Chapter 11

Integration of Competitive Intelligence and Watch in an Academic Scientific Research Laboratory1

11.1. Introduction

Today, there is a perceptible malaise within research and teaching institutions, whether at university level or within research organizations themselves. This, in our opinion, is a symptom showing that simple academic aims (research, among other things) no longer allow us to anchor the work of research groups to reality. The recent financial crisis and its subsequent extension to the rest of the economy raises questions as to the way in which, in the short term (say 2 years), educational and research institutions should be involved in providing support to the production sector to maintain jobs. To put this aim into perspective, we look at research carried out some time ago by Porter [POR 90] and by the Dutch school [LEY 98]. Porter clearly showed that work in “clusters” generates increased innovation and improved performance through public—private sector partnerships. At the same time, the work of the Dutch school, focusing on the triple helix (analysis of public—private sector partnerships for increased rapidity in innovation), showed the solidity of Porter’s vision and, at the same time, highlighted the fact that innovation, as the cornerstone of development, can only reach its full potential through the cooperation of State, research, and educational and industrial institutions.

More recently, work carried out as part of European Union programs [INT ...

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