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Istituto Superior Tecnico Lisbon November 4, 2012 Science and technology policy. An old and new issue Giorgio Sirilli CERIS - CNR. Science and technology policy. A history which starts after WW2. 1940s. 2010s. competitiveness. social needs. innovation. science. technology.
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November 4, 2012
Science and technology policy.
An old and new issue
CERIS - CNR
A history which starts after WW2
Report “Science the Endless Frontier” 1945 (Vannevar Bush)
- Military security
“The Government is particularly fitted to perform certain functions, such as the coordination and support of broad programs on problems of great national importance”
“Scientific progress on a broad front results from the play of free intellects, working on subjects of their own choice, in the manner dictated by their curiosity fro exploration of the unknown. Freedom of inquiry must be preserved under any plan for Government support of science”
“Publicly and privately supported colleges and universities and the endowed research institutes must furnish both the new scientific knowledge and the trained research workers. It is chiefly in these institutions that scientists may work in an atmosphere which is relatively free from the adverse pressure of convention, prejudice, or commercial necessity. At their best they provide the scientific worker with a strong sense of solidarity and security, as well as a substantial degree of personal intellectual freedom.”
“Industry is generally inhibited by preconceived goals, by its own clearly defined standards, and by the constant pressure of commercial necessity. Satisfactory progress in basic science seldom occurs under conditions prevailing in the normal industry laboratory.”
Our task consists of carrying out research projects which are beautiful in terms of rigor, persistence, competence, elegance, and of their grace, in such a way to avoid the plague of mediocrity which often threatens to overwhelm us.
Government budget appropriations or outlays on R&D (GBAORD) are all appropriations allocated to R&D in central government or federal budgets and therefore refer to budget provisions, not to actual expenditure
Source: OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2012
Before launching the platform of iOS products, Apple received enormous support from the government:
All of them developed with the support of government
Apple carries out little R&S compared with competitors
Apple does not concentrate on the development of new technologies, but on their integration in an innovative architecture
It success is based on:
recongition of high-potential new technologies
integration on complex engineering competencies
clear vision based on products oriented towards design and consumetrs’ satisfction
The conventional wisdom: the state fixes market failures, but it does not create or shape markets actively
The public sector is often seen as sclerotic and conservative, in contrast to a dynamic and innovative private sector
The public sector usually bears the highest risk of funding innovation without reaping the rewards (socialise risks and privatise rewards)
A case in point: Apple turnover 76.4 $ billion
75% of the most innovative drugs owe their funding not to Big Pharma or to venture capital, but to that of the National Institutes of Health
From the internet to nanotech, most of the fundamental advances – in both basic research but also downstream commercialisation – were funded by government, with business moving into the game only once the returns were in clear sight
Ironically, one of the governments that have been most active on the front of directing public investment which changed the market landscape though innovation is the US government
The government creates a vision which steers business investment
The role of government in S&T is key
Neo-liberal appoaches (not only in the US)
Risk involved in public intervention
Return of public investment in R&D
The European Lisbon target of R&D/GDP 3%
The legitimation on science in society