The internationalisation of public sector research through international joint laboratories

Octubre 2010
Instituto de Políticas y Bienes Públicos (IPP) CSIC, Working Paper. 2010-14

Koen Jonkers & Laura Cruz Castro


This paper analyses the emergence of public sector international joint laboratories as an increasingly important new phenomenon in the internationalisation of public sector research. Using a survey and interview-based qualitative methodology, it explores the trends in the establishment of such labs, the aims for which they are established and the extent to which these aims are met. We find a considerable degree of organisational diversity among them in terms of size, structure, resources and legal status. Since the French CNRS and the German MPG have been very active organisations in the set up of joint laboratories, the paper undertakes two case studies of instruments of these organisations based on background literature and in depth interviews. We argue that the joint labs they establish are examples of the institutionalisation of previously self-organised international collaboration dynamics and that these public research organisations have developed these international collaboration instruments with specific organisational goals.