Category: innovation

Calls for new Manhattan Projects overlook crucial aspects of the World War II crisis innovation model

The Manhattan Project is often invoked as a model for mission-driven research projects, such as the search for a Covid-19 vaccine. Daniel P. Gross and Bhaven N. Sampat argue that the broader U.S. approach to mobilising science and technology in World W…

Less academic freedom leads to less innovation

Drawing on data showing a decline in academic freedom over the past decade, David Audretsch, Christian Fisch, Chiara Franzoni, Paul P. Momtaz and Silvio Vismara, analyse the relation of academic freedom to technological innovation, as represented by pa…

Redistribution of research funding is essential to any project to ‘level up’ the UK

Funding for Research Development and Innovation and the aim of the government to ‘level-up’ the UK and improve productivity are closely linked. However, Adrian Webb argues in its current form these investments often work against this agenda, a state of…

Two minds better than one – Does research funding and support for collaboration lead to more innovative research?

A central tenet of research policy is that funding and the ability to form research collaborations produces better research. However, whilst this may hold true for incremental research building on existing knowledge, does it also support novel research…

Publication or Innovation? Goal displacement and lessons from the publish-or-perish culture

Drawing on a survey of academic economists in the Netherlands, Harry van Dalen¸ explores how publish or perish culture is perceived and enacted within academia. Arguing that the current arrangement of the academy along lines that promote outputs (publi…

To drive innovation, scientists should open their doors to more equitable relations with the arts

Interdisciplinary collaborations between scientific researchers and artists can often be one dimensional, with artists simply illustrating scientific findings. In this post Paige Jarreau argues that by engaging more openly and equitably with artists scientists and other researchers stand not only to better understand their own research and its reception, but also to develop new insights … Continued

Can we have it all? Navigating trade-offs between research excellence, development impact, and collaborative research processes

The “gold standard” of impactful international development research involves equitable north-south partnership, interdisciplinary collaboration, and co-production with non-academic actors, ideally including local communities. Such participatory and collaborative approaches are intended to have longer-term benefits, strengthening capacity for research, innovation, and knowledge exchange. Admirable though this may sound, it’s easy to see how it might appear overwhelming to researchers expected to […]

Against metrics: how measuring performance by numbers backfires

A proliferation of companies, government agencies, and higher education institutions are in the grip of what Jerry Z. Muller has termed “metric fixation”. But by tying rewards to metrics, organisations risk incentivising gaming and encouraging behaviours that may be at odds with their larger purpose. The culture of short-termism engendered by metrics also impedes innovation and stifles the entrepreneurial element […]

MSF Scientific Days 2017: improving the effectiveness of humanitarian programmes through scientific research and innovation

MSF Scientific Days is a global network of events focused on how scientific research and innovation can improve the effectiveness of humanitarian medical programmes. Sarah Venis presents some of the highlights of this year’s programme, including discussion of how to best gather evidence from emergency settings, and the challenges of community engagement; as well as an examination of different approaches […]