This paper employs both descriptive and comparative approaches to discuss science and technology (S&T) development in Arab countries in the Gulf and Mediterranean regions. Throughout the paper we use the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s definition of S&T indicators (OECD, 1997). From this research we find that neither the Gulf nor the Mediterranean countries investigated possess sufficient human or financial resources to promote S&T performance. We show that the low level of resources devoted to S&T development together with inadequate economic structures mean that the Gulf and Mediterranean Arab countries lag behind the world’s advanced and leading developing countries in terms of S&T input and output indicators. In both regions, most of the research, development and S&T activities occur within public and academic sectors, with only a very small contribution from the private sector. When comparing S&T indicators between the two Arab regions we find that despite the high standard of economic development in the Gulf countries, as measured by gross domestic product per capita and the human development index, it is the Mediterranean countries that perform better in most of the S&T input and output indicators. Furthermore, we show that there is very limited scientific cooperation within and between the Gulf and Mediterranean countries as well as between them and other Arab countries. In contrast, three Arab countries from the Mediterranean region – Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia – show active scientific cooperation with the international community, especially the OECD and France in particular. This implies that social proximity (sharing similar religion, language, culture, etc.) does not help regional scientific cooperation within the Arab world; it is geographical proximity to Europe that motivates these countries’ international scientific cooperation
This paper puts together new data on the technology generation and technology transfers in the world economy over the 1975-1995 period to examine the emerging trends and patterns. In particular we examine the trends in the country and corporate concentration in the technology generation in terms of indicators of R&D activity, patent ownership and receipts of technology fees and royalties against the background of emergence of new core technologies and the recent trend of corporate restructuring. It then examines trends and patterns in international technology transfers as represented by royalty and technology receipts by major source countries of technology and contrasts these trends with those in FDI inflows. Then trends with respect to the mode of technology transfer are discussed. The paper is concluded with a few observations for technology import policies of developing countries.
The liberalization of economic policies in the last two decades and intensifying market competition tend to be a cause of policy concern for the survival of SMEs in emerging economies like India. These SMEs account for the largest chunk of industrial units and employment in the national economy. Yet, most of them are competing with deeply inadequate resources, especially by means of weak technological capabilities. The present study has provided not only preliminary estimates on SME R&D investments in Indian manufacturing and their broad trends and patterns, but also contributed to the understanding of factors driving the SME in-house R&D activities. It shows that Indian SMEs continue to be vulnerable among all firms as they have the lowest incidence of doing in-house R&D and their R&D intensities have fallen in the last decade. Based on the results from three-step Censored Quantile Regression, this study has suggested a set of useful policy implications for enhancing SME R&D.
This paper examines the potential role of carbon sequestration in forests under a range of exogenously chosen carbon price paths. The price paths were chosen to simulate several different climate change policies. The results indicate that global sequestration could range from 48�147 Pg C by 2105 for carbon prices ranging from $100 to more than $800 per t C by the end of the century. The timing of sequestration is found to be sensitive to the assumed carbon price path. Low initial carbon prices ($10 - $20 per t C in 2010) followed by rapid price increases, as might occur if policy makers try to stabilize future concentrations, suggest little, if any, sequestration during the next 20 years (-0.2 to 4.5 Pg C). If policy makers develop policies that support higher initial carbon prices, ranging from $75 to $100 per t C, 17 to 23 Pg C could be sequestered in forests over the next 20 years. Overall, our results indicate that forestry is not an efficient stopgap measure for long-term policy goals, but that it is instead an important long-term partner with other mitigation options.
This paper examines institutions and their role in supporting technical change as part of the development process, and asks how institutions shape the system of innovation (SI). The context of underdevelopment exhibits distinct system characteristics that differ markedly from those found under advanced economic conditions and as such deserves close empirical scrutiny. SIs differ significantly under the two sets of conditions, leading to uneven structural changes. The paper therefore explores what functions must be served by systems in developing countries in order to generate technical dynamism. To compare different contexts, it introduces the idea of a System of Learning Innovation in Development (SLID) that emphasizes individual and organizational competence building. The differences between “Advanced” Systems of Innovation (ASI) and two types of SLID are discussed. Infrastructure, one of the key components of institutions involved in development, is used as an illustration. The study found that dynamic SIs function best in a regime of high-quality infrastructure (telephone, Internet, computers and reliable electricity supplies). The case of sub-Saharan Africa serves to illustrate the point.
