The Genesis of Innovation

The Genesis of Innovation

Systemic Linkages Between Knowledge and the Market

New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series

Edited by Blandine Laperche, Dimitri Uzunidis and G. N. von Tunzelmann

The genesis and diffusion of innovation depends upon the density of the cognitive and market relationships among individuals, organisations and institutions at both the micro- and macro-economic level. By addressing the nature of these relationships, which include cooperation, competition and power, this book presents an important and progressive enquiry into the economic and social origins of innovation.

Chapter 3: Proprietary vs. Open-Access Dimensions of Knowledge

Marc Isabelle

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, innovation and technology, economics of innovation


Marc Isabelle 1. INTRODUCTION Public research systems have experienced deep transformations worldwide since the 1980s in connection with the competitiveness agenda. In European countries, they are now strongly challenged by the Lisbon strategy of the knowledge economy (a modern version of the competitiveness agenda) as prominent engines of knowledge production and dissemination. Among the changes that have taken place, researchers are advised to incorporate more consideration of economic and societal needs in their activities, as well as providing more protection for their results and working in closer connection with private firms (Ziman 1994; David 2000). Some scholars advocate a new social contract for science on this basis (Gibbons 1999), whereas others have expressed concerns about the pitfalls that may arise from this shift (Florida and Cohen 1999; Florida 1999; David 2003). In the context of increased attention paid to technological innovation as a driver of economic growth, it seems quite obvious why one would like the public research sector to work more interactively with firms and the society at large: public research organizations (PROs) would be better aligned with and more responsive to firms’ needs, the knowledge and technologies they develop would be transferred more rapidly and effectively to firms, etc. However, for more subtle reasons, the greater relevance of public research may inadvertently produce effects that have negative impacts on the bottom-line of the social rate of innovation. These negative consequences can be understood in terms of departures from a normative model of how the scientific...

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