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Global excellence at the expense of local relevance, or a bridge between two worlds? Research in science and technology in the developing world

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  • Barnard, Helena

    () (Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria)

  • Cowan, Robin

    () (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University, and BETA, Université de Strasbourg)

  • Muller, Moritz

    () (ETH Zurich)

Abstract

Do world-leading researchers from developing countries contribute to upgrading locally, or do they disengage from the local context? The paper investigates the scientific collaborations of university-based science and technology researchers in the database of the South African National Research Foundation (NRF), and analyses the co-authorships of researchers who were ranked by the NRF during the 2001 to 2007 period. To establish the extent to which a researcher can access knowledge outside the South African academic science and technology research community, and share it inside that community, we develop a measure of 'gatekeeping'. The evidence suggests that there is not a local/global trade-off in knowledge creation in academia in the developing world, and that the world-leading researchers in developing countries may play an especially important role as conduits of new knowledge in their country.

Suggested Citation

  • Barnard, Helena & Cowan, Robin & Muller, Moritz, 2010. "Global excellence at the expense of local relevance, or a bridge between two worlds? Research in science and technology in the developing world," MERIT Working Papers 2010-051, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2010051
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    File URL: https://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/wppdf/2010/wp2010-051.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    science and technology; research; upgrading; developing countries; research collaboration;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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