In this paper, which is based on a review of archival and published primary and secondary sources from many repositories in Mexico, France and the United States, we discuss the impact of French agronomy on the development of this scientific discipline in Mexico. We consider the evolution of Mexican agronomy in the context of the nation's political history, discuss the rise of French influence during the nineteenth century, examine the impact of the introduction of other foreign models of agricultural science after the Mexican Revolution (1910-20), and evaluate Mexico's decision to adopt the agricultural science of the United States as a model for the development of Mexican agronomy after 1940. Using this discussion we demonstrate that French agronomy had a crucial impact on the early development of the discipline in Mexico. Further, although the French model eventually lost out to the agricultural science of the United States, the Mexican agronomists' early ties to France ensured that French agronomy continued to exercise some influence in Mexico after 1940.
In the period between the two World Wars Senegal was the world's second largest peanut exporter. Plant breeding became the priority of agricultural policy in Senegal and by 1951 half of the peanut production was due to 'improved' varieties. This paper explores the research and agricultural practices in the agricultural station of Bambey, which stood in sharp contrast with the Sereer farming system. Also, the extension of 'improved' strains is analysed as a learning process rather than a diffusion process. During this process, some practices and constraints of the station were imposed on the farmers.
The paper finally reflects on the turning of African peasantries into objects of knowledge and intervention. At a time when colonial state control and knowledge of agrarian societies were very weak, seed intervention was a tool of the cognitive penetration of Sereer and Wolof communities by the state and its experts, and a means to render them more amena ble to state intervention.
Drawing from the social constructivist approach to the study of science, technology and society, this article tries to examine the role of legal, economic, political and environmental factors in determining the course of the development of electricity in the Madras Presidency under British colonial rule. Apart from these factors, the impact of historical events such as the two World Wars on the trajectories of electrification is also analysed. The combination of circumstances that influenced the development of electricity in a colonised territory was quite peculiar in many ways and significantly shaped its ultimate character.
Making use of the recent STS focus on the idea of subpolitics, the study seeks to understand the limited yet important implications of the rise of the political twitterati1 for liberal democracy in Singapore. The phenomenon marks a significant development not in terms of facilitating mass upheavals or radical reforms as elsewhere in the world, but in terms of contributing towards the construction of counter narratives to the historically articulated and previously uncontested discourses of progress, efficiency, productivity and success that in part have legitimated the political establishment in Singapore. By critiquing the regime’s myriad narratives of accomplishments and constructing subversive counter narratives through ‘series tweets’ that were infused with wit, sarcasm, parody and satire, the political twitterati in Singapore has expanded the vistas of democratic participation while remaining loyal to the country’s non-Western liberal democratic framework.
This article offers a conceptual analysis of two aspects of openness: extended feedback and absorptive capacity in the context of a developing country national innovation system. Extended feedback is defined as the capacity of national agencies, responsible for telecentre development, to learn and share learning about the practices, ideas and information demands of people using their telecentres. This allows for a greater diffusion of knowledge across the national innovation system (NIS). Absorptive capacity is defined as the capacity of users to access and share information and apply it for productive practices. These concepts are used in this article to help explain the ways that social networks can be consolidated and extended, horizontally and vertically, through telecentres in rural Nepal and consequently contribute to social and economic development. The argument is developed that telecentres, providing there is extended feedback at the institutional level and absorptive capacity at both local and central levels, extend access to ‘bridging social capital’. The paper concludes by identifying some potential indicators for monitoring and evaluating the impact of ICT (Information Communication Technologies) using these concepts.
This article is concerned with what conditions successful development of high-tech regions in developing countries. It argues that the recent regional turn in development studies should be welcomed as regions play an increasingly important role for high-tech industries in developed and developing countries. While acknowledging the insights stemming from the regional turn the article nevertheless argues the need to extent the theoretical perspectives and to apply a regional innovation systems (RIS) approach. RIS has its strength in theoretically linking regions and high-tech industries. This article contextualises RIS to the situations characterising developing countries. Special attention is paid to how regions in developing countries can engage in a strategic coupling with high-tech TNCs. The importance of RIS as an analytical approach and tool for policy prescription is illustrated by two Asian high-tech cases, namely Bangalore's IT RIS in India and Shanghai's high-tech RIS in China.
Following the global concern for the loss of biodiversity, biological knowledge has become a central tool in environmental governance. Science studies has addressed the data-driven nature of biodiversity protection and explored various aspects of it, ranging from knowledge infrastructures to engagement of various social groups in knowledge production. This article focuses on how this knowledge is applied in forestry, one of the most threatening socio-economic practices to biodiversity. Drawing from a case study in Finland, carried out as an ethnography of forestry expert practices, I analyse how biodiversity has been institutionalised in forestry operations. Responsible action and pro-environmental behaviour are much debated topics in environmental governance literature. Here the focus is on how they are articulated and enacted as embedded in the expert practices. The practices and techniques of identifying and locating the biological values are thus not viewed as resources for decision making but as performative of the partnerships in environmental governance, shaping the roles of science, corporations, government and civil society. These partnerships and power relations are constituted by the uncertainty of biological knowledge and the instability of biological objects travelling between the realms of science, administration and economy.
