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Fundemental research vs. applied research. An analysis concerning the Italian National Research Council

Mario Coccia () and Secondo Rolfo

CERIS Working Paper from Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY -NOW- Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY

Abstract: Within the current debate about the role of public research in the modern societies and the relations between public and private research, there is an increasing interest towards a possible rivalry between fundamental and applied research. Some preoccupations arise from the fact that the strong pressure on public researchers in order to increase their involvement in the economic applications could limit the amount and the quality of the fundamental research. The policy implications of this rivalry need strong arguments, but at the moment no clear answer can be found in the economic literature. In this light the paper studies for the period 2000-2003 the situation within the Italian National Research Council using the data concerning the 108 institutes (grouped in 5 scientific areas). The international publications have been considered a good proxy of fundamental research against the funds provided by the market considered as a clear indicator of the applied research. The results seem to highlight for 4 scientific areas an increasing rivalry probably caused by the cut of public funding in the period that obliged the researchers to pay more attention to applied research.

Keywords: Applied research, fundamental research, scientific publications, technology transfer, R&Devaluation, public research labs Classification JEL: C1; H50; L32; O32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004-06
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