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European Research Policy: from coordination and cooperation to integration and the ERA Dr. Maria Nedeva MIoIR, MBS. The University of Manchester EULAKS.

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Presentation on theme: "European Research Policy: from coordination and cooperation to integration and the ERA Dr. Maria Nedeva MIoIR, MBS. The University of Manchester EULAKS."— Presentation transcript:

1 European Research Policy: from coordination and cooperation to integration and the ERA Dr. Maria Nedeva MIoIR, MBS. The University of Manchester EULAKS Summer Schools, Mexico City, August 2009

2 Content The policy shift: from coordination and collaboration to integration and networking What precipitated the policy shift Implications of the policy shift for social science

3 The policy shift Change of orientation of European research policy as expressed in: –Stated, formal objectives of policy –Policy rationale –Policy domains and targets –Policy instruments

4 Comparison of European research policy EU research policy before 2000EU research policy post 2000 Policy rationale Coordination of largely national effort in strategic and applied research Integration of research effort and developing the European level of organisation of science and research (the European Research Area) Policy objectives To increase the collaboration between researchers from different European countries; to increase collaboration between researchers, industry etc. To reduce the fragmentation of the European research systems by: aligning funding regimes; providing platforms for interaction; and enabling the emergence of research and policy networks Policy targets Individual researchers; research teams; applied and strategic research Research funders; research organisations; research (epistemic) communities Policy instruments Framework ProgrammeERA-nets, Networks of Excellence; Technology Platforms, the European Research Council etc.

5 Moreover… '...the European research effort as it stands today is no more than the simple addition of the efforts of the 15 member states and the Union. This fragmentation, isolation and compartmentalisation of national research efforts and systems and the disparity of regulatory and administrative systems only serve to compound the impact of lower global investment in knowledge.' Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the committee of the Regions: Towards a European research area (2000), p. 7

6 And… 'De-compartmentalisation and better integration of Europe's scientific and technological area is an indispensable condition for invigorating research in Europe....A configuration of this kind would make for the essential critical mass in the major areas of progress in knowledge, in particular to achieve economies of scale, to allocate resources better overall, and to reduce negative externalities due to insufficient mobility of factors and poor information for operators.' Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the committee of the Regions: Towards a European research area (2000), p. 7

7 What precipitated the policy shift Integration in other areas The gap argument Institutionalising European science Matching organisational and cognitive contexts of science and research The advent of the knowledge society Science, research and competitiveness

8 Implications for social science Ontological implications Conceptual implications Methodological implications

9 Ontological implications Implications for the organisation of science: –Scientific communities –Scientific organisations Implications for the funding of science and research –Networks of research funders –Alignment of funding regimes Implications for research agenda and priorities

10 Conceptual implications From national innovation/research systems to research spaces? From systems to networks From modist concepts to science dynamics Brings to the fore the need to revisit our understanding of how science works and what are the interdependencies between science and policy.

11 Methodological implications From attributes to relationships From organisations or individuals to networks From results to capacity

12 What are the challenges? There is no sufficient understanding as to how networks form and persist There is no appreciation as to how research capacity is enacted through different networks Links between epistemic communities, research organisations and knowledge The evaluation issue?

13 The evaluation issue How to assess the success or failure of a policy instrument aiming to enable the emergence and persistence of networks? –Assessing outcome –Assessing enabling mechanisms

14 Assessing outcome Map the network Produce measures of density, connectivity etc. Look at network structure

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17 But... Networks are very unstable and dynamic entities Different research fields will display different network structures Different research fields could be expected to have different density and connectivity Differences hard to interpret In other words evaluation research building on assessing outcome (or in this case the network) is inherently problematic.

18 Assessing enabling mechanisms What brings groups and people together? Platforms for integration Crystallising agents

19 Summary Thanks for listening!


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