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20110413 wit research_day_mofoghlu



Talk I gave at WIT Research Day 13th April 2011 on Irish Reseaerch Funding Policy, focused on its reference to non-linear theories of Knowledge Production. Draws on my doctoral research that did an analysis of public research policy documents in Ireland 2005-2008. Ireland in this period made the case for huge increases in HERD (funding for R&D in Higher Education), and implemented this from 1998 onwards primarily via the HEA PRTLI and SFI. My case is that this was done without a proper analysis of what impact on the knowledge economy was planned for, or how it could be measured. Now with less money available, we need to revisit the process, make critical decisions, and create clarity for ongoing funding.

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20110413 wit research_day_mofoghlu

  1. 1. Experiences  of  Irish  Funding  Policy
  2. 2. Dr  Mícheál  Ó  Foghlú
  3. 3. Outline 1. Theory  of  Knowledge  Produc>on 2. Irish  R&D  Policy’s  Use  of  Theory 3. WIT/TSSG  Experience 4. Synthesis  &  Comments
  4. 4. (1)  Theory  of  Knowledge  Produc<on
  5. 5. Vannevar  Bush • Co-­‐ordinated  US  scien>fic  R&D  in  WWII • 1945  “Science  the  Endless  Fron<er”  This led  to  seYng  up  of  Na>onal  Science Founda>on  (NSF),  he  subsequently chaired • (May  not  have  espoused  linear  model) •  Promoted  a  post-­‐war  model  of  the  state  funding  “basic” research,  and  industry  dealing  with  “applied”  research (though  the  laber  was  spurred  on  by  lucra>ve  arms  contracts) “The  most  important  ways  in  which  the  Government  can  promote  industrial  research  are to  increase  the  flow  of  new  scien>fic  knowledge  through  support  of  basic  research,  and  to aid  in  the  development  of  scien>fic  talent.”
  6. 6. (Simplis>cally)  Bush  =  Linear • So,  although  Bush  did  not  invent  the  linear  model,  he promoted  it  as  the  model  for  US  R&D  funding: – Basic  Research • Leads  to – Applied  Research • Leads  to – Experimental  Development • Leads  to – Commercialisa>on
  7. 7. Modern  Research  Policy  Rejects Linear  Model • Generally  it  now  believed  that  R&D  is  a  much  more complex  interac>ve  system • Economists  (Nelson  et  al)  have  posited  a  “Na>onal System  of  Innova>on”  where  these  complexi>es interplay • Educa>onalists  (Gibbons  et  al)  have  posited  “Mode-­‐ 2”  science,  where  flexible  domains  that  are  trans-­‐ disciplinary  are  too  malleable  to  conform  to tradi>onal  scien>fic  domain  norms
  8. 8. Stokes’  Pasteur’s  Quadrant      A  detailed  Analysis  of Vannevar  Bush,  NSF,  OECD Frasca>  and  other  ways  in which  basic  and  applied research  have  been  split  by funding  mechanisms,  to  the detriment  of  technological innova<on. Stokes, Donald E. [1997] Pasteur's Quadrant: Basic Science and Technological Innovation. Washington D.C., USA: Brookings Institution Press.
  9. 9. Stokes’  Pasteur’s  Quadrant Considerations for Use ? No Yes Yes Pure  Basic  Use-­‐Inspired Research Basic  Research Quest for      (Pasteur)        (Bohr) Fundamental understanding? Pure  Applied No Research    Taxonomies  and  Tools Researchers  are  the  users        (Edison) (Adapted from Pasteur’s Quadrant: Basic Science and Technological Innovation, Stokes 1997, p. 73).
  10. 10. (2)  Irish  R&D  Policy’s  Use  of  Theory
  11. 11. 1990s:  Jus>fica>on  for  Investment • 1995  STIAC/Tierney – Science,  Technology  and  Innova>on  Advisory  Council • 1996  CIRCA – Assessment  of  management  of  research • 1998-­‐1999  Technology  Foresight  Exercise – Iden>fied  ICT  and  Biotechnology  as  key  growth  areas Theore>cal  underpinnings:  Na>onal  Systems  of Innova>on  (Nelson  et  al) Ra>onale  for  investment  given  in  terms  of  economic impera>ves,  “knowledge  economy/society”
