Knowledge Generation and Technical Change: Institutional Innovation in Agriculture / Edition 1

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Overview

Knowledge generation and transfer mechanisms are being transformed in important and controversial ways. Investment in research and development has increased in response to recognition that scientific productivity is tightly connected to economic dynamism. Patent protection has been expanded in order to stimulate higher levels of private investment. Intellectual property rights held by public organizations and researchers are now increasingly transferred to private organizations to accelerate the diffusion and enhance the value of knowledge produced by public agencies and universities. Additionally, new institutions such as university offices of technology transfer, venture capital markets, and a variety of consortia in knowledge-intensive industries are being established throughout the United States and in other parts of the world. These changes have led to a repositioning of the state in systems of innovation and an increase in the proprietary character of technical information.
The purpose of this book is to review and analyze i) contemporary transitions in agricultural knowledge generation and extension arrangements from an empirical perspective, and ii) emerging and contradictory perspectives as to how knowledge systems can be assessed effectively. The authors aim to provide the reader with a better understanding of

• the implications of new biotechnologies and new intellectual property rights regimes on public-private relations in science,
• the extent to which benefits from scientific knowledge are being appropriated by private sector actors,
• the diversity and possible outcomes of privatization initiatives in extension, and
• prospects for public goods production and ecological sustainability given contemporary trends.
The book presents contrasting views on the degree of complementarity and substitution between private and public sector investments in research and extension. Recognizing that the labels 'public' and 'private' are incomplete and at times misleading descriptions of the structure and function of coordinating bodies in social systems, the analyses highlight ways in which public and private spaces and modes of functioning combine. In addition to illustrating a broad range of analytic methodologies useful for studying organizational questions in knowledge systems, the authors identify the implications of a range of past and potential institutional innovations.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Sixteen contributions, arising from the June, 1998 conference "Knowledge Generation and Transfer: Implications for Agriculture in the 21st Century," held at the U. of California, Berkeley campus, are presented by Wolf (natural resources, Cornell U.) and Zilberman (agriculture and resource economics, U. of California). A combination of academics and World Bank researchers analyze the changing nature of knowledge generation in a world where intellectual property rights are steadily moving away from public universities and organizations and into the hands of private institutions. After exploring theoretical issues of assessing knowledge diffusion and the public/private axis, empirical studies look at such issues as plant biotechnology knowledge networks in the US and the EU, the creation of offices of technology transfer for the privatization of university agricultural innovations, and the changing nature of land grant university relations with private institutions. Although the authors differ somewhat in emphasis, all are supporters of neo-liberal privatization schemes. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792374480
  • Publisher: Springer US
  • Publication date: 1/1/2002
  • Series: Natural Resource Management and Policy Series , #19
  • Edition description: 2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 394
  • Sales rank: 960,438
  • Product dimensions: 0.94 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Contributors. Acknowledgements. Introduction; S. Wolf, D. Zilberman. I: Context and Analytic Principles. 1. Beyond the Endless Frontier: From the Land Grant to the Entrepreneurial University; H. Ezkowitz. 2. Generation and Commercialization of Knowledge: Trends, Implications, and Models for Public and Private Agricultural Research and Education; W. Lacy. 3. Public Research/Private Alignments; G. Rausser. 4. Challenges for Public Agricultural Research and Extension in A World of Proprietary Science and Technology; B. Wright. 5. Finance, Organization and Impacts of U.S. Agricultural Research: Future Prospects; W. Huffman. 6. Agricultural Knowledge Systems: Issues of Accountability; C.B. Flora. 7. Institutional Innovation in Natural Resource Management: A Conceptualization and Some Australian Examples; J. Cary. II: Empirical Studies. 8. Land-Grant/Industry Relationships and the Institutional Relations of Technological Innovation in Agriculture: Longitudinal Evidence from National Surveys of Agricultural Scientists; F.H. Buttel. 9. Structure of Public-Private Knowledge Networks in Plant Biotechnology: An EU-US Comparison; I. Theodorakopoulou, N. Kalaitzandonakes. 10. Offices of Technology Transfer: Privatizing University Innovations for Agriculture; D. Parker, et al. 11. Origins of Public-Private Knowledge Flows and Current State-of-the-Art: Can Agriculture Learn from Industry? J. Senker, W. Faulkner. 12. Institutional Relations in Agricultural Information Systems; S. Wolf, et al. 13. Innovative Models of Technology Generation and Transfer: Lessons Learned from the South; L.A. Thrupp, M. Altieri. 14. Whither Agricultural Extension Worldwide? Reforms and Prospects; W. Rivera. 15. Agricultural Extension: Generic Challenges and the Ingredients for Solutions; G. Feder, et al. III: Conclusion. 16. Institutional Dimensions of Knowledge System Design and Analysis; S. Wolf, D. Zilberman. Index.

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