Research Co-operation

Research cooperation between two or more HEIs or HEIs and other research undertakings with a view to exploiting the results may conflict with Article 101(1) TFEU if it restricts competition. This could, for example, be the case if the cooperation limits the activities of the parties beyond the research, if the parties were not far from achieving the research result individually and thus competition is limited or if the collusion comprises constraints on the parties regarding exploitation of the research.[1] Further, sharing facilities and excluding other undertakings, unless on the basis of objective criteria, could be anti-competitive. It might also be conceivable that vertical cooperation between HEIs and research users, could be regarded as a vertical cartel when the research users do not pay a representative price and/or different prices are charged to different users. This might cause problems for HEIs in the future (given that cooperation with non-academic partners is increasingly encouraged), if, for example, a vertical cooperation is limited to a certain region or favourable prices are charged regarding undertakings from that region. However, HEIs might in some cases, be able to utilise the previously mentioned Research and Development BER,[2] if the relevant conditions are fulfilled.[3]

  • [1] For more on research and development agreements see Lubbig and Schroeder 2008, para 120 seq.
  • [2] See above n 163.
  • [3] See also on anti-competitive behaviour as regards research Gideon 2015b, p. 60 seq.
 
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