A major focus of national and institutional research policies during the 1990s has been on improving linkages between publicly funded research activities and industry for the purpose of advancing economic and other national objectives. The transfer of scientific knowledge, however, within and between public research institutions, universities and other innovative organizations is taking place within rapidly changing organizational environments. The emergence of new organizational structures that transcend institutional boundaries, scientific disciplines and the boundaries between basic and applied research are all contributing to as well as responding to changes in the ways science intersects with industrial innovation. Recent international evidence suggests that innovative organizations during the next decade will depend more on their ability to maintain quite complex organizational research linkages than on their internal organizational research capabilities. Case studies of the organizational approach adopted by companies and commercial-research agency consortia in China and Australia lead to a discussion of a typology of academic-industry alliances. The typology provides insights into different collaborative R&D management strategies associated with different forms of science-industry alliance.