9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN24 Science and Technology

2009-09-03 13:30:00 2009-09-03 15:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 13:30 - 15:00 IPR, Patenting and Knowledge Transfer Building AA, AA.225

The Increased Role of Intermediary Structures and Networks in the Recent Processes of Scientific and Technological Globalization. The Case of Small Country

THE INCREASED ROLE OF INTERMEDIARY STRUCTURES AND NETWORKS IN THE RECENT PROCESSES OF SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL GLOBALIZATION. THE CASE OF SMALL COUNTRY.

The recent processes of globalisation are leading to the unprecedented reorientation of national R&D and innovation systems in a new global order. Even states with very large R&D and innovation systems are being forced to join their R&D efforts within supranational entities. This requirement is even more acute for small countries with the lack of strong R&D and innovation efforts. In the paper, I'll analyze what are the crucial positive social consequences for small countries to become part of European Research Area (ERA). Namely, in the tradition of the EU's history of response to challenges of globalization, we could propose that ERA is rolled out through a series of coordinated actions encompassing R&D, but also innovation and the development of lead markets and/or regulatory and public service environments. The focus of my discussion will be oriented to the role of the new created intermediary structures and networks (centres and networks of excellence, technological platforms, other types of so-called converging institutions) at the EU and at the national/state level. Is it possible to come to the full homogenisation of intermediary structures and networks among EU-Member States? My answer will be no. Namely, the idea of Europeanizing the national R&D structures is not a model of simple copying, but a model of learning from each other. On the case of Slovenia it will be shown that the creation of the flexible institutional R&D structures and R&D networks is especially important because of the arising of new enabling techno-sciences. They represent a host of radically new possibilities that are opening up for modern societies.