Evaluating a national science and technology program using the human capital and relational asset perspectives
The purpose of this research is to evaluate the performance of the National Science and Technology Program (NSTP) by targeting the Taiwan National Telecommunication Program (NTP) initiated in 1998. The Taiwan telecommunications industry has prospered, currently occupying key positions in global markets even though NTP seldom contributes positively to patent citation performance. Hence, the authors of this study investigate the qualitative perspective of intellectual capital rather than quantitative technological indices. The current study focuses on both human capital and relational assets through surveys of 53 principal investigators of NTP projects and 63 industrial R&D managers of telecommunications corporations in the Taiwan market. Results show that NSTP member quality and the flow of employment are good indicators of human capital and that both perform better than the middle value in the case of Taiwan NTP. In addition, we find that industrial participants are more likely to share R&D resources than other academic researchers with higher intention of co-publishing, co-funding, and sharing equipments and facilities. The industrial NTP participants also have higher expectations regarding achieving advanced technology breakthroughs in contrast to non-NTP industrial interviewees. Moreover, industrial participants with greater industry-university cooperation intensity indeed obtain a particular advantage, that is, greater knowledge acquisition from other fields related to the effect of knowledge spillovers through the particular NSTP linkage. Accordingly, from the perspectives of human capital and relational assets, the authors conclude by articulating the importance of absorptive capacity resulting from good human capital and knowledge spillover contributed by relational assets within governmental technology policy and NSTP programming.
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