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Course Details

Course Number: 95-814

Special Topics Technology Innovation Policy

Units: 12

Science and Technology have been critical factors in creating long-term economic growth and societal well-being. They have also been a source of great risks and a theme of wide disarray between interested parties. Science, Technology and Innovation Policy aims at identifying and leveraging opportunities for effective and efficient use of science and technology, aiming to achieve common goals such as health, environmental quality, economic growth, safety and security, among others. It also tries to minimize their potential adverse impacts, as well as balancing different views, perspectives and interests in society.

This course provides an understanding of some of the fundamental models, processes, resources and institutions associated to the relationship between science, technology, innovation and policy (STIP). The question over balancing market failure and government failure, managing tradeoffs across uncertainty, efficiency and ethics, assessing and using scientific information, as well as the role of STIP for development will be part of the discussion. Cases will be both historical and contemporary and include intellectual property rights, health policy, strategic trade, R&D promotion, standards & coordination issues, among others, with comparisons of practices across countries and focus in diverse industries. At the end of the course, students will have acquired substantive knowledge of this critical field and enhanced their capacities as future practitioners and leaders in the area.

The course comprises five cycles: an introduction and brief history; an assessment of the critical STIP issues in the context of advanced economies; an evaluation of the role of policy in the absence of established markets, focusing on ethics, values and security; a discussion of the STIP in the broader international environment, including developmental issues; finally a debate over policy assessment and improvement.