Fuelling Economic Growth: The Role of Public-Private Sector Research in Development

Fuelling Economic Growth: The Role of Public-Private Sector Research in Development

Fuelling Economic Growth: The Role of Public-Private Sector Research in Development

Fuelling Economic Growth: The Role of Public-Private Sector Research in Development


The private sector is playing an increasingly important role in funding scientific research. As public sector research declines in the countries of the north and the south, research and development carried out by the private sector becomes more important for innovations that have economic potential. In some cases networks between local firms and multinationals can support learning which leads to economic growth. What are the policies which support such partnerships and what are the institutional arrangements that foster research?Seven case studies from Argentina, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Tanzania, Peru, the Philippines and Vietnam examine how policies have been developed and implemented to encourage innovation.Published in association with IDRC, Canada


Support for policy-relevant research on science, technology and innovation has always been a programme priority for the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Initially, this support was provided through initiatives such as the Science and Technology Policy Instruments (STPI) project. In 2001, the Research on Knowledge Systems (RoKS) exploration supported a series of funding competitions focused on research designed specifically to support and inform policy development. The work supported by RoKS was a precursor to a larger programme commitment by IDRC to this programme area.

IDRC has continued to evolve and to apply the lessons learned from support to these RoKS projects. Building on these experiences, and furthering its commitment to understanding the role of innovation in development, the IDRC Board of Governors approved the creation of the new Innovation, Policy, and Science (IPS) programme in March 2005.

The IPS programme area focuses its research activities on supporting the development of science, technology, and innovation (STI) policies that aim to alleviate poverty in developing countries. IPS research also supports efforts to strengthen the evidence base for, as well as multi-stakeholder equity and involvement in, STI policy making processes at local, national, regional and international levels.

The programme area works to enhance research on questions of governance, public understanding, access and benefits associated with new transformative technologies in and for the South. It also seeks to enhance open and transparent processes that involve stakeholders in the development of new technologies in and for the South, and to improve knowledge of the impacts of science, technology and innovation. IPS-supported research addresses the social, environmental and economic impacts of science, technology and innovation policies from a Southern perspective.

IPS also provides a platform within IDRC for active representation within the Canadian research and science policy communities to ensure that international cooperation and development remain important priorities for Canada's research efforts. In pursuit of this objective, IPS supports new strategic mechanisms for strengthened and appropriate Canadian–Southern research partnerships that respond to research priorities of IDRC's Southern partners.

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