The study aims at investigating the factors that affected the degree of adoption of new technologies in Nigerian SMEs. New technologies are by and large dominated by ICTs. Data for the analysis come from sixty-seven SMEs located in Aba, Ibadan, Lagos and Nnewi. One of the major factors inhibiting ICT diffusion and intensive utilisation is poor physical infrastructure represented by adequate and uninterrupted electricity supply and communication connectivity infrastructure. Findings of multivariate analysis suggest that firm-level variables such as financial capacity and technological absorptive capacity influenced the intensity of the adoption of ICTs. The results also suggest that globalisation of the Nigerian economy also influenced the adoption of new technologies. The study concludes that SMEs need institutional support in terms of human resource development for the augmentation of their competitiveness in the domestic as well as international markets.
This article comments on a collection of articles (in this issue) dealing with the status of science in the Arab world. The author stresses first the interest to bring fresh and accurate data on this region, where S&T institutions are rapidly changing and poorly documented. A second main point is that in such intermediary countries, where the institutionalisation of science is in progress, usual concepts like ‘scientific communities’, research and innovation ‘systems’ or ‘the role of the scientist’ do not readily apply. Other notions have to be coined to account for the motivations of the actors, the aim of policies and the paths to change. Finally the article distinguishes a variety of scientific landscapes, from Maghreb to the Gulf States. It insists on two main factors of dynamics: the social grounding of science, which derives from images of knowledge and from the ambient values; and the social support science has acquired (through an implicit alliance with specific groups).
The onset of constitutional democracy in South Africa potentially marked a critical juncture in the evolution of its innovation system. At this point the Ministry responsible for science and technology adopted the innovation systems approach. This adoption followed the IDRC OECD-style review of 1993. Nineteen years later, after a full-fledged OECD Review, the extent to which the innovation system demonstrates continuity or change may be assessed. The assessment is broadly functionalist and considers the role of institutions and actors. While the polity has become more inclusive, extractive economic institutions persist. Likewise the social contract between science and society has evolved but it continues to show extractive attributes. It appears that thus far the innovation systems approach has been more of a rhetorical than a practical device with the pre-1994 and present innovation systems showing both continuity and disjuncture. It is these challenges that the current Ministerial Review of the STI Landscape (DST 2012) has sought to address.
This article focuses on a new organisational form that is emerging in the South African context—knowledge networks of higher education, industry and intermediary partners. The article focuses on seven case studies in two high-technology fields and their related industrial sectors—biotechnology, being relatively new, and new materials development, being relatively mature in South Africa. It shows the complex nature of the research partners at each node of a network, and of the structure and dynamics of the interaction that results. The study suggests that we need to open up the ideal enshrined in South African policy, of the desirability of research partnerships, to more informed analysis of the complexity of creating networks, in specific industrial sub-sectors, knowledge fields and institutional contexts. The major insight offered for developing countries like South Africa is the value of a contextualised analysis for informing cross-sectoral coordination of interventions within a national system of innovation.
The paradox in the Arab world is that one comes across obvious talents, pulling greatly the output upwards, while no specific goal is commonly ascribed to research. The social inscription of science remains unsteady and the proper function of research is vague. Moreover, there are great differences between sub-regions (the Gulf countries, Machreq and Maghreb) and even between countries as for the age and context of scientific activity, the socio-cognitive blocs supporting it, the nature of institutional arrangements, financing and organising solutions. Following repeated warnings from experts on the region, a new concern for research has been rising since a few years. Behind Tunisia (which is well ahead) Maghreb countries are moving towards the building of a ‘research system’, with its own organisation and funding. Several Gulf countries are developing ‘Singaporean strategies’, resorting to world knowledge and industrial resources with a view to innovation. The pressure of globalisation and the need to discover new resources may induce a higher regard for science, the improvement of its environment and the hope for setting up scientific communities.
Asian agriculture is faced with major new challenges as a result of globalisation, urbanisation and environmental problems such as climate change. To meet these challenges, Asian agriculture needs to become more knowledge intensive and innovation oriented. This article frames the new Asian challenge in terms of innovation theory, emphasising the importance of the co-evolution of technological and institutional change and linkages between actors in open, interactive innovation processes. It studies the performance of agricultural research and technology organisations (RTOs) in four small and medium-sized South and Southeast Asian economies: Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia and Vietnam. A key performance issue is the linkages between actors, which is a key weakness in the agricultural innovation systems of most Asian countries. The need for effective linkages is growing as agricultural production and innovation are becoming increasingly complex due to the impact of the consecutive green, sustainability, biotechnology and supermarket revolutions. Linkages are in short supply, but the demand for them is exploding. As a consequence, traditional public agricultural research organisations in Asia, created at the time of the green revolution, no longer play a central role in agricultural innovation as they did when countries faced only one challenge.
