IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/sru/ssewps/2016-20.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Lost in space? NASA and the changing publicprivate eco-system in space

Author

Listed:
  • Mariana Mazzucato

    () (Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, UK)

  • Douglas K Robinson

    () (Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, UK)

Abstract

U.S. public activities in space directed via NASA are undergoing change. While NASA has historically been able to drive market creation, through its procurement policy (which is much weaker in Europe), the past decade has seen a visible shift in US space policy, away from NASA-directed developments in low-Earth orbit (LEO) towards an ecosystem with a mix of private, not-for-profit, and public actors in LEO. This has fundamentally changed NASA‘s role from an orchestrating/directing role, to a more ‘facilitating’ one driven by commercialization needs. This shift in mission and approach has ramifications for the LEO ecosystem as well as NASA’s innovation policy, which has previously centred on clearly defined “mission-oriented” objectives, such as putting a man on the moon or creating the shuttle fleet. Such objectives required ‘active’ innovation policy whereby NASA both funded and ‘directed’ the innovation, within its walls and with its partners. The emerging multi-actor ecosystem approach has involved a more open-ended objective that does not have a unified nor clearly defined end-game. In this situation, NASA’s ability to shape activities in a direction in line with its mission will depend on its relationships with other members in the system. The rise of new actors in the space eco-system, and new relationships between them, presents interesting challenges for innovation policy informed by an Innovation System approach. In this paper, we critique the market failure approach of public intervention in markets and describe further work to be done in the innovation systems literature - more focus on the interactions between agents (and the type of agents) as complimentary to the dominant focus on funding programmes in innovation systems. In this paper, we present the evolving processes of NASA’s engagement in building a low-earth orbit economy to draw out case specific insights into a public agency shifting its mission to incorporate approaches to facilitate the market creation policy. The paper focuses on the way that NASA structures its new innovation policy, away from a classical supply side oriented R&D investment through NASA itself, towards a policy of orchestration and combination of instruments rather. We close the paper with a reflection on the ramifications of NASA’s approach to building a sustainable low-Earth orbit economic ecosystem.

Suggested Citation

  • Mariana Mazzucato & Douglas K Robinson, 2016. "Lost in space? NASA and the changing publicprivate eco-system in space," SPRU Working Paper Series 2016-20, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
  • Handle: RePEc:sru:ssewps:2016-20
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.sussex.ac.uk/webteam/gateway/file.php?name=2016-20-swps-mazzucato-et-al.pdf&site=25
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Douglas K. R. Robinson & Pascal Le Masson & Benoit Weil, 2012. "Waiting games: innovation impasses in situations of high uncertainty : Editorial," Post-Print hal-00794423, HAL.
    2. Smith, Adrian & Stirling, Andy & Berkhout, Frans, 2005. "The governance of sustainable socio-technical transitions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1491-1510, December.
    3. Sampat, Bhaven N., 2012. "Mission-oriented biomedical research at the NIH," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(10), pages 1729-1741.
    4. Mariana Mazzucato & Carlota Perez, 2014. "Innovation as Growth Policy: the challenge for Europe," SPRU Working Paper Series 2014-13, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
    5. Edler, Jakob & Georghiou, Luke, 2007. "Public procurement and innovation--Resurrecting the demand side," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 949-963, September.
    6. Auerswald, Philip E & Branscomb, Lewis M, 2003. "Valleys of Death and Darwinian Seas: Financing the Invention to Innovation Transition in the United States," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 28(3-4), pages 227-239, August.
    7. Cantner, Uwe & Pyka, Andreas, 2001. "Classifying technology policy from an evolutionary perspective," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 759-775, May.
    8. repec:enr:rpaper:0022 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Wright, Brian D., 2012. "Grand missions of agricultural innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(10), pages 1716-1728.
    10. Mariana Mazzucato, 2015. "From Market Fixing to Market-Creating: A New Framework for Economic Policy," SPRU Working Paper Series 2015-25, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
    11. Rodrik, Dani, 2004. "Industrial Policy for the Twenty-First Century," CEPR Discussion Papers 4767, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), 2010. "Handbook of the Economics of Innovation," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
    13. Green, Ken & Hull, Richard & McMeekin, Andrew & Walsh, Vivien, 1999. "The construction of the techno-economic: networks vs. paradigms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 777-792, September.
    14. Geels, Frank W., 2004. "From sectoral systems of innovation to socio-technical systems: Insights about dynamics and change from sociology and institutional theory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6-7), pages 897-920, September.
    15. Jaffe, Adam B & Lerner, Josh, 2001. "Reinventing Public R&D: Patent Policy and the Commercialization of National Laboratory Technologies," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 167-198, Spring.
    16. Freeman, Chris, 1994. "The Economics of Technical Change," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(5), pages 463-514, October.
    17. Clarysse, Bart & Wright, Mike & Bruneel, Johan & Mahajan, Aarti, 2014. "Creating value in ecosystems: Crossing the chasm between knowledge and business ecosystems," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1164-1176.
    18. Ansari, Shahzad & Garud, Raghu, 2009. "Inter-generational transitions in socio-technical systems: The case of mobile communications," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 382-392, March.
    19. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-596, September.
    20. Callon, M. & Laredo, P. & Rabeharisoa, V. & Gonard, T. & Leray, T., 1992. "The management and evaluation of technological programs and the dynamics of techno-economic networks: The case of the AFME," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 215-236, June.
    21. D.K. Robinson & Pascal Le Masson & Benoit Weil, 2012. "Waiting Games: innovation impasses in situations of high uncertainty," Post-Print hal-00870369, HAL.
    22. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    23. Mariana Mazzucato & Gregor Semieniuk, 2016. "Financing Renewable Energy: Who is Financing What and Why it Matters," SPRU Working Paper Series 2016-12, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
    24. Douglas K. R. Robinson & Pascal Le Masson & Benoit Weil, 2012. "Waiting games: innovation impasses in situations of high uncertainty," Post-Print hal-00794445, HAL.
    25. Flanagan, Kieron & Uyarra, Elvira & Laranja, Manuel, 2011. "Reconceptualising the 'policy mix' for innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 702-713, June.
    26. Scott J. Wallsten, 2000. "The Effects of Government-Industry R&D Programs on Private R&D: The Case of the Small Business Innovation Research Program," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(1), pages 82-100, Spring.
    27. Autio, Erkko & Kenney, Martin & Mustar, Philippe & Siegel, Don & Wright, Mike, 2014. "Entrepreneurial innovation: The importance of context," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1097-1108.
    28. Mowery, David C., 2012. "Defense-related R&D as a model for “Grand Challenges” technology policies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(10), pages 1703-1715.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:tefoso:v:127:y:2018:i:c:p:57-69 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Space economy; market creation; innovation ecosystem; mission-oriented innovation policy; NASA;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sru:ssewps:2016-20. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Russell Eke). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/spessuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.