This is really my pet issue. How to built, manage and in some cases also dissolve public research alliances and networks.
If you are a recently graduated sociologist, antropologist, organisational psychologist or the like and you are thinking about doing a ph.d-project, here is my proposal: write a ph.d. on public-public research alliances. If you do a decent job you are bound to come up with something interesting and the customers will line up. Or at least they ought to.
Two years ago I sat down with two former colleagues. We had all been working in public research alliances and collaborations for +5 years and had build up sufficient experience to start thinking about what we were actually doing. Naturally, we started looking around for what others were thinking. We found almost nothing.
Private-private and private-public research alliances are backed up by extensive research literature, consultants, specialised associations, career paths in companies etc. Not so for public-public research alliances.
On the one hand, that was surprising. After all, research communities have a natural inclination not only to research others but also their own ecosystem.
On the other hand, it confirmed our suspicion, because we had never come across anyone with a clearly articulated idea about how public research alliances function, what the typical pitfalls are or how you lead you alliance to greatness.
We had all been learning-by doing and now we knew why. It is more or less the only way possible.
The articles published under this section of according2research reflects my own experience of working with public research alliances or my thoughts on what I come across that other people are writing on the topic.