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Applied Evolutionary Economics

New Empirical Methods and Simulation Techniques

Edited by Pier Paolo Saviotti

The expert contributors to this book examine recent developments in empirical methods and applied simulation in evolutionary economics. Using examples of innovation and technology in industry, it is the first book to address the following questions in a systematic manner: Can evolutionary economics use the same empirical methods as other research traditions in economics?; Is there a need for empirical methods appropriate to the subject matter chosen?; What is the relationship between appreciative theorising, case studies and more structured empirical methods?; and What is the relationship of modelling and simulation to empirical analysis?
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Chapter 4: The Evolution of Specialization: Public Research in the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries

Aldo Geuna


1 Aldo Geuna 1. INTRODUCTION Although wide agreement exists among scholars and practitioners on the contribution of public research – that is, scientific research performed at public research institutes and universities – to the process of industrial innovation, nevertheless, different and sometimes conflicting measures of the relevance of its contribution have been proposed. Given the complexity and non-linearity of the innovation process, the quantitative or even qualitative measurement of rates of return to the investment in public research has proven difficult (Martin et al., 1996; Smith and Barfield, 1996). The purpose of this chapter is twofold. On the one hand, it aims to contribute to the debate over the relationship between public scientific research and industrial innovation, analysing, in particular, the importance of distance in the process of knowledge transfer from public research to industrial innovation. On the other hand, given the importance played by publications and technical reports in the process of knowledge transfer, it examines the evolution of scientific specialization of the four largest European countries (the UK, Germany, France and Italy), the EU as a whole, the US, and Japan in the chemical and pharmaceutical fields. On the basis of the results of the PACE (Policies, Appropriateness and Competitiveness in Europe) survey (the PACE questionnaire surveyed the largest R&D performing industrial firms in the twelve EU countries in 1993) two main issues were analysed. First, whether the knowledge produced by public research institutes and universities is viewed by industrialists as important to...

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