Policy approaches to research and development: Foresight, framework and competitiveness

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Despite criticisms of the linear model of innovation, it is still an important driver of research and technology development (RTD) policies. This paper explores the evolution of a linear-plus model which is reflected in policy initiatives such as the promotion of industry-academic links, special support for small and medium-sized firms and the encouragement of more interdisciplinary approaches in the RTD process. Regulation can support the model by enforcing linearity in the development process but it can also inhibit innovation by creating barriers to the transition from basic to applied research, despite policy inducements. In some cases, resources could be used most effectively by seeking an alternative model that recognises the contribution to innovation of industrial research and the creative role of users in selecting and adapting supplier offerings. In evaluating publicly funded RTD programmes it is important to ensure that the appropriate model is adopted and that the chosen indicators of success are commensurate with this model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-112
Number of pages12
JournalScience and Public Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999


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