The foundation of recent science, technology and innovation (STI) policy in Tanzania lay in providing the ‘proper’ conditions for encouraging investment in agriculture. The authors argue that imagining activities in tea research as ‘tinkering’ helps to explain the learning processes and gaps in STI policy. Detailing how the tea industry tinkers with investment in the sector in a process of learning by using, how international networks influence formal learning, and how learning by interacting produces incremental innovations in practice demonstrates this point. Drawing on Kuhlmann et al.’s (2010) three dances, the authors show that there is a dominance of theory, but not a dominance of theoretically driven results. Rather, the actors are tinkering with the opportunities at their disposal to create spaces for progress on policy indicators that do not always align with the theory that drives them. As a result, the authors see a government failure where the practices of technology adoption and innovation are not taken up in systematic ways. However, they argue that it is more appropriate to speak of tensions, rather than failures, as the situation also provides opportunities. By drawing upon insights from the notion of tinkering, the authors contribute to the critiques of STI policy that are raised within Tanzania.
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Theoretical and policy failures in technologies and innovation for social inclusion: the cases of social housing, renewal energy and food production in Argentina
Hernán Thomas, Lucas Becerra, Mariano Fressoli, Santiago Garrido and Paula Juarez
The relationship between technology, innovation and social inclusion has recently acquired new relevance in social development forums and institutions. Nowadays it is possible to find a diversity of new concepts, approaches and initiatives of inclusive innovation. However, it is not clear how to avoid the failures of previous experiences in the development of technology for social inclusion. Two kinds of common failures in Latin America can be identified as theoretical and policy failures. The former is mainly based on the use of linear models of innovation and old technology transfer conceptions that tend to reduce poverty and social exclusion to a technical problem. The latter is associated with this problem but also adds the difficulties of lack of human resources, discontinuity of funding, and inability of social development institutions to conceive or sustain long-term strategies based on learning improvements. The chapter works on cases from Argentina in the areas of social housing, renewal energy and food production in order to understand: 1) what kinds of theoretical problems practitioners face; 2) how practitioners recognize the limitations and failures of their approaches and policies; and 3) what kinds of strategies practitioners attempt to implement to overcome these emerging issues.
The territories of ‘sustainable’ innovation: from local milieus to ‘responsible’ communication – the cases of photovoltaics and sustainable finance in Western Switzerland
Christian Livi, Pedro Araujo and Olivier Crevoisier
Based on two case studies, this chapter studies the articulation between sustainable innovations and territories. Using the conventionalist approach, and in particular the idea of the sustainability convention, this chapter analyses the territorial, economic and social dynamics of sustainable innovations in Western Switzerland’s photovoltaic industry and sustainable finance. The main result is that, contrary to ‘classical milieus’ where the innovative efforts are mainly on the supply side, sustainable innovations redefine considerably the relations with consumers, users and even citizens. The chapter concludes with a reflection on the concept of innovative milieu and its cognitive, financial and discursive aspects.
Tensions of science, technology and innovation policy in Mexico: analytical models, institutional evolution, national capabilities and governance
Gabriela Dutrénit and Martín Puchet
The analytical framework used for science, technology and innovation (STI) public policy design worldwide is largely based on a systemic/evolutionary approach and, empirically, it is based on countries with specific initial conditions – the central economies and some successful Asian economies. These countries have specific trajectories of institutional building, political culture and STI capabilities, which shape their national innovation systems (NIS). A central issue in understanding the trajectories and the chances of success or failure of policies emanating from these models, and variants that aim to adapt to developing economies, is to analytically conceive the role of the institutional framework, the rules of the game in operation in the system, the governance at national, sectoral and regional levels, and some aspects of the political economy in the recipients’ countries. These affect the STI practice and policy, contribute to feeding tensions that militate against the building of a sustainable NIS, and are country specific. The aim of this chapter is to discuss the experience of STI policy making in Mexico, considering the international model and the interaction between the trajectory of institutional building, the process of construction of both the government and the governance of the NSI, and the political economy. This chapter argues that a set of rules and actions are formed and built from the STI practice; they allow or block actions in governance processes. The data used to inform our arguments are based on the STI laws and regulations, transcripts of board meetings and interviews with key agents of the NSI.
