Document Type : Research Paper
A wide range of research have been conducted on Science and Technology (S&T) collaborative networks in recent decades, focusing on several aspects. In an extensive study of 5 main S&T networks in I. R. of Iran (founded during 1999-2005), four hypotheses emerged regarding the pattern of network formation and evolution. These hypothesis were categorized into two main approaches according to S&T network formation and evolution namely natural and unnatural patterns. The hypotheses were the results of literature review and in-depth exploratory interviews with key informants of the case networks. To test the hypotheses, a survey was conducted participating representatives of the member institutes (universities, research centers and firms) of the 5 networks. 112 participants from 83 institutes answered the questionnaire. The research concludes that naturally established and developed S&T networks are more sustainable than unnatural ones. There are satisfying consistency between all confirmed hypotheses and the real world status of the case networks,except one. ....