Increasing companies' absorptive capacity through participation in collaborative research centres
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionVie, O.E., Stensli, M. & Lauvås, T.A. (2014). Increasing companies' absorptive capacity through participation in collaborative research centres. Energy Procedia, 58, 36-42. doi: 10.1016/j.egypro.2014.10.406 10.1016/j.egypro.2014.10.406
Norway has developed ambitious goals to become one of the leading environment friendly energy nations. The establishment of Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research (CEER) scheme is one of the main measures for addressing these goals. The CEER scheme seeks to develop expertise and promote innovation through focus on long-term research in selected areas of environment-friendly energy, in close collaboration between prominent research communities and users like industry and public administrative bodies. The main objective of this paper is to explore and present the potential benefits companies may gain from participation in collaborative research centres like CEER, as well as possible barriers for participation. The framing in this paper is on the development of the absorptive capacity for the industry partners through active participation in the concrete research activities. Based on the empirical material for this paper, collected from one of the eight technological CEERs, we conclude that there are benefits to be gained from companies involving themselves in large-scale research centres. Their potential absorptive capacity is increased by exposure of knowledge and hopefully new positive experience with collaboration over time. However, both this effect, and a potential increase in realized absorptive capacity is very dependent on the active involvement of the company and choosing the right persons to represent the company towards the research centre. By contacting the researchers on a regular, keeping up to date, taking initiative and proposing research projects, combined with some patience, participating industry partners should be well positioned to reap the benefits from their funding.