Nanotechnology is now increasing attention to inter-firm collaboration and alliances for developing nanotechnology commercialisation opportunities. This study explores and examines nanotechnology alliance networking behaviour to determine fully what types of factors drive nanotechnology alliance activities. The proposed research frameworks attempt to fill the gap in knowledge regarding emerging nanotechnology alliance behaviour and to explore the alliance decisions driving inter-firm nanotechnology alliances that are grounded in deeper knowledge of nanotechnology alliances. The primary focus of nanotechnology alliance activity for nanotechnology-based firms confirms that nanotechnology alliances are influenced directly by inter-firm R&D ties and by joint interactions among inter-firm R&D ties, network positions and technological uncertainty. Specifically, we propose that a nanotechnology-based firm is highly likely to engage in alliances regarding decision-making activity. Using an original dataset of nanotechnology-based firms in the emerging nanotechnology alliance activity, we found that the joint effect of a position of high network centrality and a high level of technological uncertainty weakens inter-firm nanotechnology alliances.
There is a need for data about Arab research systems. Some recent international reports have called into question their lack of interest in developing scientific creations. Yet rapid changes are taking place. This article shows the trends and local shades of the scientific output (in terms of internationally recognised publications) in West Asia and North Africa.
There is a large concentration of chemical firms around Mumbai, and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board has been actively monitoring them. Such monitoring is likely to have an impact on the productive efficiency of these firms. The firms argue that additional costs to minimise environmental damage have reduced their efficiency. We try to find out whether these water-polluting firms in the chemical industry around Mumbai are actually unable to cope with the additional cost of pollution abatement, or whether by using cleaner practices, are able to improve their efficiency, and support the ‘win-win’ opportunities as claimed by the Porter Hypothesis. The study is carried out by estimating an Output Distance Function using a stochastic production function. The panel data of fifty water-polluting small-to medium-scale firms for three-year period of 2004–06 was collected in a primary survey of chemical industries around Mumbai. We find that the polluting firms are technically more efficient than those firms which adhere to pollution norms. Thus, the Porter Hypothesis does not hold for the sample.
Biodiversity Erosion has been subjected in the last few years to a whistleblowing and agenda-setting process. This trend has led to the emergence of governance entities meant to measure this crisis and to elaborate management and control technologies. Among these, having recourse to economic tools and to the market has been one of the most salient ideas. One may wonder how relying on economy and the market in biodiversity management has imposed itself as something evident. This article aims to contribute to answer this question. Firstly, it gives a general account of the historical shift in the field of environmental governance towards market-based policies. Then it tries to shed some light on the way this shift practically happened, focusing on the places where biodiversity management is elaborated. It insists on the fact that biodiversity governance networks are structured around places that articulate several social realms and several sets of norms, which may not be fully compatible. Therefore, the paper wonders how the articulation may be achieved. Focusing on a workgroup that brings together various actors of biodiversity governance, it shows that social, logical and normative contradictions can be neutralised through various practical means, allowing to establish a one-way-oriented common sense.
This article presents two models of research and technology organisations (RTOs) in latecomer countries undergoing technological catch-up. The RTOs in Model A tried to stimulate the accumulation of technological and innovative capabilities ‘within’ firms. In contrast, the RTOs in Model B attempted to create technological capabilities ‘on behalf of firms’. The models have produced different results. Case studies of Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and Thailand’s National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) are used as representatives of the two models.
Research technology organizations (RTOs) are undergoing a transition in their traditional role. This transition is driven by two key shifts in the environment within which RTOs operate: increasing pressure to commercialise research outputs and the internationalisation of the research endeavor, providing new opportunities for both funding and transfer of outputs. We note that these trends are felt in both industrialised and industrialising economies, acknowledging a need for properly framed comparative studies. Among the key questions addressed here: How do open, global R&D networks affect RTO research portfolios? Does building national resources reduce international opportunities? Can Asian RTOs reorient their operations from doing basic research to producing commercialisable outputs as effectively as some of their European counterparts? Before reviewing important developments in the RTO literature, we distinguish several types of RTOs. The literature reflecting the abovementioned environmental shifts indicates that RTOs play an important role in helping industrialising economies catch up with their industrialised counterparts. We note also the role RTOs play in transferring university research outputs, and call for more studies of the role of RTOs in industrialization as opposed to agricultural development. We close with brief descriptions of the five studies that comprise this special issue.
