The Innovation Policy of the European Union

The Innovation Policy of the European Union

From Government to Governance

Susana Borrás

Adopting a strong interdisciplinary approach, the author skilfully examines the politics and economics of the new innovation policy of the EU, addressing such diverse topics as research and knowledge production, the changing regime of intellectual property rights, building the information society, standard setting, risk assessment and the social sustainability of innovation. The conclusions pose many theoretical questions which will require further research, most notably the extent to which EU innovation policy underpins a European system of innovation.

Introduction

Susana Borrás

Subjects: innovation and technology, innovation policy, politics and public policy, european politics and policy

Extract

Bohr: You know why Allied scientists worked on the bomb. Heisenberg: Of course. Fear. Bohr: The same fear that was consuming you. Because they were afraid that you were working on it. Michael Frayn (1998), Copenhagen. London, Methuen Drama. SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND EUROPEAN INTEGRATION Science and technology have always been at the heart of the European political construction. In the 1950s, Euratom institutionalized six European states’ commitment to produce advanced knowledge in the sensitive area of nuclear energy, mainly for security reasons. However, Europe’s technofederalist ambitions floundered in the 1960s and 1970s, when the FrancoGerman differences caused a stalemate and put a stop to the efforts to achieve a common design for nuclear reactors. Euratom’s troubles during these two decades showed that the path towards integration was to be a bumpy one. Science and technology again attracted much political attention in the early 1980s. This was the time of the Euroforia and of Delors’ new integrationist agenda, but it was also the time of deep industrial restructuring in the aftermath of the 1970s oil crises. The rapid internationalization of production structures and their concomitant division of labour pushed governments to focus on technological development as an instrument of growth. Moreover, the failure of most national public initiatives to redress the industrial crises made politicians turn their eyes to Europe. Jacques Delors successfully grasped this momentum by putting forward a whole package of initiatives, among them the large technology programme (the so-called Framework Programme (FP)). This had two effects. One was...