Growing interest in novel science, technology and innovation indicators

Growing interest in novel science, technology and innovation indicators

Originally submitted by Ian Miles
last updated by Rafael Popper

Weak Signal's progress: fully-fledged

This Weak Signal came from: 
European Commission Framework Programme for RTD

The theme/scheme related to this Weak Signal: 
Theme 8 - Socio-economic Sciences and the Humanities

The sub-theme that best relates to this Weak Signal: 
Developing better indicators for policy

When did the Weak Signal manifest ? 
2005-now

Weak Signal's description 
INNOS&T aims to develop and collect novel science and technology indicators with extensive European coverage, to be used in empirical models that can contribute to improve European, national and regional policies on: 1) Economic use of patents, i.e. unused patents and strategic patents, licensing, entrepreneurship; 2) Knowledge flows in the invention process, i.e. science-technology linkages, geographical proximity and knowledge interactions; 3) Gender, education and mobility of inventors, 4) Value of patents. This will mean exploring science-technology links and other phenomena. There could be numerous important results from the project (or few: indicators research sometimes just reveals things to be highly complex). But what if this project is a weak signal that quantitative studies of S&T activities, especially if informed by the sort of understanding yielded by its programme of interviews, could achieve a real breakthrough in analysis and forecasting of links between fundamental research and its commercial exploitability, or between patterns of research activity and industry-academic relationships and the achievement of highly successful (even transformative) innovations? What if this is a weak signal that we will be able to prioritise areas of applied research to fund much more effectively, organise and steer innovation-conducive ecologies for academic and industrial researchers and mangers, increase the value-for-money of public research and the impact of innovation policies more generally? The developments of indicators could be just part of the trick here – what might be equally or more important would be the application of new techniques of simulation modelling (not just conventional multivariate statistical modelling, but use of some of the emerging tools here).