IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

New directions in research and technology policy: Identifying the key issues

This paper outlines a conceptual framework and some empirical objectives for analytical work on research and innovation policy. It sketches some major changes which have occurred in our understanding of the links between science, innovation and technological change over the past twenty years, considers their policy implications, and then suggests some core priorities for research in such fields as research policy studies, growth economics, the economics of technological change, innovation and firm studies, etc. The basic problem is to explore the policy implications of the move to a knowledge-based economy. This has a number of dimensions, which at a minimum include basic science policy, technology policies aimed at invention and innovation, diffusion policies, and all policies related to the adoption of new technologies technology policy aspects of industrial and regional policies human capital, human resources and mobility, including all aspects of education and training This paper concerns only parts of these issues; it focuses on the conceptual basis, structure and content of a research programme directed towards industrial innovation and diffusion policy, at national and regional levels. Over the past two decades, social scientists in a range of fields have in effect carried out a major programme of research on science, technology and innovation. If there is any unity in this research, it is simply the view that these activities are social and economic processes, not simply technical processes of discovery and invention. The argument here is that this research has reached the stage where it is both necessary and possible to rethink the rationale, objectives and instruments of policies in the general areas of science, technology, innovation and industrial change. At the same time, this background research work opens up new areas of policy-relevant questions. This paper therefore overviews some of the main themes in modern research in innovation and technological change, focusing on their implications for policy. How does recent research change our conceptions of the appropriate objectives and methods of science and technology policy? Against this background, what are the main unresolved problems facing policy-makers over the next ten years? What kinds of conclusions can we draw regarding research priorities and objectives for policy researchers in the years ahead? After discussing these issues, the next section explores how these problems can be investigated.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The STEP Group, Studies in technology, innovation and economic policy in its series STEP Report series with number 199401.

in new window

Date of creation:
Handle: RePEc:stp:stepre:1994r01
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Hammersborg torg 3, 0179 Oslo, Norway

Phone: +4722868010
Fax: +4722868049
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:stp:stepre:1994r01. 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: (Nils Henrik Solum)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.