4.1 - The importance of collaboration

Knowledge generation no longer occurs only in one place. The emergence and exploitation of information technology and communication has made interaction between the different agents much easier and more efficient. The digitalisation of information and the use of the Internet in every aspect of our lives have changed the scenario in which both public and private agents develop knowledge, particularly in terms of removing or reducing barriers to communication and cooperation and permitting external collaboration beyond corporate boundaries. Therefore, the need to form relationships with other agents, to exchange and obtain additional knowledge, or complete existing knowledge, is fundamental in increasing the competitiveness of all organisations and the academic world. The collaboration between Universities and Business represents a key axis of cooperation in the new production model. Furthermore, inter-company collaboration is also an essential aspect in achieving greater competitiveness.

This is reflected in the research study carried out. In the initial survey of the Companies and the research groups who collaborate most actively with these Companies, more than 90% of those who took part recommended collaboration between Companies or with Universities. As such, both agents see cooperation as fundamental even if they have not yet found the ideal formula for achieving the best results. In the interviews which were carried out, collaboration has emerged as something from which there is no turning back, and as the only way to create common strategies, whilst achieving excellence in research programmes, and maximum exploitation of results. This model of Integrated Innovation aims to maximise the equilibrium between the activities of innovation and research.