An essential part of the catching-up process by firms in late industrialising countries is the development of technological capabilities. It can be assumed that these capabilities correlate with firms’ innovation activities (including cooperation with external partners). At the same time, it can be assumed that the quality of the national or regional innovation system influences the development of firms’ technological capabilities. Consequently, this article compares groups of firms with different technological capabilities in three innovation systems. Analysing innovation activities, cooperation behaviour and the perception of the business environment, conspicuous differences between the innovation systems are found. Contrary, the comparison of the different technological capability-groups brings about less conclusive results, which indicate only a limited interrelation between technological capabilities and innovation-related activities.
This paper is concerned with unpacking the role of the cluster supporting the SMEs move from competing on low-costs to innovating in the global value chain. By comparing 4 clusters in different industries in Asia, we highlight significant differences in the learning paths of the clustered SMEs. The paper contributes to current discussion on upgrading in clusters in developing countries by a) providing an explanation on how localized interactive learning and thus clustering relates to upgrading b) discussing under which conditions upgrading requires interactive learning and c) identifying the linkages between particular types of interactive learning and different upgrading strategies. Presented at the GLOBELICS 2006 conference in India during 4-7 October 2006. Session III.4 LICS in SMEs
On the basis of an analysis of the creation of an Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), our contribution addresses the progressive stabilisation of an institutional design for assessing Nature. Social science literature has widely promoted norms of transparency, openness and participation regarding the implementation of new forms of environmental governance. But so far, few researchers have focused on the way this disclosure model now concretely weighs down on real institutions and institutionalisation processes. Moreover, little attention has been paid to the way this requirement can combine with other requirements or older models of action. In the case of IPBES, our goal is to question how the requirements of participation and transparency are put into practice. We will highlight the role of UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) in the institutionalisation process of IPBES and see how the disclosure model is combined with other requirements that simultaneously involve the re-creation of ‘enclosure’ (that is, the need for academic sound–science, or the usual way in which things are done at UNEP—that is, bureaucratic practices). Our work is based on an empirical study including documentation analysis (official reports available on websites) and interviews.
This article examines the institutional legitimacy of public Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) in South Korea (Korea hereafter), a catching-up economy. It reports the results of content analysis carried out on 200 articles, columns and interviews appearing in major Korean newspapers from February 1998 to October 2008 to assess the degree of institutional legitimacy that Korean RTOs enjoy. The results indicate that these RTOs have not achieved sufficient institutional legitimacy to maintain organisational sustainability. Not only have the governance and management systems of these organisations changed following each election of a new government in Korea, but the results also reveal discrepancies in opinions of RTOs amongst government policymakers, RTO researchers/managers, and opinion leaders in the country’s science and technology societies. Periodic policy direction inconsistencies are also identified. Taken together, these factors have hindered the institutional legitimacy of Korean RTOs. Drawing on the results of this analysis, this article suggests new policy directions for increasing the institutional legitimacy of RTOs in catching up and developing countries
In this brief review we show how the functions of Australian universities – teaching, research and enterprise and community engagement – have changed dramatically over the last two decades or so. We focus on three aspects of change: globalisation and international engagement; marketisation and competition, especially in overseas student recruitment and in collaborative research; and the entrepreneurial response by universities. Marketisation, globalisation and entrepreneurialism are watchwords for all Australian universities, each provoking the need to demonstrate competitive standing in learning, in research and in industry and community engagement. While particular modes of regulation, process and structure are characteristically Australian, we find that these changes, with their consequence of competing academic and systemic structures, carry lessons for academic careers and higher education policies in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
This paper analyses the evolution of clusters and ‘interactive learning’ in upgrading manufacturing capabilities. We analyse the upgrading process in line with key concepts constituting ‘interactive learning’, which include clusters and agglomeration (regional) innovation systems, open innovation and localised learning. On the basis of analysis at firm and industry-wide levels, this paper contributes to current literature concerning clusters and innovation that relate to technological upgrading in locally based firms by (1) examining the role of governments in promoting clusters and regional development; (2) identifying the conditions important for firm agglomeration and how agglomeration leads to knowledge-sharing at horizontal, vertical and institutional levels; (3) discussing the role of foreign firms in transferring technology and encouraging their suppliers to share knowledge within the production network; and (4) reporting on the characteristics and determinants of R&D cooperation within the Thai manufacturing sector. The main findings reveal that developing countries, including Thailand at this moment, may have limitations in their science and technology base. This can hinder their upward progression on the global value chain. It is of particular importance for government policy to be more supportive, rather than regulative, in order to strengthen the scientific knowledge base and promote cooperation between indigenous firms and innovation in supporting organisations.
