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 5: The Evolution of French Research Policies and the Impacts on the Universities and Public Research Organizations

Patrick Llerena, Mireille Matt and Véronique Schaeffer

Subjects: innovation and technology, innovation policy


Patrick Llerena, Mireille Matt and Véronique Schaeffer 1 INTRODUCTION It is now usually accepted that part (and for policy-makers increasingly so) of the justification for public research is its usefulness for society at large. The question is what is meant by ‘utility’ or ‘usefulness’. Most of the economic debate understands both words in economic terms and, more precisely, that public research should be ‘usable’ in the short or long terms for the economic system, that is, for industry – by contributing to more effective production processes and/or new products, incorporating higher qualities and/or fulfilling new needs. In other words, public research should lead to ‘innovation’ in the Schumpeterian sense. If we accept this point of view, the focus then moves to the design and the organization of the linkages between public research and industry. In this chapter we focus on the purposes and instruments available for policy in the context of the French innovation system and the implementation of these policies during the last few years. The objective of this chapter is first to outline the recent evolution and challenges of French public research policies. The challenges arise from the internal evolution of the research system and research policy, a relative reduction of the resources devoted to public research, the increase in institutional complexity and the, at least partial, disappearance of traditional ‘mission-oriented’ policies. Instead, the public research system is urged to ‘increase its socio-economic relevance’, a development that introduces a further challenge to French research...

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