Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


This project has sought to trace policy development towards science and technology within the framework of broad industrial policy across six countries - France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Sweden and Ireland - through the last quarter of the 20th Century. Its aim has been to examine the inter-relationships (co-evolution) of these different strands of policy over time and in particular to observe how national policies have changed to take account of the emergence of a new player - the EU - on the policy stage. A central issue it addressed was how far it was necessary for the EU itself to act as a strong co-ordinator of policy or how far there existed a natural process of adjustment and adaptation (soft co-ordination) such as to make strong co-ordination unnecessary.
The project has stimulated the writing of 15 separate reports - an introductory report discussing existing literatures and approaches; six country-based studies charting the development of policy in the six countries in this area through the years 1975-1997; six reports on cross-cutting themes; and two �synthesis� reports, one relating to the six country studies and the other attempting to summarise the findings across all 14 earlier reports and to draw from them the relevant conclusions and policy recommendations.
The main findings were of a continuing fragmentation of policy between the different levels of government and hence of continuing diversity in systems of innovation, with national governments still playing a prime role in policy-making and European policy, although more prominent (especially in regulatory matters), still marginal in most science/technology areas.

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