This article presents fi ndings of two user perspective studies on the impact of ICTs in rural India. It is based on fi eldwork conducted by the authors in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh and Madhubani district of Bihar. The fi rst study examines the impact of a state-led ICT initiative. The second looks at the impact of an ICT initiative by a non-government organisation. The article identifi es issues critical to enhancing the accessibility of ICT services to the poorest rural households. A comparison is made between the two models in reaching the ICT services to the rural poor. Published (author's copy) Peer Reviewed
In this article, I compare two accounts of how biodiversity restoration, flood protection and bio-physical models are co-produced in the Netherlands. Both are historical accounts of the interplay between research practices, policy discourse and intervention practices, one focusing on rivers and the other on the coastal environment. Three questions will be central to my comparison of the two paths of co-production. First, how have institutional conditions of research contributed to shaping the bio-physical models? Second, how has epistemic indeterminacy been tamed in the two cases? Third, how do the models of rivers and coasts perform biodiversity? I conclude by arguing that adaptive approaches to biodiversity restoration require an adaptive epistemology, which implies tolerating a certain degree of epistemic indeterminacy.
Traditional or indigenous science (IS) relates to both the science knowledge of long-resident, usually oral culture peoples, as well as the science knowledge of all peoples who as participants in culture are affected by the worldview and relativist interests of their home communities. Traditional science (TS) has been recognised only lately in Western science as a valuable source of products and treatments for health care. As a consequence, diverse components of IS have been appropriated under intellectual property rights (IPRs) by researchers and commercial enterprises, without any significant compensation to the knowledge’s creators or holders. This paper investigates whether novel forms of commercial uses of biodiversity and associated knowledge carried out by indigenous communities are possible. This understanding will be gained through the examination of the Indian Gram Mooligai Company Limited (GMCL), a community-based enterprise composed of women, which produces and commercialises phytomedicines using the local ethnomedicine knowledge. The paper aims to shows how an alternative representation of bioprospecting at the grassroots level can be an instrument to enhancing the local livelihoods of communities and promoting their empowerment and capacity building. The results show that positive outcomes of this innovative form of participative bioprospecting initiative are evident but that challenges remain.
This essay tells a cultural and political history of biomedicine in Singapore. It takes as its starting point the ‘Intelligent Island’ discourse of the 1990s. It argues not for continuity but dissonance between the two projects, while embedding them in local as well as global cultural politics. Singapore’s adaptation of biomedicine was more than an economic decision, and has had more than economic consequences.
This article is based on the findings of an EU-funded qualitative research project, entitled ‘From GMP to GBP: Fostering good bioethics practices [GBP] among the European biotechnology industry’, which seeks to improve the understanding of bioethical issues through the observation of the daily practices in European biotechnology companies and proposes a methodology approaching ethical issues. The comparative study was carried out in biotech companies in France, Italy, Sweden, Hungary and Belgium which develop a wide range of new technologies, all of them involving human materials or where human subjects participate (in clinical trials). Based on our findings in these local settings, we suggest that the notion of bioethics and the way its production is theorised need to be re-conceptualised. We argue that material practices and moral statements are intermingled in inextricable ways that render the formation of bioethical concerns fully dependent on the organisational landscape in which it is embedded. More precisely, the here presented co-production model of moral statements and organisational practices presents a set of common factors that influence how bioethical discourses are shaped, despite the heterogeneity of their epistemic cultures. For example, the procedural design of cell-based-products, the modes of collecting and storing biological specimen, the relationship between patients and companies and technological transfers to emerging countries are defining components that contribute to the shaping process of bioethical concerns. Thus, the path dependency of bioethical concerns relies on an already existing, specific infrastructure and existing relationships within and outside a company rather than on external judgement subsequently applied to its objects, or a collection of processes of reasoning coming from external institutions.
The focus of this article is to examine the extent to which firms in the electronics industry in Malaysia and Brazil (Manaus) have developed significant levels of innovative technological capabilities (TCs). By examining whether innovative capabilities have spread to these two late-industrialising countries, the article seeks to add new evidence to the debate of globalisation of innovative capabilities and to argue against existing generalisations. It draws on empirical evidence from eighty-two electronics firms—TNC subsidiaries and local firms: fifty-three in Malaysia (twenty-five in Penang and twenty-eight in Klang Valley) and twenty-nine in Manaus (Northern Brazil). Contrary to common generalisations, the study has found that the capabilities of most of the sampled firms in Malaysia and Manaus have been upgraded to carry out diverse types of innovative technological activities. Additionally, these capability-building efforts are strongly associated with higher capabilities for local decision making and control, automation level, and efforts to increase exports. Indeed, the study has found pockets of innovative firms that innovate to be competitive by reducing costs, being more productive, reducing lead time and producing better products—regardless of whether they are in a domestic market-oriented country or in an export-oriented country. Finally, the findings and analysis in this study challenge the relevance of some of the existing perspectives on the globalisation of innovative capabilities to the late-industrialising context.
