in Large Companies
LOCOMOTIVE-Conference finished successfully
On 6 June 2007 the conference of the LOCOMOTIVE-Project about the reasons for investment decisions of large multinational enterprises in Research and Development was successfully finished in the Hotel Grand Elysée in Hamburg. 60 experts from industry, universities and administrations had discussed the question, how decisions of large companies to locate R&D in a particular region may be influenced.
„The 700 largest companies in the world spend 80% of all industrial research and development money worldwide“ stated Rob van Tulder, Professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. It should be considered wrong with this background to concentrate on supporting small and medium sized companies only, even if they play an important role in job creation. Equally important is the cooperation with universities, but they should not run into the danger of operating like companies in the marketing of their intellectual property rights as was pointed out by Andrew Dearing, general secretary of the European Industrial Research Management Association. Carlos Orozco, European R&D Director of Dow Chemicals, expressed the opinion „that the current labour laws, immigration rules and the attitude towards industry in universities present obstacles for locating R&D in Europe“. He closed his presentation with the words: „Europe is a wonderful location for R&D for Europe, but has to improve to also become a wonderful location for the world!“
The participants agreed that a location of important research and development investors in Europe will
only be possible if the regions harmonised their locational and fiscal policies and will be guided less by
competing against each other. In addition universities should concentrate more on their research strengths
and not to try to offer the full spectrum of possible or fashionable topics in research.
The results of the LOCOMOTIVE-Project will now be summarised in recommendations for the European
Commission and regional decision makers, taking into account the results of the conference. These
recommendations will be published until 30 September 2007.
The presentations from the conference may be downloaded here.
The conference was organised by the
LOCOMOTIVE project with support by the
Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg
Study Visit to Toronto
From 10-12 April 2007 a group from the LOCOMOTIVE project visited the Greater Toronto Area. The purpose of the visit was benchmarking of the results of the project with a non-European region. The visit was organised with the help of David Wolfe from the Munk Centre of International Studies and included the following institutions:
Tuesday, April 10
ISCM is a "Not for Profit" business advisory hub that was created to help accelerate the growth and development of firms with the objective of assisting grow their sales and employment base. Supported by the Town of Markham, The National Research Council and the Ontario Ministry of Innovation, ISCM business support is offered at no cost to the SME. These services include linking a company to a very experienced business mentor/advisor, workshops and training courses to inform companies about current business issues. ISCM also has a partnering initiative to link companies to other resources for testing and IP development such as Universities and colleges across Ontario.
Organized with the assistance of Knowledge Media Design Institute
As one of the largest IBM software development laboratories, the IBM Toronto Lab develops leading products for worldwide distribution in the areas of: application development tooling, application servers, database management software, electronic commerce applications, and systems management solutions. The IBM Toronto Lab is home to more than 2,000 employees from a diverse range of backgrounds and disciplines, with a dynamic mix of early career employees and experienced professionals. Over 70 percent of lab employees hold a degree with a major in computer science, engineering or mathematics, which highlights our technical expertise.
Wednesday, April 11
TRRA is a results-oriented, non-profit organization dedicated to making the Toronto region a world-leading centre for research and research-intensive industry by: attracting new research-intensive companies to the region and working to expand those already here; building public and private research capacity; and enhancing the commercialization of research. Activities are focused in biotech/life sciences, information and communication technology, and advanced manufacturing and materials science. Its role is to act as a neutral convenor, facilitator, catalyst and advocate on issues and opportunities related to its R&D mission. TRRA provides dynamic, neutral leadership to help forge a regional consensus on strategic priorities.
MaRS (Medical and Related Sciences) is a convergence innovation centre dedicated to accelerating the commercialization of new ideas and new technologies by fostering the coming together of capital, science and business. Located in Toronto’s downtown “Discovery District,” MaRS sits at the epicentre of one of North America’s most concentrated clusters of biomedical research and expertise – literally steps from world-renowned teaching and research hospitals, the University of Toronto, Canada’s financial core and the Ontario legislature. MaRS was created in 2000 to capitalize on the research and innovation strengths of the Province of Ontario, and to position Canada for leadership in the highly competitive global innovation economy. MaRS is focused on helping Canadian innovators turn great ideas into great companies – and supporting those companies as they become global market leaders.
BioDiscovery Toronto is an organization linking nine of Toronto's internationally recognized biomedical research institutions for the commercialization of research. It provides a one-stop shop for companies seeking break-through biomedical and related technologies and expertise.
Thursday, April 12
Round table held in Hamburg
On 5 December 2006 a round table discussion was held at TuTech Innovation in Hamburg. Following a presentation by Fiona Reid (Director Oxford Science Enterprise Centre) of Oxford University's organisation of technology transfer, liaison with local industries and creation of business awareness within the university, the participants discussed the relationship between research institutions and industry in the Hamburg area. Among the participants were industrial R&D managers and the presidents of the University of Hamburg (Prof. Auweter-Kurtz) and of Hamburg University of Technology (Prof. Kreuzer).
Meeting with EIRMA and local representatives in Toulouse
On 16 November 2006, the LOCOMOTIVE project presented its findings Toulouse to representatives of local industries, higher education and administration. In addition, Andrew Dearing from the European Industrial Research Managers Association (EIRMA) presented his organisations' views and findings on the motives for allocating R&D to certain regions.
Combined with this meeting was a visit of the project's representatives of the Airbus facilities.
LOCOMOTIVE mid-term project meeting held in Prague 4-5 September
Following the kick-off meeting in Berlin and a meeting in April in Budapest, the LOCOMOTIVE partners came together again Prague at the beginning of September. A key topic was to review the progress on interviews with leading R&D decision makers and to consider preliminary findings.
Thirty three interviews have now been conducted leading to some interesting insights into what R&D managers are thinking about Europe and the different regions as locations for R&D. Now in the next stage of the project, the partners will bring together individuals from the large multi-nationals within their regions, local policy makers and representatives from the world of research.
A meeting with the General Secretary of the European Industrial Research Managers Association will be held in Toulouse 16 November to compare findings.
A date for the final LOCOMOTIVE conference has been fixed for 5-6 June 2007, to be held in Hamburg.
LOCOMOTIVE Kick-Off Meeting held in Berlin
The kick-off meeting was held February 6-8 at Hamburg's Landesvertretung in Berlin for the Regions of Knowledge 2 project LOCOMOTIVE which is being coordinated by TuTech. LOCOMOTIVE aims at providing regional policy makers with a better understanding of the current R&D investment policies of large private sector companies in their regions compared with trends in other regions in Europe.
On occasion of the meeting, Monica Schofield, Head EU Office at TuTech, who initiated the project said: "One of the major dilemmas for regional policy makers is to attract the real engagement of the private sector in for example, clustering initiatives. Most of us involved in the technology transfer business have seen examples of wasted efforts where regional initiatives have failed to make any impact with the private sector. There are on the other hand also some success stories. But without understanding the localisation strategies of major private R&D investors better, regional policy makers will not be able to harness or leverage private investment in support of the knowledge based economy. LOCOMOTIVE provides us with the vehicle to get to know our significant regional R&D performers better and to discuss with them, for example, what services TuTech as an interface between academia and business could provide".
Start of the LOCOMOTIVE Project
The contract for the LOCOMOTIVE project has been signed between the co-ordinator and the Commission. The official start date is 1st January 2006, the project will end on 30/06/2007.
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