A Multidisciplinary Review of the Study of Innovation Systems
New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series
Edited by Steven Casper and Frans van Waarden
Frans van Waarden and Steven Casper (with contributions from the other authors) The overviews in the foregoing chapters of quite a variety of literatures relevant for studying innovation have presented a lot of research questions which have been studied; concepts, definitions, hypotheses and theories which have been developed; and empirical findings described. These theories and findings have in turn produced new research questions, some of which have been studied, while others point to lacunae in research in the respective fields. Some authors have identified some of them already in their respective chapters. In this concluding chapter we will try to aggregate, identify and organize some of the open questions. We cannot be anywhere near complete, because the field is too diverse and complex. We will have to restrict ourselves and make some selections, in particular ones that may be relevant for a wellfounded and intelligent technology policy. In ordering research questions we can use the distinction between basic research, applied research and product development, familiar from the innovation literature. This can of course also be usefully applied in social science. An ‘innovative’ research programme may contain research questions and themes from these different degrees of concreteness of research. Likewise, in science and technology policy the state can decide to further basic research, applied research or product development in research on innovation. The following is organized according to this distinction. 1 BASIC RESEARCH: ORGANIZATIONS AND INSTITUTIONS At the level of basic research, we need a better understanding of the determinants of...
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