North-South and South-South Reseaerch Collaboration: What Difference does it make for developing countries? - The Case of Colombia
Cozzens, Susan E.
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Research collaboration (RC) is associated with both positive and negative effects on the performance of research. It is said to increase creativity, scientific productivity, research quality, innovative capacity, the creation of science and technology human capital, the consolidation of research agendas, the expansion of research areas and disciplines and, ultimately, the development of new or better processes, products and services. Risks and costs associated include the privatization and capture of traditional public knowledge, the mercantilization of knowledge and human capital, and the lost of research autonomy. Little is known about the ways RC affects local scientific and technological capabilities when it involves scientists and engineers working in developing countries, however. This is presumably the result of the popular assumption that there are no specific and distinctive effects associated with the geographical localization of the partners. This research assesses empirically such assumption and explores the effects of collaboration with different types of partners on the performance of research teams working in Colombia, an S&T-developing country. In particular, it explores the performance of 1889 research teams and the effects attributable to partners from northern and southern countries involved into two different types of collaboration activities: hosting foreign researchers, and working with foreign funding. Results from multivariate regressions and non-parametric analyses show that teams collaborating with partners from the south report higher scientific production, while those collaborating with northern countries seem to contribute the most to local knowledge. 20 interviews were performed to assess the plausibility of the models and of the findings. Theoretical and policy implications of the results are discussed.