Strategic policies for capability acquisition and development: A taxonomy of policy models in terms of S&T priority setting
Godinho, Manuel Mira
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In recent years there has been a wide discussion in S&T policy fora on the intrinsic value of countries defining S&T priorities with regard to national development and innovation policies. This paper addresses the international situation with regard to these issues, by comparing a group of 27 different countries. An empirical exploration of data regarding S&T activities in those 27 countries is carried, in order to infer through cluster analysis different "types" or "models" of S&T priority setting. The analysis shows that two major patterns of scientific publication exist, with some countries concentrating on "engineering and technology" publications and others on "health-related" themes. A second important aspect is that some countries tend to select specific R&D areas ("socio-economic objectives") to be financed by public funds while others give priority to a more "blue-sky" research. Larger countries, namely those that have stronger military interests, tend to be part of the first group. Finally, it is shown that providing less earmarked funds does not necessarily mean lower private participation in national R&D activities. By illuminating what are the existing models of priority setting in S&T the paper intends to have a practical value for both policy-makers and analysts. Further, this sort of systematic information might be relevant for countries such as the emerging economies and the dynamic developing countries where the S&T system is undergoing rapid changes.