Adapting public research institutes to new dynamics of innovation
Governments around the world place great hopes in innovation in their search for new sources of growth and for responses to grand challenges, such as climate change, new or re-emerging infectious diseases, accelerating urbanisation, ageing, food security, and availability of clean water. However they must devise their relevant support policies -- including through sponsored research within public research institutes -- taking into account that innovation processes are currently undergoing a major transformation.
New innovation patterns include a broadening scope of relevant activities, a growing importance but changing nature of scientific roots of technological development, a stronger demand-pull, the emergence of new local and national STI powerhouses, and the rise of more open and globalised innovation networks. They translate into new opportunities but also constraints for policies to enhance the contribution of public research institutes to national innovation performance. The article derives the main policy implications regarding the desirable evolution of the mission, research focus, as well as the funding and steering of public
research institutes, with a special reference to Korea.