The future of science and innovation policy – towards radical change

July 27, 2016 10:00 - 11:15 am


The basic rationales for and approaches of science, technology and innovation (STI) policy are remarkably similar across OECD countries, and generally aim at addressing “market and system failures” through a range of actions which shape the conditions for STI. The dominant model underpinning STI policy is national (or regional) competition, with STI seen as a major source for growth. Despite some basic uniformity in approaches, countries differ in their balance of instruments and in the ways STI policy is organised. However, the expectations for STI policy to deliver socio-economic impact and to solve societal challenges have grown, while budgets are increasingly under stress.

Motivated by increasing irritation across the STI communities (academic, policy, industry, science) about the growing demand for STI to deliver, and in the absence of a considered debate around the profound challenges faced by science and innovation systems, we seek to stir debate about STI policy by asking radical questions and challenging the accepted rationales. Such questions might include: has the national competition model of STI policy failed to deliver; should STI policy stop supporting large firms altogether; should we separate science and innovation policy; is the design, implementation and proper assessment of an STI “policy mix” really possible?

This session is organised by the Executive Committee European Forum for Studies of Policies for Research and Innovation (EU SPRI), represented by Jakob Edler, Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester, UK


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