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
The four major chapters and the two commentaries in this last part review the conceptual core issues and provide original insights into the rationale for funding of basic research seen as a public or quasi-public good. One of the characteristics of current approaches to public funding of research is the increased use of network funding. Both at the national and at the EU level, funds have been increasingly allocated to (a) collaborative research (research projects where individuals from diﬀerent institutions are involved forming a network); and (b) networks of researchers to support knowledge exchange rather than research into the production of new knowledge. Several empirical studies have described these new funding/research structures, but little theoretical work to assess their impact and validity has been done. The ﬁrst two chapters in this part (by Paul David and Louise Keely and Robin Cowan and Nicolas Jonard, Chapters 8 and 9) attempt to redress this. Both focus on networks though David and Keely’s work concentrates on the collaborative research conﬁguration while Cowan and Jonard’s chapter focuses on the second conﬁguration, that is, networking as a mechanism for knowledge exchange outside the local environment. The other two chapters (by Peter Swann and Dominique Foray, Chapters 10 and 11) also focus on the fact that knowledge is characterized by strong complementarities in its production and use. However, they concentrate on another aspect of this characteristic: they analyse the possibility of collective production and use of scientiﬁc and technological knowledge. Speciﬁcally,...