Science and Innovation

Science and Innovation

Rethinking the Rationales for Funding and Governance

New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series

Edited by Aldo Geuna, Ammon J. Salter and W. Edward Steinmueller

This book re-examines the rationale for public policy, concluding that the prevailing ‘public knowledge’ model is evolving towards a networked or distributed model of knowledge production and use in which public and private institutions play complementary roles. It provides a set of tools and models to assess the impact of the new network model of funding and governance, and argues that governments need to adapt their funding and administrative priorities and procedures to support the emergence and healthy growth of research networks. The book goes on to explain that interdependencies and complementarities in the production and distribution of knowledge require a new and more contextual, flexible and complex approach to government funding, monitoring and assessment.

Chapter 3: Interdisciplinary Research and the Organization of the University: General Challenges and a Case Study

Patrick Llerena and Frieder Meyer-Krahmer

Subjects: innovation and technology, innovation policy


Patrick Llerena and Frieder Meyer-Krahmer 1 INTRODUCTION It might be concluded, on the basis of studies of emerging technologies in the United States, Japan and Germany, that a series of technological changes are: drastically increasing costs of innovation; increasing the significance of interdisciplinarity and the dynamism of overlapping technology areas; and producing an increasingly close relationship between basic research and industrial application, as well as a tighter meshing of research and demand. This chapter focuses on one of these changes – the growing importance of cross-, multi- and interdisciplinarity. In this chapter we use the last term to encompass all three, which reflects the fact that separating technologies is becoming more and more difficult. The overlaps between areas are often highly dynamic and seem – at least in some cases – to be the core drivers of scientific, technological and economic change. These phenomena have several consequences for the systems of innovation that are discussed in this chapter. These phenomena are not totally ‘new’, but they are indications of long-term structural change in the process of knowledge production and diffusion that may constitute a new set of paradigms for technological advance. The purpose of this chapter is to analyse trends in this evolution of interdisciplinarity and its impact on the university organization. The case of the University Louis Pasteur (ULP) in Strasbourg (France), where both authors are working and one has had a management role,1 will be used to support the argument. The chapter is structured in...

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