NEST project helps design a better science policy
The European Commission is providing 250,000 euro to a new project aimed at increasing understanding of the production and emergence of highly creative and innovative research in the EU and the US.
Financed under the Newly Emerging Science and Technologies (NEST) programme of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), the CREA project will focus on which factors lead to especially innovative and important research in the fields of human genetics and nanotechnology, with a goal of determining what institutions can do to foster it.
Through a survey sent to some 1,200 leading scientists, industrial researchers, editors and research programme directors; the project partners, from the UK, US and Germany, will set out to identify around 60 of the most creative researchers in genetics and nanosciences. Using in-depth interviews and studies of scientific productivity, the CREA partners will then attempt to determine the factors, both personal and environmental, that have helped those researchers work so effectively.
The knowledge gained from the study and interviews will then be used to make recommendations about the design of science policy to support innovative research, and how research institutions themselves should be organised and managed.
As the partners explain, CREA should help answer such questions as: what balance should be struck between supporting individuals and groups? Where is multidisciplinary research most appropriate? What is the best way to stimulate and reward creativity? How should research programmes be managed? When is it better to develop a new research centre than to further develop and existing one?
Nanosciences and genetics were singled out because they are currently fruitful research areas where the most promising results can be expected. The partners also chose to carry out a comparative EU-US study in order to highlight differences between the two systems in encouraging and rewarding creativity.
'We contend that public research systems, both in the EU and the US, differ significantly in resources, capabilities and incentives to stimulate research creativity and to generate further downstream benefits and spill-overs as a result of a set of contingent factors and their interplay,' they stated.
'Although aimed in the first instance at supporting NEST activities, CREA should ultimately help Europe's policy-makers design improved research environments both at national and EU levels,' conclude the project partners.
For further information, please visit:
Data Source Provider: The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research and the Georgia Institute of Technology
Document Reference: Based on information from the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research and the Georgia Institute of Technology
Programme or Service Acronym: MS-D C, MS-UK C, FP6-INTEGRATING, FP6-NEST
Subject Index :Coordination, Cooperation; Information, Media; Medicine, Health; Scientific Research; Other Technology
CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities.