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Role of bilateral institution in influencing collaboration: case study of CEFIPRA—a bilateral S&T institution established by India and France

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International collaboration has become a strategic policy initiative for building scientific competency in different countries. This is driven by increasing realisation that no country possess all the wherewithal to address complexities of scientific research, dedicate huge funding, and confront global challenges. Varied institutional mechanisms have been created by different countries for strategising international collaboration such as signing bilateral agreements, initiating dedicated programs with partner countries in different S&T areas. Some countries have further deepened their relationship by creating bilateral S&T organisations/specialised centres. The role of bilateral organisation in strengthening inter-country research and innovation partnership is not explicitly underscored in collaboration studies. The present study addresses this issue by taking up the case study of a bilateral organisation IFCPAR/CEFIPRA (Indo-French Centre for Promotion of Advanced Research/Centre Franco-Indien pour la Promotion de la Recherche Avancée) which was established by India and France in 1987 to support their science and technology partnership. Through this case study the paper draws insight of inter-country collaboration in S&T and show how its dynamics and structural aspects are affected by a bilateral organisation.

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    Based on discussion with CEFIPRA.

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    Brainstorming meeting on “CEFIPRA—Beyond 25 years. Impact of CEFIPRA support to knowledge generation and Indo-French S&T collaboration”. 21st August 2013, India Habitat Center, New Delhi.

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    Press Release of the French Embassy in India dated 22 February, 2013.

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    Feedback given by the PI of the project (O. P. Sharma, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi).

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    India–France Technology Summit, 23rd–24th October, 2013, New Delhi, India.

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    Minutes of the first meeting of the scientific and governing council, CEFIPRA.

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    Ensemble: Vol. 1 (1). January 2013.

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    Published Annual reports and Ensemble newsletters (CEFIPRA).

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    The recent visit (14th to 15th February, 2013) of French President, Mr. Francois Hollande in India along with a large delegation led to signing of important agreements in many fields including STI. There was a strong thrust to deepen the relationship between the two countries in different fields. Subsequent to the visit, Indo-French technology partnership was held in Delhi on 23rd–24th October, 2013.

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    CEFIPRA’s Annual Report 2012–2013.

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    www.Francetoday.org. accessed on February 2014.

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    This is postulated as it is not possible to assign them as papers emerging from CEFIPRA funded projects. The assignment can only be done through acknowledgement or direct reference in the address to CEFIPRA.

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    The research team could meet some of the principal investigators (PI(s)/researchers of CEFIPRA funded projects through workshops organised by CEFIPRA. The research team also had access to feedback given by 160 PIs of CEFIPRA funded projects on their experiences while undertaking project funded by this organisation.

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    Content analysis of achievements from annual reports published by CEFIPRA.

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    The project outcomes from the study CEFIPRA 25: Strengthening bilateral collaboration and cooperation in science, technology and innovation between India and France (2013). Study commissioned by CEFIPRA to CSIR-NISTADS.

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    Ensemble: Vol. 1 (4). July, 2013.

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    Spearman rank correlation is not desirable due to unstructured response by PI’s.

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The authors thank IFCPAR/CEFIPRA for supporting the study “CEFIPRA 25: Strengthening bilateral collaboration and cooperation in science, technology and innovation between India and France”. The paper is derived from this study. We especially thank Director CEFIPRA Dr. Debapriya Dutta for providing us access to feedbacks of PIs, minutes of the meetings and other internal documents of CEFIPRA. Discussion with him enriched our understanding of this organisation. We thank Mr. V. V. Rao and Ms. Sathidevi of CEFIPRA for their support. We thank Mr. Varun Srivats, Ms. Noklenyangla and Mr. Fayaz Ahmad Sheikh for their helpful comments. We thank both the referees for critical reading of our manuscript and very useful comments.

An early draft of this work from which abstract was developed was accepted in the ‘9th International Conference on Webometrics, Informetrics and Scientometrics’ and published in the proceeding of the said conference (http://www.etag.ee/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/9th-International-Conference-on-Webometrics_conference-booklet.pdf). We thank COLLNET ‘9th International Conference on Webometrics, Informetrics and Scientometrics’ for publishing our work in the proceeding. The authors could not attend the conference and hence could not present their work in the said conference.

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Correspondence to Sujit Bhattacharya.

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Disclaimer: The opinions, estimates and finding contained in the research paper are based on the information available at the date of publication. The views in this study are those of the authors, and do not represent those of the CEFIPRA. Inquiries may be addressed to the corresponding author.

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Bhattacharya, S., Kaul, A., Shilpa et al. Role of bilateral institution in influencing collaboration: case study of CEFIPRA—a bilateral S&T institution established by India and France. Scientometrics 102, 169–194 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-014-1454-9

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  • S&T collaboration
  • Bilateral organisation
  • India
  • France

JEL Classification

  • O30
  • O31