This article argues that the corporation is a type of technology, and that as a technology it is failing society. The article begins by exploring the history of the corporation and posits that it is a social technology that is distinct in its function (creating profit for shareholders and generating wealth), process (growth and expansion), structure (adherence to a pyramidal arrangement of managers) and personhood (a permanent legal identity conferred by the law). The article then explores how corporations consolidate wealth and perpetuate inequality, socialise many of their risks to the public sector, commodify human beings and the natural environment, and bestow massive external costs to society at large. Since many of these aspects of corporate activity are invisible, recognising them may offer an important first step towards their reform.
The first signs of an unprecedented form of drug resistance, identified along the Thai–Cambodia border, have reawakened scientific interest in the discovery of new anti-malarial treatments. Innovation in malaria financing policy geared to promote wider access to effective and safe malaria drugs through coordinated investment practices of large global health donors has significantly contributed to invigorate international product research and development (R&D). This article seeks to explore the elementary question of what the increment in global funding for malaria control and elimination has done, not for, but to the Thai malaria policy and research community. Drawing on ethnographic research, it first examines how public–private partnership arrangements in this bioscientific and biomedical field have helped close the product innovation cycle of a non-profit-based drug developer. Second, it asks in what ways the successful resolution of an earlier disjunction between drug safety and efficacy studies and drug discovery has impinged on the working relationships between two local communities of practice. I set out my notion of ‘disconnected connectivities’ to analyze this dynamic between the global and the local to elucidate how the global inclusivity that collaborative financing instruments and mechanisms provide spurs unanticipated forms of exclusion within the international malaria science enterprise.
Neonatal Screening (NBS) is a mass screening, secondary prevention policy aimed at detecting one or several often congenital disorders in all neonates in a given country. The French CF NBS programme is completely functional since the middle of 2003. Drawing its inspiration from the socio-material approach, this article advances a description and analysis of the interactions between the biomedical technologies used in neonatal cystic fibrosis screening and the resulting changes in clinical practice, the bioethical debate and finally in the interstice between voluntary individual consent to screening and the management of a population’s health. The analysis grid focuses on four dimensions: institutional, techno-scientific, regulatory and socio-professional. Backed up by a field survey conducted in the specialised healthcare centres, this study explores two major aspects of the repercussions of NBS: first, the genesis and institutionalisation of this public policy and the impact of a more flexible form of Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) and the sustained controversy on the neonatal screening programme uniting the community of cystic fibrosis paediatrics. This study suggests that institutional stability remains fragile and in this respect constitutes a paradoxical form of production with incompleteness and uncertainty as constituting factors.
This article draws out the process by which China developed its science and technology policy for economic and social development in the second half of the twentieth century. The two sections following the introduction discuss science and technology policy respec tively in the first period of economic development, which was from the 1950s to 1978, and in the second period, which started in 1978 and continued in the 1990s. The last section summarises the discussions in the previous sections, and points out some major chal lenges that the science and technology policy of China might encounter in the years of the new century.
The role of universities in conducting research and education has changed considerably in order to embrace twenty-first century knowledge and skills required for global economy. New forms of analytical reasoning and innovative thinking are required to meet future challenges. Most universities are not sufficiently equipped to make necessary structural adjustments or to cope up with these new challenges. Teaching and research activities that commensurate with production of skilled and knowledgeable work force for a modern economy requires repositioning of the higher educational system. This paper reviews the dynamic changes in New Zealand’s higher education system and revisits the role universities in producing reliable knowledge. It discusses the way in which education underpins economic and social development and its role in entirety as a hermeneutic package which is recursive, persuasive and a continuum of learning from primary, secondary, tertiary education through to lifelong learning. The universities have responsibilities to provide intellectual leadership in shaping knowledge economy for sustainable futures and environmentally responsible entrepreneurial nations—not as institutions just awarding academic degrees.
Labelled ‘giant of Africa’ in the 1970s on account of its promising human and natural resources, Nigeria entered in the early 1980s in an unprecedented period of recession following the domination of corruption over government operations, the fall of the oil market price and the introduction of a structural adjustment programme in 1986. Despite its potential wealth, Nigeria is ranked today as part of the world’s thirty least developed countries. This has, of course, had severe repercussions on institutions of higher learning and the scientific community through the twin effects of the deterioration of working conditions and that of the purchasing power of the academic staff. However, our study, based on visits in nine of the most prestigious research institutions and interviews with forty five scientists working there, reveals that, contrary to all expectations, research has not died. It has, rather, been transformed in various ways along the survival strategies evolved by scientists and the needs of the international community.
