coherent and clearly-defined mission, and close linkages with and support from other government initiatives such as cluster promotion and support for SMEs. In countries where partnerships among governments, industry, and universities is taken as a given, the economy has benefitted from organizational and fiscal continuity in applied research. The resulting scale, concentration of resources, and institutional development has not proven effective, at least in the past.
The leadership of the Fraunhofer tends to assess the prospects for success of government-backed research institutes in other countries with reference to the commitment of governments to sustain core funding at adequate levels over the long term. Chronic uncertainty over the availability of funding and/or the need to devote substantial operational resources to fundraising activities undermines the ability of research organizations to attract and hold managerial and researcher talent and to maintain a focus on the primary research mission. A key lesson for U.S. policymakers with respect to MEP or any other program promoting industrial innovation to be drawn from the foreign experience is the critical importance of sustained public funding.