THE ROLE OF R&D MANAGER FOR PUBLIC AND PRIVATE R&D PARTNERSHIP
Global competition encourages companies to seek a more innovative way to survive. More and more complex R&D based activities are introduced, and the managerial approach is of great importance, while R&D by its nature requires special managerial dealing. Meanwhile, public R&D institutions act in less competitive environment, which has conditioned lower tension and less stressful environment resulting in less innovative output. As a consequence, the managerial approach for public R&D institutions is left out of day-to-day processes. However, the fact that public research institutions, as new knowledge generators, represent a different approach concerning R&D results from R&D intensive business, which supposes to exploit R&D results, should be taken into consideration. To increase the performance of public and private partnership in R&D, the uniﬁed mutually accepted platform for both, public and private R&D sectors, is the main concern of policy makers and R&D practitioners. The managerial approach dealing with different nature of R&D performance could facilitate the public and private partnership and increase the linkages. Despite many progressive transformations that have been discussed and introduced during 2007-2010 years on the national level, the managerial approach is still missing in the agenda of R&D policy in Lithuania.
The purpose of the paper is to investigate the key responsibilities of a R&D manager and to discus the role of the R&D manager inside public R&D institutions organisational structure, which ﬁts the demand of public and private partnership.
This research was conducted for the R&D sector that has substantial long-lasting policy support, which has the expression of extra funds allocation annually on competition basis in the period of 2002 – 2009. The Biotechnology and Laser Technology R&D domain was chosen for the investigation. The selected R&D sectors demonstrate high excellence both in fundamental research and technological development and have long-lasting tradition cooperation between public and private institutions.
The main duties of a R&D project manager are analysed. The investigation revealed the principal mission for the R&D manager to become a mediator between researchers and entrepreneurs. The duality of the R&D project manager is observed and could be expressed via competition of objectives: to be ﬂexible for knowledge creative environment and be strict in scheduling and seeking time efﬁciency. The investigation has disclosed that R&D management is still not clearly conceptualised in the eyes of researchers and the managerial aspect as an opportunity for seeking results oriented R&D system is not exploited. Since the organisational design is very sensitive to the positive impacts of manager incorporation in R&D process performance, when decentralisation is balanced to ensure creativity on the one hand and responsibility on the other hand, certain organisation design aspects are discussed.