Concept

Technology policy

Summary
There are several approaches to defining the substance and scope of technology policy. According to the American scientist and policy advisor Lewis M. Branscomb, technology policy concerns the "public means for nurturing those capabilities and optimizing their applications in the service of national goals and interests". Branscomb defines technology in this context as "the aggregation of capabilities, facilities, skills, knowledge, and organization required to successfully create a useful service or product". Other scholars differentiate between technology policy and science policy, suggesting that the former is about "the support, enhancement and development of technology", while the latter focuses on "the development of science and the training of scientists". Rigas Arvanitis, at the Institut de recherche pour le développement in France, suggests that "science and technology policy covers all the public sector measures designed for the creation, funding, support and mobilisation of scientific and technological resources". Technology policy is a form of "active industrial policy", and effectively argues, based on the empirical facts of technological development as observed across various societies, industries and time periods, that markets rarely decide industrial fortunes in and of their own and state-intervention or support is required to overcome standard cases of market-failure (which may include, for example, under-funding of Research & Development in highly competitive or complex markets). Technology policy may be more broadly defined, and Michael G. Pollitt offers a multidisciplinary approach with social science and humanities perspective on "good" policy. Technology management at a policy or organisational level, viewed through the lens of complexity, involves the management of an inherently complex system. Systems that are "complex" have distinct properties that arise from these relationships, such as nonlinearity, emergence, spontaneous order, adaptation, and feedback loops, among others.
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