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Back to basics – revisiting rhetoric of competitive research funding allocation and impact agenda in Sweden
Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
2016 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Science policy studies have traditionally been concerned with analysis of research programs, national science policy and their motivation for investments in science and in basic research in particular. As Keith Pavitt (1991) pointed out, the “market failure” line of argument has been in the limelight with less attention paid to other questions such as the following: “How does science contribute to technology?” In the Swedish context, this is a relevant question given that it is a nation with high share of investments in science and historically high level of industry investments in R&D. The aim of the current study is to analyse the rhetoric of science policy about how investments in scientific excellence contributes to industrially relevant output. We examine this by taking a closer look at different strands of arguments and assessment criteria used to support competitive funding allocation to university-based research. Particular attention is paid to examining centres of excellence (CoE) as a form of science policy of promoting both scientific excellence and interaction between academia and industry. Moreover the study examines consequences of interim evaluations and the policy advice given  in assessments of centre activities. One conclusion is that the research funding agency assessment criteria have a strong influence on the direction on future centre activities but also that the range of present and future activities are determined by areas where the centre have internationally high quality research and the impact agenda defined by the centre in interaction with industry partners of ongoing research projects. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Centre of Excellence, materials science
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology) Other Humanities
Research subject
History of Science, Technology and Environment; Materials Science and Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-193011OAI: diva2:974218
Transforming Innovation: Science and Technology for Social Needs. Sussex Univ. SPRU Science Policy Research Unit, September 2016.
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond

QC 20161011. Analysis and contribution to Impact 3C KTH-project

Available from: 2016-09-26 Created: 2016-09-26 Last updated: 2016-10-11Bibliographically approved

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Larsen, Katarina
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History of Science, Technology and EnvironmentKTH
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