Cooperative Research Centers and Technical Innovation

Cooperative Research Centers and Technical Education, co-edited by Dr. Craig Boardman, the Associate Director of the Battelle Center for Science & Technology Policy, John Glenn School of Public Affairs at the Ohio State University; along with Denis Gray, and Dr. Drew Rivers, both of North Carolina StateUniversity.

Abstract and contact information

To develop scientific and technical remedies for national and international problems like cancer, energy dependence on foreign oil, and terrorism you need to know how best to coordinate a diversity of experts and decision makers spanning a diversity of institutional and sectoral boundaries. Cooperative Research Centers (CRC) are one of the predominant mechanisms for this kind of collaboration and are the focus of a new edited book. In Cooperative Research Centers and Technical Innovation: Government Policies, Industry Strategies, and Organizational Dynamics, Dr. Craig Boardman (The Ohio State University) and his colleagues Dr. Denis Gray (North Carolina State University) and Dr. Drew Rivers (North Carolina State University) take a look at the crucial management and evaluation challenges that accompany scientific and technical innovation in CRCs. “Because scientific and technical innovations are not so easily developed by one institution or in one area of science and technology, experts and decision makers from academia, government, and industry must be organized and managed in such a way that they collaborate to solve complex and changing, or ‘wicked’ problems requiring scientific and/or technical remedies” said Boardman, an assistant professor at the John Glenn School of Public Affairs and associate director of the Battelle Center for Science and Technology Policy, The Ohio State University. “Global competitive advantage in science and technology in the future will go to those countries that can effectively develop and harness its scientific and technical human capital, and CRCs are one way to potentially do just that.”

In the United States alone, there are thousands of CRCs on university campuses, and agencies like the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and Department of Energy establishes CRCs to address some of the nation’s most formidable challenges with science and technology. There are similar approaches to collaborative R&D and team science in Europe and Asia. Often private industry participates in CRCs for access to knowledge, capacity development, and to mitigate risk. “Increasingly U.S. competitive advantage in the global economy may be determined by the management of expertise rather than by expertise per se,” said Boardman. “Management and evaluation knowledge must be brought to bear on the coordination of diverse experts and decision makers. This book includes chapters from national and international experts focused on the United States’ and other countries’ efforts to harness its science and technology workforce towards coordinated problem solving and better returns in terms of social and economic outcomes.”

Policy makers and R&D managers in universities, industry and government will find the book most helpful for learning how to measure return on investment in collaborative university-industry R&D and team science, where things can go wrong in CRC management, and what has to happen for things to go right.

Contact Dr. Boardman at:

Cooperative Research Centers and Technical Innovation is published by Springer and is available at:

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