RTOs, universities and innovation highlighted in Research Policy

Published on 08/10/2018

In the context of its activities related to the informed systems engineering, a LIST’s researcher, Pierre-Jean Barlatier, has co-authored a paper in Research Policy, a major scientific journal in the field of economics and innovation management (ranked in the Top 50 journals by the Financial Times). Co-written with Eleni Giannopoulou and Julien Pénin, both colleagues at University of Strasbourg (FR), the article is entitled “Same but different? Research and technology organizations, universities and the innovation activities of firms. Concretely, what has been highlighted?

RTO and Universities, different but complementary

Together, they focused on two key elements of public research landscape: Research and Technology Organizations (RTOs) and universities. Both halfway between science and industry, those are often considered to be the same thing but recent studies have stressed the differences between the two. Through their large scale econometric study, they have highlighted that:

  • The role of RTOs in open and networked innovation systems cannot be considered the same as the role of universities.
  • Firms that see RTOs as more important sources of knowledge than universities have different innovation characteristics, are more likely to innovate in services and invest less in internal R&D but are less likely to introduce new to the market or world first innovations.
  • Policy makers should acknowledge the difference and possible complementarities between RTOs and universities.

“Firms must understand that RTOs and universities have distinct missions and capabilities. In particular, RTOs are not only knowledge transfer organizations; they contribute to creating knowledge together with their partner firms and/or to expanding the innovation capabilities of firms”, wrote the authors in their paper.

>> Find the article "Same but different? Research and technology organizations, universities and the innovation activities of firms" on the ScienceDirect website.

LIST, the Luxembourg’s RTO

An essential actor in the Luxembourgish research landscape, LIST is also the Luxembourg’s Research and Technology Organisation and an active member of the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations (EARTO), particularly since the election of Aziz Zenasni, LIST’s Director of Programs, as a member to the EARTO’s Board in early 2017.

Serving the national and European economy and society thanks to applied research activities in materials, digital and environmental innovation, LIST is located in the Belval Innovation Campus, an exceptional site where Luxembourgish research players are group together. Among the players, the University of Luxembourg is just a few meters from the LIST headquarters. With the University, LIST conducts various research projects, in particular in the framework of doctoral training. The complementarity of an RTO as is the LIST and universities is an undeniable asset for research and innovation, as well as for the industry. In 2017, 30% of LIST’s partnership was signed with renowned Universities, mainly from France, Belgium, Germany, United-Kingdom.

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