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Title: Aligning policy and practice in science, technology and innovation to deliver the intended socio-economic results: the case of assistive technology
Author: Joseph P. Lane
Address: University at Buffalo (SUNY), 100 Sylvan Parkway, Suite 400, Amherst, New York, USA
Abstract: This paper recommends that science, technology and innovation (STI) policies intending to address socio-economic problems, properly align their chosen implementation system to the intended solution's requirements. Society typically relies on the industrial sector to supply product and service innovations through the free market system. In cases of free market failure representing national interests governments may apply alternative innovation systems. The procurement contract system delivers tangible products meeting pre-determined performance criteria (e.g., military weapons; orphan drugs). The exploratory grant system delivers conceptual discoveries advancing the state of science (e.g., scholarly publications). The field of assistive technology (AT) exemplifies those social problems requiring technology-based solutions, for which governments around the globe consistently and inappropriately apply the exploratory grant system. The example reflects a broader government bias towards applied scientific research by the academic sector, at the expense of delivering practical solutions through engineering development and industrial production by the private sector.
Keywords: triple helix; linear modelling; science; technology; innovation; STI; market failure; assistive technology; procurement contracts; exploratory grants; social problems; technology-based solutions; government bias; academic research; practical solutions; engineering development; industrial production; private sector.
Int. J. of Transitions and Innovation Systems, 2015 Vol.4, No.3/4, pp.221 - 248
Date of acceptance: 18 Dec 2015
Available online: 22 Jun 2016