Policy for Science, Technology and Innovation

Innovation and accompanying science and technology are now seen not only to have a profound connection to our health and daily life, but also to the society’s economic growth and its corresponding ability to generate societal wellbeing and solve societal challenges -- and these economic and societal issues are deeply interrelated. This course focuses on science and technology policy – it will examine the science and technology innovation system, including case studies on energy, computing, advanced manufacturing and health sectors, with an emphasis on public policy and the federal government’s R&D role in that system. It will review the foundations of economic growth theory, innovation systems theory and innovation organization theory, as well as the basic approaches to science and technology policy, building toward a sophisticated understanding of these areas. The class will review a theory of direct and indirect economic factors in the innovation system, note the innovation-based competitive and advanced manufacturing challenges now facing the U.S. economy, review comparative efforts in other nations, study the varied models for how federal science and technology mission agencies are organized, and the growth of public-private partnership models as a way for science mission agencies to pursue mission agendas. Emphasis will also be placed on examining the organization and role of medical science and energy innovation agencies and gaps in the health, energy, and advanced production innovation economic models, as well as related innovation systems policy issues. The course will close with an examination of the science and technology talent base as a factor in growth and the education approaches that support it, and a discussion of the future of jobs and employment given increasing automation.

Created by: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Level: Intermediate

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