Title: The ESPRIT of a European R&D network

Authors: Willem A. Ledeboer

Addresses: N.V. Philips Gloeilampenfabrieken, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Abstract: After a first attempt to unite the European computer industry failed, the European Community supported the information technology industry in Europe. As a first step |precompetitive| R&D was chosen, so as not to be in conflict with EC anti-cartel rules. The programme was called ESPRIT. Industry, governments and the European Commission cooperated in shaping the programme. The goals, procedures and organization became a model for many European R&D programmes. Is it a panacea for the ills of the computer industry? No! But it produced many useful results! It also did give Europe a lift in self-confidence. But there are pitfalls. The high hopes of governments and the greediness of the participants lead to expectations that are too high and in promises that cannot be kept. Pressure is being put by the European Commission on industry to come to cooperate in Europe even where cooperation is not justified, using ESPRIT funding as a bait. Still, the outcome is positive. We need a new initiative for cooperation of industry in Europe fostering open and compatible systems.

Keywords: ESPRIT; European Community; European R&D cooperation; information technology; international R&D cooperation; technology management; research and development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.1992.025743

International Journal of Technology Management, 1992 Vol.7 No.6/7/8, pp.493 - 507

Published online: 24 May 2009 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article