Science, technology and innovation policy

OECD Workshop on Knowledge Networks and Markets (Paris, 15 June 2011)


Also available:
Workshop agenda and presentations
Workshop summary  (pdf)


Following the OECD Innovation Strategy, the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry (DSTI) is embarking on a new project on the role of Knowledge Networks and Markets (KNMs) in fostering innovation. This workshop brought together subject experts and members of the OECD Working Party on Innovation and Technology Policy (TIP) to build a comprehensive picture of the use of knowledge exchange mechanisms by firms and organisations. 

The objective of the workshop was to bring together subject experts and policy makers to consider the breadth of mechanisms used by firms and organisations to source and deploy knowledge in the pursuit of innovation. Priority issues raised by workshop participants included:

  • A gradual shift of companies towards open innovation practices. Companies increasingly open up their innovation processes to knowledge and applications that reside outside their own boundaries. The existing differential access to information results in certain companies and institutions being favoured by this trend, while others are being marginalised. Policy-makers should therefore consider measures to promote co-operation and knowledge flows between different actors in the economy.
  • The patent system and its relation to the efficient functioning of markets for technology. Patents can be used strategically in ways that limit information flows. There might be a need to reconsider the system’s design so that it can serve its original purpose, which is to incentivise innovation and information disclosure.
  • Shortage of data on flows of knowledge that are not patented. There is a growing need for additional measurements of different types of knowledge flows.
  • The increase in the amount of publicly available data. The agenda for future research and policy recommendations should include further facilitation of access to large amounts of data and the monitoring of their use in innovative activities.
  • Collaboration between industry and publicly funded research institutions and universities. The role of Technology Transfer Offices in initiating and managing such collaborations should be considered alongside other policy measures aimed at promoting public-private partnerships.
  • Appropriation of innovation that originates in publicly funded research. Policy makers should consider whether the results of publicly funded research are to be the property of research institutions and universities or whether they should be returned to national and regional economies.
  • Applied research and patenting as revenue sources for public universities. There is growing pressure on universities to patent and engage in applied research. However, for most universities, patents cannot be the main sources of revenue and should not be treated as such.

The discussions and findings from the workshop will contribute to implement strategies for better measurement and understanding of KNM which can in turn help inform consideration of the most appropriate governance measures for knowledge creation, transmission and assimilation.


Agenda and presentations


8:30-9:00 Registration

9:00-9:15 Welcome and introduction

  • Ms. Yuko Harayama, Deputy Director, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry (DSTI), OECD
  • Mr. Patrick Vock, Chair of OECD Working Party on Innovation and Technology Policy (TIP) and Workshop Chair

9:15-9:30 The OECD project on "Knowledge Networks and Markets"

  • Mr. Fernando Galindo-Rueda, KNM project co-ordinator and Secretary of the Working Party of National Experts on Science and Technology Indicators (NESTI), DSTI, OECD

9:30-10:40 Understanding knowledge networks and markets: Towards a new taxonomy 

  • Mr. Mark Beatson, FTI Consulting and former Chief Economist, UK Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills [presentation]
  • Lead discussant: Mr. Andreas Fier, Senior Economist, Deutsche Telekom AG

10:40-11:00 Coffee break

11:00-12:45 Markets for technology and the future of open innovation

This session will look at the increasingly prevalent role of intermediaries in shaping the growth and development of markets for technical knowledge, considering key trends and business models. The implications for the future of technology sourcing and business open innovation will be assessed in the context of intangible asset management strategies adopted by businesses across sectors.

12:45-14:15 Lunch

14:15-16:10 Public-Private markets for knowledge: Strategies for commercialising and disseminating research
This session looks at the complex and pivotal role played by publicly funded knowledge and its exploitation, commercialisation and wider diffusion in society through markets and networks. The various mechanisms that enable the diffusion of this knowledge and its further contribution to science and innovation will be considered, reflecting on the balance of proprietary and alternative models alongside other, less explicit, diffusion channels.

16:10-16:30 Coffee break

16:30 Final roundtable

Spearheaded by the roundtable of invited experts, this concluding session will allow workshop participants to identify priorities for the research agenda for the KNM project and policy questions to be addressed by the OECD project on Knowledge Networks and Markets and the TIP project on Financing, Transferring and Commercialising Knowledge. Key questions include:

  • What is the missing evidence regarding the measurement of KNM mechanisms and their impact on the performance of their users, particularly their innovation outcomes?
  • What are the wider impacts of KNMs and their overall contribution to the economy and society?
  • What factors hinder or encourage specialisation across organisations in knowledge development and exploitation?
  • Is there a rationale for governments to influence or promote the development of networks and markets for tacit and explicit knowledge?

Introduction by session moderator

  • Mr. Patrick Vock, Chair of OECD Working Party on Innovation and Technology Policy (TIP) and Workshop Chair

Roundtable members

  • Mr. Jacques Darcy, European Investment Fund
  • Mr. Roland Sommer, Senior Policy Adviser at the Federation of Austrian Industries, and Vice-Chair of the BIAC Technology Committee
  • Mr. Francesco Lissoni, DIMI-University of Brescia & KITES-Bocconi University, Milan
  • Mr. Jerry Sheehan, US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and TIP delegate

17.15-18:00 Open discussion

18.00 Workshop adjourns





Making the most of knowledge

Project partly funded under the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission


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