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EULAKS: Science studies and policy concerns

20. Mar. 2011

The final workshop of the project on the necessary mesh of fields.

EULAKS, coordinated by ZSI, ended in October 2010. The achieved aim of this project was to connect socio-economic research on the dynamic of the knowledge society between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Some of the most important results implicating stronger engagement of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) in policy making in the area of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) are summarised for a broader audience in the context of research and policy.

Integrated research
A Nexus Perception Study performed by the Universidad de la República (UdelaR) suggests that researchers should be incentivised to develop policy-relevant projects, where they engage with policy-makers and other stakeholders from an early stage and end up with policy briefings that are understandable and useable by policy-makers in framing, selecting and/or evaluating policies.

Hands-on modes
A main challenge is to devise institutional tools to facilitate the move towards more hands-on modes (meaning innovation research agenda and policy design are strongly connected) of articulating SSH research and policy making in the field of STI.

From academia to policy making toward economics of innovation
On the academic field, the discipline “science studies” has been permanently involved with the policy concerns. The discipline in LAC is one of the most developed in the world and certainly more developed than in any ‘peripheral’ country. Project partner IRD found out that an interesting aspect of this rich tradition in science studies is it’s early interest in science policy making and its new tendency toward economics of innovation.

New instruments to build bridges
A critical issue in connecting SSH research and policy making is the definition and interpretation of indicators.
A comparative analysis on the status quo of knowledge society indicators in the EU and Latin America was therefore performed in the EULAKS project by the Universidad Autónoma de México (UAM). Three recommendations resulted from the analysis:
(1) to redefine information platforms in LA in order to propose a new kind of statistics that shows real processes of knowledge diffusion in different sectors of society, (2) to reconsider the use of indicators proposed by international manuals and build new ones, and (3) to establish a political dialog between policy makers, productive and social sectors to create consensus on the national, regional and sectoral priorities for development based on an increased use of knowledge.

Further Infos & contact
For more information on final results of the EULAKS project please consult the 5th project newsletter under www.eulaks.eu
To receive further information you are invited to contact Martina Lindorfer, responsible of project at ZSI: lindorfer@zsi.at

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Tags: research cooperation, social innovation, social sciences

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