Towards Better Models
Edited by Stefan Kuhlmann and Gonzalo Ordóñez-Matamoros
Chapter 16: Foundations and philanthropic organizations in the development of new science and technology: the case of micro-and nanotechnology in Mexico
The emerging science and technologies are accompanied by new dynamics in the production, use and dissemination of knowledge. In innovation processes we find new dynamics also where, through the processes of mutual learning, the actors achieve the performance of new functions. This chapter focuses on the study of development of microtechnologies in Mexico, where we observed the presence of an actor that is not taken into account by theoretical models on technological change and innovation processes. This actor is the Mexico–United States Foundation for Science, a non-governmental organization with philanthropic origins, which has played important roles in the development of microtechnologies in Mexico. Our observations lead us to question how to model the relationships among different organizations involved in the production, use and dissemination of new knowledge. This study aims to show how, in the new dynamics of technological development, different organizations from those that traditionally participate are fulfilling new functions in those processes. This results in a different arrangement among the organizations participating in scientific and technological systems, where each body fulfils one or a number of functions and this joint arrangement ensures the functioning of the system.
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