  12. 12. 1998-­‐2002:  Implementa>on • 1998  HEA  PRTLI  Established – Funding  for  basic  research  and  capital  investment • 2000  IRCHSS  Established – Humani>es  and  Social  Science • 2001  SFI  Established – Arising  from  Technology  Foresight • 2001  IRCSET  Established – Science,  Engineering  and  Technology
  13. 13. 2000s:  Policy  by  Metrics? • 2004  Enterprise  Strategy  Group • 2004  OECD  Review  of  Higher  Educa>on • 2006  SSTI  2006-­‐13  (Strategy  for  Science,  Technology and  Innova>on) • 2009  Innova>on  Task  Force Theore>cal  jus>fica>on  of  NSI  lost  in  published  policies. Strong  emphasis  on  pragma>c  governance  and organisa>on,  establishment  of  cabinet subcommibee,  efficient  financial  approvals,  and targets.
  14. 14. (3)  WIT/TSSG  Experience
  15. 15. TSSG  Experience • HEA  PRTLI  Cycles  2,  3,  and  4  (success  in  laber  2) – Importance  of  Ins>tu>onal  Strategy  documents • SFI  CSET,  Joint-­‐PI,  SRC  (success  in  laber  2) – Importance  of  pure  basic  academic  criteria – Industrial  impact  in  earlier  proposals  nominal,  now  less  so • Enterprise  Ireland  CF-­‐TD – Never  had  the  same  level  of  funding  as  HEA/SFI • EU  FP4,  FP5,  FP6,  FP7 – Always  open,  no  biases
  16. 16. (4)  Synthesis  &  Comments
  17. 17. Ireland’s  R&D  Policy • Jus>fica>on  was  more  theore>cally  based  than implementa>on • Quality  of  debate  poor,  lack  of  solid  theore>cal  basis, implicit  assump>on  of  linear  model • Lack  of  detailed  published  studies  of  Ireland’s  own Na>onal  Innova>on  System,  par>cularly  in  SFI priority  areas  -­‐  what  are  our  innova>on  catalysts? • However,  investment  did  create  opportuni>es,  and s>mulated  excellent  R&D  ac>vity
  18. 18. Linear  =  favour  Irish  Universi>es? • Part  of  the  Ins>tute  of  Technology  sectoral  strength is  in  its  aYtudes  to  industry,    from  giving  due recogni>on  to  industrial  experience  in  staff recruitment,  to  its  contribu>ons  to  regional  and na>onal  networks  of  innova>on • Linear  model  assumes  key  basic  research  metrics predominate,  and  underplay  the  linkages  and networks  required  to  effect  change • But  it  is  too  simplis>c  to  simply  equate  the  linear model  with  an  argument  for  preserving  the  binary system
  19. 19. Ques>ons? • Happy  to  answer  any  ques>ons
  20. 20. Contact  Details Dr  Mícheál  Ó  Foghlú TSSG  Offices: TSSG,  WIT TSSG    (Waterford,  Ireland)  Headquarters +353  51  302963  (w) ArcLabs  Research  &  Innova>on  Building +353  86  8044640  (m) WIT  West  Campus,  Carriganore Co.  Waterford,      Ireland TSSG    (Dublin,  Ireland)  Customer  Mee<ngs Digital  Depot,  Roe  Lane The  Digital  Hub Dublin  8,    Ireland
  21. 21. Selected  Bibliography Ó  Foghlú,  Mícheál  2010  Science,  Engineering  and  Technology  Research  Funding  Policy in  Ireland  1995-­‐2008:  A  Policy  Document  Analysis,  Doctoral  Thesis,  University  of Sheffield Calvert,  Jane  [2004]  The  idea  of  “Basic  Research"  in  language  and  pracIce.  Minerva,  42(3):pp. 251-­‐268. Gibbons,  Michael;  Limoges,  Camille;  Nowotny,  Helga;  Schwartzman,  Simon;  Scob,  Peter;  and Trow,  Mar>n  [1994]  The  New  ProducIon  of  Knowledge:  The  Dynamics  of  Science  and Research  in  Contemporary  SocieIes.  London,  UK:  Sage. Godin,  Benoit  [2006]  The  linear  model  of  innova>on:  The  historical  construc>on  of  an  analy>cal framework.  Science,  Technology  and  Human  Values,  31(6):pp.  639-­‐667. Nelson,  Richard  R.,  editor  [1993]  NaIonal  InnovaIon  Systems:  A  ComparaIve  Analysis.  Oxford, UK:  Oxford  University  Press. Nowotny,  Helga;  Scob,  Peter;  and  Gibbons,  Michael  [2001]  Rethinking  Science:  Knowledge  and the  Public  in  an  Age  of  Uncertainty.  Cambridge,  UK:  Polity  Press. Stokes,  Donald  E.  [1997]  Pasteur's  Quadrant:  Basic  Science  and  Technological  InnovaIon. Washington  D.C.,  USA:  Brookings  Ins>tu>on  Press.