Academic journal article Innovation: Organization & Management

Communicating and Prioritizing Science and Technology Policy Using AHP

Academic journal article Innovation: Organization & Management

Communicating and Prioritizing Science and Technology Policy Using AHP

Article excerpt

Technology development plays an important role in human civilization, as a critical tool for living, as a source of competition between economies, and as a promoter of economic growth and human welfare. Every government in the world devoted to technology development draws up a national science and technology policy (also called 'S&T policy'). However, S&T policy is difficult to define because technology varies significantly along a continuum, ranging from mono-disciplinary to multidisciplinary commer- cial innovation (Huang, Shyu, & Tzeng, 2007). Obviously, a substantial proportion of national S&T budgets will go towards satisfying future S&T project requirements and the increasing needs for technology innovation. Decisions about which national S&T policies should be executed first have become increasingly important, but little investigation has been done in how to rank priorities in setting S&T policies, especially as a tool for policy priority making.

The previous studies on S&T policymaking mostly focus on policy participation and policy coordination. OECD (2005a) mentioned the Finnish Science and Technology Policy Council and the Norwegian Innovation Committee have been very influential in directing the process of priority setting but less stakeholder involve- ment, although there is significant stakeholder involvement in the implementation process and project selection. Thus, policy councils may be a powerful tool for creating a mediated and negotiated outcome during the priority-setting process but may have weaknesses with respect to the ability to develop comprehensive, horizontal policies. Luis (1995) proposed that the Spanish political institutions in charge of coordination were prevented from developing due to conflicts at the managerial level. In particular, the major- ity of participants at this level continued to work within the old policy paradigm, resulting in a non-transparent approach in which the goals of policymakers and the goals of the general public were not aligned. There is a high probability that these diverse objectives will remain undiscovered and uncorrected if policymaking methodologies cannot facilitate consensus among the various relevant groups (Ryan & Mothibi, 2000). As in all complex decision making processes, selection problems expand from one to several dimensions, making the ultimate goal of identifying a solution fairly complex. Given that the process of making S&T policy decision touches on diverse interests and considerations from many related agencies and groups, it is important to avoid allowing the level of power held by the main interest group to bias decisions concerning the fit between national S&T policy and the particular situation of that country. When policymakers who simply rely on expert analysis and advice face the needs to determine priorities for S&T policies, they can- not create consensus among the various interest groups that attempt to affect S&T policy. Because the national S&T policy position is different for each country, the approach to setting priorities for S&T policies must be adapted to account for local conditions. For instance, Taiwan ranks 7th in the world on the 2004-2008 Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) Global Innovation Index, behind Japan, Switzerland, Finland, the US, Sweden, and Germany, and it is the highest ranked of the newly industrialized countries (The Economist, 2009). Taiwan has advantages for the development of knowledge-intensive industries, and its potential is growing rapidly with respect to S&T, which play a key role in leading the trans- formation of the Taiwanese economy. If Taiwan wishes to become a developed nation, it needs to continually rely on its excellent high-tech infra- structure and R&D personnel, build a knowledge innovation system through cooperation between industry, universities, and research institutes, and provide all citizens with a sustainable and high- quality living environment. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.