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Collaborative research 18.7.11


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The focus here is not on how to do R&D, but on how to govern applied, collaborative R&D

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Collaborative research 18.7.11

  1. 1. Governing and Managing Collaborative Applied R&D<br />Lessons from the front line<br />
  2. 2. 2<br />Outline<br /> Applied R&D<br />Collaborative Applied R&D<br />Governing and Managing Collaborative Applied R&D<br />
  3. 3. This presentation owes a great deal to many insights, tips and advice offered sagely, cheerfully and sometimes provocatively over many years by Peter Cullen — a champion in maximising the influence of research and telling truth to power.<br />
  4. 4. RIEL Research Themes<br /><ul><li>Natural Resources-based Livelihoods
  5. 5. Coastal and marine ecology and management
  6. 6. Freshwater ecology and management
  7. 7. Savanna management and wildlife conservation
  8. 8. Tropical Resource Futures</li></li></ul><li>Collaborative Applied R&D<br />5<br />
  9. 9. Collaboration<br /><ul><li>3 levels – communication, coordination, co-investment
  10. 10. A sensible approach for common & cross-cutting issues
  11. 11. Efficiency in investment
  12. 12. Best use of limited resources
  13. 13. Builds critical mass
  14. 14. Reduces duplication
  15. 15. Sharing risk
  16. 16. Be very clear why you arecollaborating
  17. 17. Invest in relationships
  18. 18. “fund the arrows”
  19. 19. explicit accountability
  20. 20. watching transaction costs
  21. 21. Attribution can be hard
  22. 22. Loss of brand identity</li></li></ul><li>7<br />Governance of Collaborative R&D<br />The focus here is not on how to do R&D, but on how to govern applied, collaborative R&D<br />Draws mainly on LWA & consultancy experience over 20 years across a wide range of collaborative R&D programs<br />learning from failures as much as successes<br />E.g. TRaCK, SEACI, Grain & Graze, Managing Climate Variability, National Program for Sustainable Irrigation, National Dryland Salinity Program, South-east Australia Program (fisheries) and several CRCs<br />There is a rich menu of possible approaches to the business of organising collaborative R&D<br />
  23. 23. 8<br />Governance of Collaborative R&D (2)<br />Need to clarify expectations of all parties<br />Articulate the value proposition (why collaborate?)<br />Set out how decisions will be made<br />and conflicts resolved<br />Three key instruments:<br />Program Management Agreement/MOU (between co-investors)<br />Including R&D Plan and obligations of Managing Agent<br />Program Management Committee <br /><ul><li>comprising reps of funders and/or end-users and/or technical expertise
  24. 24. can be complemented by stakeholder and/or technical advisory panel(s)</li></ul>Project-level research contract<br />Contracts for clarity and shared understanding, not litigation<br />A key instrument for managing knowledge outputs (assuming smart design)<br />
  25. 25. 9<br />Governance Options<br />3 levels of collaboration:<br />Co-investment; Coordination; Communication<br />Co-investment<br />Pooled resources, one bucket, integrated management<br />Coordination<br /><ul><li>Some tied resources and separate management, but ability to influence partner actions and priorities</li></ul>Communication<br /><ul><li>Agreement to share information, but each makes own decisions and manages own resources</li></li></ul><li>10<br />Governance Option 1<br />Full Co-investment model<br />Pooled resources, one bucket, integrated management<br />Advantages<br /><ul><li>Simplicity of management
  26. 26. Possibility for genuine integration of effort, shares risk
  27. 27. Most efficient use of limited resources, maximises critical mass, minimises risk of duplication and confusion
  28. 28. Outputs more likely to be influential (shared ownership)</li></ul>Disadvantages<br /><ul><li>Views of smaller partners can become submerged
  29. 29. Risk of lowest common denominator approaches
  30. 30. Takes time to build the social capital needed to fully exploit this model</li></li></ul><li>11<br />Governance Option 2<br />Coordination (partial co-investment) model<br />Some pooled resources, some tied resources, one bucket, coordinated management<br />Advantages<br /><ul><li>Non-cash partners can still play and contribute
  31. 31. Retains capacity to coordinate effort across multiple partners
  32. 32. Efficient use of limited resources, manages risk of duplication and confusion</li></ul>Disadvantages<br /><ul><li>Higher transaction costs
  33. 33. Increased risk of duplication
  34. 34. Tied resources limit scope to get best overall bang for bucks </li></li></ul><li>12<br />Governance Option 3<br />Communication model<br />No pooled resources, many buckets, separate management<br />Advantages<br /><ul><li>Simplicity — low transaction costs, quick & easy to get going
  35. 35. Partners retain autonomy and brand identity (and risk)
  36. 36. Left hand still knows what the right hand is doing</li></ul>Disadvantages<br /><ul><li>Lack of critical mass
  37. 37. Higher risk of duplication and inefficient use of resources
  38. 38. “railway gauge issues” across jurisdictions</li></li></ul><li>Managing collaborative applied R&D<br />13<br />
  39. 39. 14<br />Strategy – program and project level<br />Scoping research questions is critical<br />$$ invested at this end have a short payback period<br />Be very clear (SMART) about program objectives <br />Understand the adoption context of the intended end-users before considering research methodology<br />Understand the nature of the knowledge need<br />Understand the type of knowledge required<br />Understand where knowledge sits c.f. other factors<br />market or policy failure, values, institutions etc<br />knowledge may not be the key limiting factor…<br />
  40. 40. Formore info<br /><br /><br />