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Report on Research Transfer

Fabrice Martin

This controversial report questions the efficiency of the French system of research transfer and stresses that the employment of PhDs goes decreasing in the industry.

The release of the "Report on Research Transfer" by the department of the Treasury responsible for auditing public bodies and the national education and research monitoring service provoked quite numerous reactions in the academic world. Screening several aspects of research transfer (research partnerships, intellectual property, business creation, employment of researchers in companies…) the authors give quite a disappointing picture of the situation.

Among other issues, they regret the lack of interpenetration of the public and private spheres and they underline the fact that "the number of researchers entering companies right at the end of their education has decreased between 2000 and 2004. In addition, the share of researchers with a university diploma (and PhDs among them) has shrunk from 48% in 2000 to 38% in 2004. […]In the same time, companies over 500 employees hired more Engineering Schools graduates (master level) and less university graduates."

According to the report, all existing procedures intending to develop the recruitment of PhDs in companies fail to compensate the "French exception which has lead French companies to develop a strong preference for engineers (master level) rather than for PhDs."

The document includes the replies of several administrations concerned by the report's recommendations.

Rapport sur la valorisation de la recherche, Inspection générale des finances et Inspection générale de l'administration de l'éducation nationale et de la recherche, Janvier 2007.