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Theme paper Triple Helix I (January 1995) B

(2009-01-01 22:00:56)
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分类: 三螺旋研究进展

 

Another indicator of this development is the growing convergence among North America, Japan and Europe in science, technology and industrial policy.  The Europeans, having concentrated on assisting larger firms through pre-competitive research initiatives, are moving toward greater emphasis on startups, a U.S. specialty until recently.  The Japanese, having brought the art of targeting "critical technologies" representing future industrial growth to a high level, are developing their academic basic research and graduate training capacities.  The U.S., with an overcapacity of basic research supply and undercapitalized intellectual property resources, is acting to assist larger, as well as smaller, companies to take technologies off the shelf and into the factory for production, both as defense conversion and economic development policy. For its part, Europe will spend 13.1 billion ECU on its Fourth Framework Program (1994‑98) to become more competitive with the U.S. and Japan.

 

Policy programmes tend to call for collaboration and integration.  However, one expects a complex dynamic system to reproduce also differentiation, since differentiation allows for more complexity.  Along which dimensions or at which levels does one observe integration, and along which differentiation?  How are the two mechanisms balanced and reflexively optimized?  And by which actors in the network?  Is the newly emerging network system a further differentiation on top of the existing systems or is it a new (e.g., more complex) mode of knowledge production and control in itself?  How do changes in the knowledge infrastructure affect the intellectual organization of the disciplines?  What are the consequences for reshaping of the university system: which are the emerging functions, and which are the contexts?  What are the implications for higher education?

 

 

Institutional implications

 

The need is felt for a broad multi-faceted relationship between organizations, to carry innovation forward and bring new products to market in the stringent international competitive climate of the 90s.  The director of R&D in the U.S. for Henkel, the German chemical firm, has concluded that, "Technology transfer is dead ...  The old 1950s model doesn't work anymore; the old way of hoping R&D came up with something brilliant only works if you are the only game in town." as the U.S. was in many technologies during that era (Giorden, 1994).  The new paradigm is based on meshing the disciplines of marketing, development and research, creating teams within and across internal and external organizational boundaries.

 

For IBM, and other firms like it, the issue is not so much the amount spent on R&D but the disconnect that often exists between R&D and product development and marketing in these companies. In their growth period, during the early post-war era, such firms typically expanded by separating R&D, organizationally and geographically from more mundane corporate functions.  It is no longer clear that by just subsidizing R&D the Clinton administration, or the companies themselves, are sufficiently addressing the need for developing technology transfer and commercial­ization capabilities for their research campuses, within and among firms.

 

In this regard, various European Union programs provide some partial models (Malerba 1993: 254‑255).  In addition to traditional industrial technologies, such as chemicals in which Europe has maintained great strength, the European Union's 4th Framework program proposes to emphasize the life sciences, especially biotechnology, medicine and health as well as agricultural reform and rural development.  Environmental concerns, including lowering the pollution levels of transport systems, are also driving the direction of 4th Framework R&D programs.  These initiatives run parallel to proposals for green technology development in North America.

 

Given the noted sources of variation, however, the ambitious programs are expected to lead to unintended consequences.  The interactions evolve by operating: functions are differently differentiated and integrated during cultural evolutions, and balances seem delicate. The level of standardization is low in newly emerging systems (cf. Blauwhof & Leydesdorff 1993).  Examples like "Route 128," "Silicon Valley" (Saxenian 1994), the "Cambridge experience," or national experiences like Scandinavian examples point to historical conditions which seem not easily reproduceable.  How then can policies reflexively reshape the co-evolution between technologies and institutions?  Who are the strategic policy actors: does the national state still play a vital role or has the reshaping to be left largely to market forces?  Are neo-corporatist arrangements at the meso-level crucial?  Do non-standard actors (like consultants and liaison officers) play vital roles?  In which stages is which type of effort most likely to push the development in the direction of emerging technologies and competitive advantages?

 

Niches can be maintained only in specific contexts.  Furthermore, the anticipation on niche formation as breeding places for new developments requires reflexive management of the social conditions of knowledge production and control.  Hence, university-industry relations may play a key role: they have become a laboratory for the conscious reshaping of the knowledge infrastructure under conditions that theoretical uncertainty adds to the uncertainties of the markets.  What have these quasi-experiments taught us about the dynamics of the emerging mode of production? Additionally, issues about the role of the state and private investors, and consequently about the nature of the property rights on results, are placed on the agenda, given the various uncertainties in the strategies and the corresponding risks in the investments.

 

Perhaps, newly emerging network functions in relations between universities and industry have sufficiently been codified at some places in order to carry new scientific discourses which combine, for example, theorizing, engineering, and management perspectives.  Under which conditions is inter-organizational discourse specific enough to carry intellectual development (cf. Rosenberg 1982)?  Can these interdisciplinary discourses develop into specialties or are they temporary missions which will be torn apart among existing disciplines in the longer run?  How are the large European programmes (e.g., ESPRIT) evaluated from this perspective?  What is the effect of the U.S. industrial policy (e.g. ATP) and defense conversion (TRP) programs?  How has the decline of "import substitution" policies in Latin America affected local academic-industry relations?  Did these programs and policies lead to new standards of scientific and technological achievement which may provide us with models for the further development of higher education?  What might, for example, a "European," "Latin American" or "Eastern European" entrepreneurial university which attempts to institutionalize at the network level look like?

 

While a number of studies have focussed on experiences in the US and the UK, less empirical information is available about the effects of the assumed transitions from national systems to international frameworks of S&T policy making in the emerging European Union (Nelson 1993 and 1994; cf. Blume and Leydesdorff 1984).  After a period of rapid growth of structures at the relevant interfaces (e.g., transfer agencies, university-industry networks) a tendency to leave selection to the market (e.g., by means of patenting) can be observed.  It has been noted that the new dependencies may lead to deprivation of the university from its autonomous and cultural functions, and thereby endanger the economy in longer-term respects (e.g., the qualification structure; cf. Rosenberg and Nelson 1994).  Is university research increasingly commercially driven?  Has scholarly education become obsolete; is the theoretically oriented intellectual gradually replaced by the experimentalists who has learned to `manage' theoretical knowledge pragmatically?

 

 We are witnessing the transformation of the role of state in academia, the role of corporations in innovation and of the university in the economy (Etzkowitz 1983 and 1995).  Coming from the three sectors, the members of this workshop are participants in the creation of a new innovation environment--a triple helix of academic-industry-government relations. In summary, we envisage contributions from the following perspectives:

 

 1.  from evolutionary economics focussing on the functions of the knowledge infrastructure in advanced (industrial) systems, and on the  consequences for R&D-policies;

 

2.  from the sociology of science and technology and the sociology of higher education about experiences with reshaping of parts of the knowledge infrastructure like technological sciences and university R&D systems; and its in-depth consequences for the intellectual reorganization of the disciplines;

 

3.  from policy analysis with an evaluative perspective on efforts to bring about changes at the relevant science-technology-industry interfaces.

 

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