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A century of talks on research: what happened to development and production?


  • Benoit Godin
  • Joseph P. Lane


For decades, research and development or R%D has dominated innovation policies. This paper considers the statistical categories supporting this representation. It argues that the acronym 'R%D' has weakened critical thinking and policies about innovation in Western nations. The categories 'research' and 'development' used to characterise innovation arose not to explain the underlying methods or mechanisms of innovation, but instead to satisfy the requirements of statistical analyses. The D became subsumed under the R in the acronym R%D and, at the same time and because of the subsuming precisely, it disappeared from view. Further, the supremacy of research in representations and public policies eliminated the consideration of a third critical element in achieving innovation: P for industrial production. The authors suggest a new category (RD%P) to remedy the deficiencies of present analyses.

Suggested Citation

  • Benoit Godin & Joseph P. Lane, 2012. "A century of talks on research: what happened to development and production?," International Journal of Transitions and Innovation Systems, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(1), pages 5-13.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijtisy:v:2:y:2012:i:1:p:5-13

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