Miranda Ebbekink and Arnoud Lagendijk
This chapter assesses the development of the water campus and the water technology cluster in Leeuwarden from the perspective of an ‘anchoring milieu’. In doing so, the chapter makes a broader point on the nexus between cluster policies and ambitions to boost a city’s international competitive position. It focuses, in particular, on the aspect of anchoring, and on four themes which, in the authors’ eyes, bear on anchoring: ‘relational assets’, ‘club goods’, ‘strategic intelligence’ and ‘policy leverage’. Furthermore, the importance of engagement of the business community is stressed.
Gillian M. Marcelle
Science, technology and innovation (STI) policy in the global South is underperforming partly because the starting point of policymaking is often not as relevant to context as it ought to be. To correct this policymakers should draw more from their lived reality and ask deeper questions rather than accepting the status quo. STI policy in many developing countries has paid insufficient attention to the perspectives of innovation performers and that policy is either silent or deeply flawed. This chapter provides a Kuhnian explanation as to why there has been limited progress by suggesting that innovation studies is experiencing a period of intellectual lock-in characterized by the dominant tradition crowding out other voices, explanations and traditions rather than accepting richness and diversity. Micro-foundation explanations, particularly a focus on learning and capability building, and user perspectives on innovation do not receive as much attention as systems perspectives. In addition, there is a near invisibility of Southern voices in the conceptual agenda and the specifics some developing country regions such as Africa and small island nations are ignored even by so-called development institutions, with the result that, even when innovation studies is operationalized in development programming, it is framed as though the conceptual underpinnings have emanated from the global North. Many interventions and transformations are needed to improve the performance of STI policy in the global South.
Science, technology and innovation for what? Exploring the democratization of knowledge as an answer
Rodrigo Arocena and Judith Sutz
A quite widespread dissatisfaction with the contributions of science, technology and innovation to development and to confronting inequality is analysed. Some strategies for improving such contributions are considered. One of them aims indirectly at social inclusion via fostering economic competitiveness and job creation. Other strategies aim to connect innovation directly with social inclusion, mainly by fostering innovations made not only for but by the marginalized people themselves. It is argued that both strategies are needed but that they should be complemented by another one aiming to connect directly high-level science and technology with social policies. This is characterized as a type of knowledge democratization. The potential contribution of universities to the last strategy is discussed and exemplified.
Policy spree or policy paralysis: an evaluation of India’s efforts at encouraging firm-level innovative activities
India has been on a policy spree attempting to increase the level of innovations by domestic firms. For this the government has announced a series of policies both at the aggregate level and across specific sectors. The chapter undertakes a survey of various policies and focuses its attention on two specific policy instruments, enunciated first to subsidize R & D and second to improve the articulation of intellectual property rights so that firms are able to improve their R & D efforts. Analysis of the policy outcomes shows us that investment in R & D has been concentrated in a few industrial sectors, and there is ambiguous evidence regarding the improvement of R & D performance.
The idea of the innovation policy dance suggests that innovation theory, policy and practice correspond to each other. This chapter analyses these three elements of innovation studies in two highly unequal societies: Brazil and South Africa. The question is how innovation theory, policy and practice account for the steep income inequalities in developing countries. How do innovation policies address both high- and low-income demands? The analysis finds that theories, policies and practices still don’t fully account for the characteristics in highly unequal developing nations. Theories and policies continue to derive from experiences in the industrialized nations. The analysis of Brazilian and South African innovation policy shows that the discourse and practice on social and pro-poor innovation are still rudimentary and not prioritized. The Brazilian government passed specific innovation legislation and runs skills development programmes to boost innovation. The South African programmes show very little focus on social innovation. Both governments adopted legislator and institutional design from Europe as opposed to designing their innovation policies according to the local practitioners’ needs. In these instances the innovation policy dance is out of sync.