SME participation in research grant consortia—the emergence of coordinated attention in collaborative innovation

Christoph Grimpe*, Wolfgang Sofka, Andreas P. Distel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Research funding organizations routinely encourage SMEs to collaborate with organizations of different institutional backgrounds, such as other firms, universities, or research organizations. These collaborations are supposed to involve SMEs in knowledge flows across boundaries and generate innovative solutions to complex problems. However, we know little about how the project partners determine the priorities of their joint research in the first place and how the institutional composition influences priority setting. In this paper, we study attention coordination among SMEs and their partners for the emergence of priorities in joint research grant proposals. Applying content analysis to 207 grant proposals of innovation consortia that have received funding in the EU’s Horizon 2020 program, we find that increasingly diverse consortia shift attention away from technological novelty and market creation towards more consideration for the innovation ecosystem.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSmall Business Economics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

JEL classification: O31, O38, L26

We would like to thank the European Commission for providing us with the data used in this study. The data were provided under the usual rules to protect confidential details of the content of the projects. Koen de Pater and Katarzyna Bitka from DG RTD provided invaluable feedback on earlier drafts of this paper.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


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