In recent years, the focus of international cooperation in science and technology has moved from cooperation in the basic sciences to cooperation in areas of more strategic research and even technology development.
Strategic alliances among corporate competitors are challenging, but they are important and desirable to pool research strength for efficiency, to reduce the associated costs and risks of development, to facilitate market access, and to establish mutually beneficial protection of intellectual property. Strategic alliances will be discussed in some detail in Session 11, chaired by Stephen Merrill.
Our panel will focus on ways that governments assist the private sector by promoting bilateral, regional, and multinational science and technology cooperation. Through this cooperation, governments help secure for industry a wider range of technologies than may be available domestically, thus raising the level of science and technology that industry can rely on for future growth. At the same time, these government-to-government ties can position private firms for greater opportunities for market access.
To help achieve the balance between the goals of technology cooperation and corporate desires to seek competitive advantage, the international community is exploring some basic principles of international technology cooperation in a number of different contexts, including the OECD and the Asian-Pacific Economic Council.
We are fortunate to have Ozzie Silverman here, the Canadian representative to the OECD in science and technology policy. I will call on him later to talk a little bit about what the OECD is doing in this area.
Governments may undertake joint projects in support of industry or simply facilitate cooperation led by the firms themselves. The primary goal is to ensure the broadest possible transfer and diffusion of technology throughout the private sector.
Our speakers today will review technology programs that are conceived jointly by the public and private sector and are international in scope. The International Intelligent Manufacturing Systems Program was conceived as an international effort to improve productivity through manufacturing techniques. The EU framework initiative and EUREKA are multidisciplinary R&D programs that are concrete expressions of the European intent to strengthen industry to be more competitive at the international level.
Robert Cattoi, Rockwell International
Program origins and objectives: As many of you know, IMS is a global, industry-led activity of international cooperation for the development of manufacturing technologies and systems.