Research Policy and Adjacent Tools

Research Policy and Adjacent Tools

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3652-9.ch007

Abstract

In this chapter, we discuss the elements required to complete the picture. The issue of Research Policy, its role and impact is presented. Following that discussion are the presentations of additional tools to the R&D Support Programs support tools – Accelerators, Technology Incubators and more. The presentations end with the National Research Organization and the comparison of such organizations with the R&D support programs.
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Setting Research Priorities

Setting research priorities in our discussion refers not to the process of selecting these priorities but rather to the implications of having such priorities selected within a policy (Choi and Lee, 2000; Schmid, 2012; Shao and Yuan, 2013; Maleki et al., 2014).

It is important to note that while selecting the priorities for the research policy one does not only selects what will receive assistance, but rather, in most cases, what will not receive such support.

When setting priorities to support strong industrial sectors, or a strong academic heritage, such a policy will further oppress other sectors and can perhaps lead to their demise in the region, or country. If for examples, from political reasons atomic energy research is removed from the list of supported technologies or field of research, one would see first the firms involved in the sector and later the academics leave. They will find other countries where such topics are supported, and quickly enough the entire sector and the relevant disciplines will disappear.

It is especially easy for academics to migrate, as they do not physically need to emigrate but can only change, and that is difficult enough, their research topics. Such a move would require establishing new interest, creating a new list of publication and alternative reputation. In most cases one would see some of the academics physically emigrate and some change their research interest. For firms, unless they sell only to the disappearing local market, emigration to other countries is the most common solution. Changing the market, they are active in, is in some cases even more difficult. However, if they want to keep to their research topic physical migration is often easy as they would have an international reputation to support that move.

Of course, not all policies need be so harsh, many can offer some reduction in the support, which is critical by itself but may be less dramatic.

The topics selected for priority therefore should be selected with care. In some places, the emphasis is placed not on sectors with a strong lobby, but rather on weak or small sectors which for political reasons are selected for support and development. Here the potential risk is double: there may not be enough firms for developing the sector and thus while other sectors are hungry for assistance, the selected sectors are having more funds than they can use, or that support is being diverted through loopholes into other, not referred sectors.

One of the major traps is trying to select the main topics for future technological market disruptions, to predict the unforeseen breaks. There is a logic trap in such an effort and in the end, it requires a wide enough band of selected topics for support in order to do some risk management.

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