Using a large and novel data source, we study the structure of R&D
collaboration net-works in the first five EU Framework Programmes (FPs).
The networks display proper-ties typical for complex networks, including
scale-free degree distributions and the small-world property. Structural
features are common across FPs, indicating similar network formation
mechanisms despite changes in governance rules. Several findings point
towards the existence of a stable core of interlinked actors since the
early FPs with integration increasing over time. This core consists
mainly of universities and research organisations. We observe
assortative mixing by degree of projects, but not by degree of
organisations. Unexpectedly, we find only weak association between
central projects and project size, suggesting that different types of
projects attract different groups of actors. In particular, large
projects appear to have included few of the pivotal actors in the
networks studied. Central projects only partially mirror funding
priorities, indicating field-specific differences in network structures.
The paper concludes with an agenda for future research.
JEL Classification: L14, O38, Z13 Keywords: R&D collaboration, EU Framework Programmes, complex networks, small world effect, centrality measures, European Research Area
UNU-MERIT Working Papers ISSN 1871-9872