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Research councils facing new science and technology

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Author Info

  • van der Most, Frank

    ()
    (CIRCLE, Lund University)

  • van der Meulen, Barend

    ()
    (Dept. for Science Systems Assessment, Rathenau Institute)

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    Abstract

    This paper addresses the question how research councils respond to emerging fields of science. Taking nanotechnology as its case, we compare the cases of responses of research councils in Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland during the period 1990 - 2008. The case studies are based on extensive document study and 25 in depth interviews with relevant actors. The analysis is framed by Resource ependence Theory, which is found to overlook aspects related to long term changes and interactions between organizations and their environment. But when this dimension is added, it provides an explanation for the observed conservative response of research councils: research councils are constrained by a web of resource dependencies as it slowly develops over time and gets embedded in national research landscapes, in part as a result of research councils' own actions. We identify a four stage pattern which describes their conservative response.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy in its series CIRCLE Electronic Working Papers with number 2010/11.

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    Length: 18 pages
    Date of creation: 03 Nov 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2010_011

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    Postal: CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
    Phone: +46 (0) 46 222 74 68
    Web page: http://www.circle.lu.se/
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    Related research

    Keywords: research councils; research funding; emerging science and technology; interdisciplinary research; resource dependence theory; nanotechnology;

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