Manifesto: Adrian Ely - Innovation, Sustainability, Development: A New Manifesto


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The STEPS Centre Symposium, 26 September 2009, focused on our Innovation, Sustainability, Development: A New Manifesto project. This presentation by Adrian Ely, convenor of the STEPS New Manifesto project, was one of those given at the event. For more information see:

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Manifesto: Adrian Ely - Innovation, Sustainability, Development: A New Manifesto

  1. 1. Innovation, Sustainability, Development: A New Manifesto Dr. Adrian Ely SPRU – Science and Technology Policy University of Sussex, UK Annual STEPS Symposium, 24 th September 2009
  2. 2. - Written by the Sussex Group: Hans Singer (chair), Geoff Oldham, Charles Cooper, R.C. Desai, Christopher Freeman, Oscar Gish & Stephen Hill Quantitative and qualitative recommendations
  3. 3. Quantitative targets “ The Research and development (R and D) effort of the developing countries should be increased from the present level of about 0.2 per cent of gross national product (GNP) to about 0.5 per cent of GNP” “ In short, increased R and D and STS expenditure would be folly if there were no reform of the institutions for carrying out these activities. It is relatively easy to increase expenditure on science and technology, but there is a grave danger that the increased expenditure will leak away in a kind of ‘scientific conspicuous consumption’.” But, more importantly, institutional change
  4. 4. The Global Competitiveness Report (2009) Switzerland (Ranked 1st)
  5. 5. The Global Competitiveness Report (2009) China (Ranked 29th)
  6. 6. The Global Competitiveness Report (2009) Kenya (Ranked 98th)
  7. 7. A “3D” Agenda Directionality – of pathways towards specific Sustainability objectives. Distribution – more equitable distribution of benefits, costs and risks associated with innovation. Diversity – in socio-technical systems, in order to build robust and resilient systems, mitigate lock-in and cater for seemingly irreconcilable perspectives on sustainability.
  8. 8. Broadening the scope of Innovation Broadening the scope of Innovation
  9. 9. Informing Innovation
  10. 10. Democratising Innovation
  11. 11. <ul><li>Round table events </li></ul><ul><li>Partners - Practical Action and Tribhuvan University, Nepal </li></ul><ul><li>include IDS and SPRU students and alumni </li></ul><ul><li>TU Delft, Netherlands </li></ul><ul><li>African Centre for Technology Studies, Kenya </li></ul><ul><li>Tsinghua University, Beijing </li></ul><ul><li>Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Scientificas </li></ul>Forthcoming activities <ul><li>Launch Spring 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>multimedia manifesto – a living document </li></ul><ul><li>focus on putting the manifesto recommendations into action </li></ul>
  12. 12.
  13. 13. Annex : Manifesto Recommendations: A: Broadening the scope of innovation There is a need to move beyond narrow R&D towards a policy focus aimed at broadening and diversifying innovation systems. Hence we recommend: A-1: - building strategic networks to link innovators in a variety of settings, recognising design and engineering activities and research and development in small firms and not-for-profit organisations; A-2: - investing in social and organisational arrangements, processes and practices as well as technical innovation, by measures such as the promotion of open source platforms; A-3: - protecting and developing experimental niches enabling grassroots innovation, including through innovative financing mechanisms; A-4: - redesigning and extending statistical data and indicators for measuring innovation to address more incremental, informal and ‘below-the-radar’f orms of innovation; A-5: Governments and donors should establish explicit programmes, subject to regular review, tor progressively increase the proportion of resources currently allocated to R&D towards strengthening scientific and technological services and building other more widely dispersed innovation capabilities and activities through the mechanisms described above.
  14. 14. B: Informing innovation There is a need improve processes and metrics for identifying, engaging with and responding to specific directions, needs and perspectives. Hence we recommend: B-1: - regearing incentives and organisational arrangements mechanisms for appraisal of innovation towards a model centred on the needs, rights and demands of poorer people; B-2: - recognising and drawing together multiple sources of expertise in new networks and institutional innovations that go beyond standard centres of excellence; B-3: - building capacity to link user needs and innovation priorities through new forms of training and support of bridging professionals, placements and immersions; B-4: - investing in engagements between higher education and civil society, small business and local innovation networks; B-5: - For every $1 of investment in internationally-oriented ‘centres of excellence’, there should be matching and progressively increasing investment in learning and appraisal mechanisms to inform priorities and resource-allocations, linking needs to demand and delivery and developing the capacities of professionals and organisations to enable this to happen.
  15. 15. C: Democratising Innovation The institutions responsible for shaping innovation and the distribution of its benefits and risks should be made more accountable to their stated beneficiaries. C-1: - Annual reports to the national legislature should document the overall prioritisation of all public sector R&D and innovation activities thus facilitating open transparent political debate about the aggregate resource allocations in relation to societal needs and distributional consequences. C-2: - Each state should establish a body to fulfil the function of a 'Strategic Innovation Forum' including representation from a full range of grassroots national civil society organisations to oversee and deliberate on the reporting process, and match relevant R&D and innovation activities to societal needs. C-3: - An explicit programme should be established to make progressively increasing proportions of public sector research and innovation activities – both in competitive evaluation and in project governance – accountable to users and grassroots civil society organisations. C-4: - It should be a statutory requirement of private sector organisations above a specified audited turnover, that the scale, orientation, and distributional implications of R&D and innovation activities be a matter for transparent regular reporting in the country of legal incorporation, subject to formal regular comment from the national Strategic Innovation Forum.
  16. 16. C: Democratising Innovation (continued) C-5: The G8 should work with the G20 to open an honest dialogue with the wider international community, including the’ least developed countries’ to reform the laws and procedures for the creation and enforcement of intellectual property rights at national and international levels.35 C-6 Civil society and commercial organisations should promote alternative models to incentivising innovation for poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability goals, and continue to experiment with, stretch and extend the flexibilities provided under the WTO TRIPS agreement. C-7: A global innovation commission should be established to promote the emerging 3D agenda for innovation, sustainability and development and provide co-ordination and oversight at an international level. Comprising a broad diversity of actors (especially from the global South), this should be constituted in association with (but independent from) the existing institutional frameworks of the UN and others concerned with international development and world trade regulation, under a governance structure to include representation from civil society organisations participating in national level Strategic Innovation Fora (see recommendation C-2). The remit of the GIC is to monitor and challenge the societal purposes and efficacy of global public and private sector innovation activities, thus facilitating more democratic political debate and so help improve the diversity, direction, and distributional consequences of intergovernmental, national and commercial innovative activity.