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Pitfalls and Opportunities in Knowledge Sharing - Experiences from a research capacity building project in Central America

Author

Listed:
  • Björn Johnson
  • Jens Müller
  • Jeffrey Orozco

Abstract

A number of attempts have been made in the North to assist in the formation of independent research capacities in the South by establishing knowledge sharing through North-South research collaboration. One such attempt was initiated by Danida through its programme for Enhancement of Research Capacity (ENRECA). Aalborg University was approached by the National University of Costa Rica to make a joint research venture within the field of sustainable development. The project got a Central American (CA) regional perspective by including participants from Nicaragua and El Salvador. The project was titled Sustainable Development Strategies for Central America (SUDESCA) and aimed at support of relevant CA research activities, including the formation of adequate organizational setups that would eventually sustain forthwith. The project focused on two theoretical themes, i.e. the National Systems of Innovation and the Social Construction of Technology approaches. In this paper the CA universities are viewed as important sub-systems of the respective national systems of innovation. Thus, the following is an analysis of the institutional sustainability of the research capacity of universities perceived as parts of the national systems of innovation. To what extent did the knowledge transfer and exchange as well as the organizational capacity building efforts succeed? What were the main pitfalls and opportunities experienced? What did the Aalborg team learn about its own research capacity set-up? Our overall conclusion is that it is a mistake to assume that research capacity may be more or less directly transferred from the North to the South. Research capacity existing in the North has to be carefully adapted to the specific conditions where it may be expected to be useful.

Suggested Citation

  • Björn Johnson & Jens Müller & Jeffrey Orozco, 2007. "Pitfalls and Opportunities in Knowledge Sharing - Experiences from a research capacity building project in Central America," DRUID Working Papers 07-04, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:07-04
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Meyer, Martin, 2000. "Does science push technology? Patents citing scientific literature," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 409-434, March.
    2. Arthur Gerstenfeld & Paul Berger, 1980. "An Analysis of Utilization Differences for Scientific and Technical Information," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(2), pages 165-179, February.
    3. Stephan, Paula E., 2010. "The Economics of Science," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    4. Michael L. Tushman & Ralph Katz, 1980. "External Communication and Project Performance: An Investigation into the Role of Gatekeepers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(11), pages 1071-1085, November.
    5. Bozeman, Barry, 2000. "Technology transfer and public policy: a review of research and theory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 627-655, April.
    6. Palmberg, Christopher & Pajarinen, Mika & Nikulainen, Tuomo, 2007. "Transferring Science-based Technologies to Industry - Does Nanotechnology Make a Difference?," Discussion Papers 1064, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation system; knowledge adaption; Central America;

    JEL classification:

    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • N86 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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