International R&D alliances by firms: Origins and development

Rajneesh Narula & Andrea Martinez-Noya


There has been a dramatic increase in all forms of international cooperation in science, technology and innovation over the last three decades. This chapter focuses on a specific subset of such cooperative agreements: those that primarily (but not exclusively) involve firms that seek some commercial benefit from the outputs of inter-firm collaboration, known as strategic technology partnering (STP). Special attention is given to clearly define the unique nature of these collaborative agreements, as well as the reasons and theories behind their growth. We focus on their international dimension, identifying international STP trends, and how the cross-border aspect of these alliances impinges on their formation and success. Finally, managerial challenges and policy implications related to STP are also discussed.

Keywords: R&D alliances; strategic technology partnering; technological partnerships; R&D internationalization; technology policy; multinational corporations.

JEL codes: O32, L24

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