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The role of Europe in world-wide science and technology monitoring and evaluation in a context of global competition


A quantitative empirical approach to delineate, analyse, monitor and evaluate scientific and technological (RTD) developments for strategic, socio-economically relevant policies. This will be achieved by the combination of two methods: (I) the creation of strategic maps of RTD fields, and (2) a strengths & weaknesses and research profile analysis of main actors. The approach is primarily based on the quantitative analysis of scientific and technological literature. However, a major element is the integration of our quantitative approach with knowledge provided by expert opinions. The design of the project is such that the role of Europe in science and technology can be compared immediately with relevant developments in Europe's main competitors: US, Japan, and the Asian Tigers.
The main lines of the project are the following A crucial question is how to delineate an RED field -with its actors- in a comprehensive way, so that both mainstream and leading edge of today as well as the more 'peripheral' work -which might become important in the near future- are covered. Science and technology are represented by a vast amount of publications and patents. These 'pieces of knowledge' are interconnected through a gigantic network of common words and references. We develop an advanced method -'bibliometric' cartography'- to unravel this network and to map the underlying patterns. These structures are not the result of any pre-determined definition or classification system. They are, in fact, fingerprint of science and technology as a highly complex, self-organising system. Time-series of these maps represent the dynamics of RTD fields. Identification of the main actors in the fields and positioning of these actors -world-wide- on the maps enable us to visualise cognitive and socio-organisational features of the landscape. We claim that these maps help to provide an objective, broad and comprehensive 'landscape' of RTD fields. As our approach is not constrained to traditional disciplinary boundaries or particular views on the structure of a field, a wide range of policy-oriented questions 011 inter- and multi-disciplinary developments can be addressed.
Together with the strengths & weaknesses analysis of the actors the maps may become valuable parts of strategic documents for European S&T policy. Mapping as well as performance analysis undoubtedly need the interpretative knowledge of experts.
Qualitative and quantitative elements are combined resulting in a powerful knowledge-based support system for S&T policy.
The innovative core of the work is the integration of different data systems with new 'added values', the combination of advanced data-analytical procedures, and an integrative approach concerning qualititative and quantitative methods. Furthermore automation of the proposed system will offer users the ability to 'navigate' within the complex knowledge domain of scientific and technological developments. Our emphasis 011 the dynamics of RED fields, and in particular the role of European actors in new, promising developments contributes to the investigation of the relationship between scientific and technological innovation and the market.

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2333 AK Leiden

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