The partnerships created between researchers of Research and Development (R&D) companies and university researchers offer multiple assets: an addition of expertises mobilized to answer concrete perspectives, or the advantage of knowledge updated by colleagues to lead activities of publications and formalizations. However, the variety of the objectives of the stakeholders as well as the short temporality of execution towards the university criteria make it sometimes difficult to realize all the purposes assigned to these researches, as we shall see by an analysis of partnership researches in the R&D of a company. In this context, the emergence and the realization of the partnership rest on the researchers´ capacity to elaborate an appropriate work organization, procedures of coordination and relations of cooperation which are based on an exchange of ‘gifts’. However, the specific constraints related to research within companies, the ambiguity of the exchange and the problematic evaluation of the research can create problems for partnerships. We shall approach these points by the observation of several research projects which were done in partnership in the R&D department of a company and several interviews conducted with researchers of this company.
Article originally published in Revue Interventions Économiques / Papers in Political Economy, n. 43(2011). Reprinted with permission