Erascope - Economies of scale and scope at the research project level
DG Research and Innovation recently published a major study (ERASCOPE, Economies of scale and scope at the research project level) into the relation between scale and scope of collaboration R&D projects carried out in the Framework Programmes for RTD and the outcomes and outputs of these projects. POLICIES – the Centre for Economic and Innovation Research of JOANNEUM RESEARCH - contributed substantially to this study.
Main findings included that
- there is in general no linear relationship between size and outputs, as increasing transactions costs of larger projects lower outputs.
- Also, current average project sizes (in terms of numbers of participants) seem to be above (hypothetical) “optimal” sizes for the different output categories.
Against the background of these findings, the study recommends a re-appraisal of the drive towards very large projects and a more careful ex-ante assessment of project sizes. Partly, the results of the study have already entered the mid-term evaluation in the FP7 and certainly should play a role in the central discussions about the next phase of European RTD policy (“HORIZON 2020”).
The study can be downloaded here [DOI: 10.2777/58113].