories, and drawing on case studies from Europe and Chile (respectively on a H2020 project and an International Centre of Excellence), I will discuss how co-innovation moves across different institutional settings, and what this implies for enacting a co-innovation approach in international research collaborations. Critical points relate to lack of of absorptive capacity for international research collaboration, difficulties in managing multiple accountabilities, and the rigidity of funding schemes to allow for sufficient translation of co-innovation approaches to move across settings.