Over the past forty years, Korea has shown remarkable economic growth with drastic changes in its national innovation system (NIS). In general, government research organisations play a very important role in the NIS, especially in developing countries where science and technology resources are lacking. Since Korea has developed its current national innovation system from virtually nothing, it is worth analysing the Korean government research institutes (KGRIs) in the context of Korea's NIS (KNIS) development. To this end, this article describes the concept of NIS for the analytical framework, and presents how KNIS has changed in response to the economic and industrial changes of Korea. Then the changes of KGRIs to changing KNIS are categorised over several periods. It is argued that such changes are in fact evolutionary responses and the outcome of Korean government S&T policies. Finally, the article concludes with some policy implications for other developing countries.
The selected evidence discussed in this paper suggests three interrelated propositions. First, there is no one best model for organising an industrial district or an industrial cluster, since a diversity of institutional arrangements is possible and each has proved successful in different circumstances. Second, clusters are not cast in iron, but they evolve over time. Third, globalisation reshapes the upgrading options for SME-based clusters, by providing a variety of international knowledge linkages. In a nutshell, globalisation changes both the concept of proximity and the scope of competition: a necessary prerequisite for competitive survival is the capacity to foster the co-evolution of local and global linkages and networks, and to develop new interactive modes of knowledge creation. This paper presents original evidence on Taiwanese and Italian SME-based clusters. A key explanation of the success of SMEs competing in globalised high-tech industries, supported by our survey evidence, is the co-evolution of domestic and international knowledge linkages.
This research is about multinational enterprises and their subsidiaries abroad. The specific focus of the research is on the foreign subsidiaries’ local embeddedness, global integration and multinational networks. As these linkages vary among subsidiaries and across time, the focal interest of this study is the processes of subsidiary strategic evolution. On the basis of a longitudinal survey of subsidiaries in China, the results show that most subsidiaries in China start as a quiescent-type of firm, which is clearly a stepping stone towards other more strategic roles as quiescent subsidiaries move out of this category towards autonomous-type or confederate-type firms and eventually active-type subsidiaries. The most prevalent trajectory of strategic evolution by multinational subsidiaries in China is by increasing the liaisons in the multinational network before gaining more local embeddedness towards a more globally active role for the foreign subsidiary. This is in contrast to previous research which found strategic evolution towards the quiescent-type firm in more developed economies. It is suggested that this contradictory result is linked to the emerging economy status of China, which still allows for much strategic progress to be made by foreign affiliates.
Recently, the internationalisation of business R&D has received much attention. Much less attention has been paid to another group of actors within national systems of innovation, namely, non-university research and technology organisations (RTOs). The article aims to conceptualise this highly diverse sector and to ascertain how its characteristics influence the internationalisation propensity of RTOs. The close relationship of RTOs with governments and their policies is seen as the most important aspect. The article presents the motives and strategies for R&D internationalisation of both the business and academic sectors, which together feed into the strategic considerations of RTOs. In addition, it provides (secondary) empirical evidence of RTO internationalisation activities and enriches the empirical foundation by providing qualitative insights from interviews with five European RTOs with representative offices in China. The focus on China is justified by its high level of ambition, investment and recent achievements in science and technology, and the great amount of R&D-related foreign direct investment in recent years. We conclude by drawing a tentative comparison of the internationalisation processes of enterprises and RTOs.
Technology studies in the West, including the specific case explored here of the ‘social shaping of technology’ (SST) perspective, has been patterned by the particular historical circumstances in which it emerged, in terms of both contemporary political concerns about the socio–economic implications of technological change, and the respective strengths and traditions of the various academic disciplines that contributed to this new field. This article points to the fundamental weaknesses in China's approach to technology development—the ‘utilitarian’ view of technology. Three key manifestations are that: (a) technology has been treated as merely a ‘tool’, detached from its social and political context; (b) technology is treated as a finished solution, diverting attention from the necessary processes of technological learning from advanced economies; and (c) a narrow focus is adopted of technical specialism in science and engineering at the expense of social, policy and managerial expertise, often associated with an elitist approach to technology development.
This article analyses the data of public scientific literacy survey conducted in China during 2005. Using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 13.0, the author establishes four regression models. The result reveals that the scores of male respondents are higher than that of female in the items relating to scientific knowledge. It also shows that scientific literacy is closely related to the socio-demographic variables. However, the impact of educational degree on public understanding of scientific method is not so evident.