Australia's cooperative research centre program: a transaction cost theory perspective

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Sinnewe, E, Charles, MB & Keast, R 2016, 'Australia's cooperative research centre program: a transaction cost theory perspective', Research Policy, vol. 45, no. 1, pp. 195-204.

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Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) in Australia are underpinned by funding from the Australian Government. Among their many goals, they are intended to lead to long-term sustainable relationships between industry and academic institutions without the need for further public funding. Yet concerns have been raised in various reports and reviews about the ability of CRCs to achieve sustainable collaboration beyond their initial seven-year life, despite the general observation that CRCs have proved beneficial to the broader Australian community and the economy in general. This study adduces Transaction Cost Theory to determine the impediments to long-term sustainable collaboration between industry and academia. It does so by examining relationships between CRC members at a member organisational level, rather than at an individual researcher or program level, as previous studies have done. The article concludes by introducing testable governance attributes that have the potential to minimise transaction costs between participants in industry-academic collaboration and therefore foster long-term research collaborations.

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