Knowledge networks, nodes and new organisational forms
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Science has a matrix of research 'space' and 'fields'. Research space is a virtual environment comprising knowledge producers, users, funders and policy makers. Research 'fields' enclose the cognitive architectonic of science and cut across organisational and disciplinary boundaries. Research fields and space can be conceived of as in a matrix relationship. Fluidity between space and fields offers the prospect of the creation of new organisational forms which escape the neoliberalisation of science. We argue that university science might best be performed as part of open systems of innovation, in which innovative organisations work in ongoing partnerships to share knowledge in such a way as to generate sustainable streams of innovation. Open innovation practices require that attention is paid to the forms of governance, ownership and management that would be suitable for the various organisations that might populate such processes. It can be assumed that existing forms of governance, ownership and management might not necessarily be suitable, especially if they are predicated on conceptions such as market competition, arms-length relationships and commercial confidentiality - the types of organisational forms that the UK government has promoted for publicly funded science for some years. Recent innovation research identifies the importance of a variety of forms of networks as being central to sustaining the innovation process. In this paper we extend notions of open innovation systems and consider whether knowledge production might be moved away from the privatised, commercialised, competitive pressures towards an open, collaborative and cooperative process.