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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 11:59 06/25/2007
Journal Abstracts #285: June 25, 2007


Journal Name: Prometheus: Volume 25, Number 1, March 2007

Online ISSN: 0810-9028, Print ISSN: 1470-1030


e-Research Infrastructures and Open Science: Towards a New System of Knowledge Production? (pp1-17)
Ralph Schroeder
Major efforts are currently under way to develop e-infrastructures for research. At the same time, there have been a number of calls for research in the digital realm to foster 'openness', for example in 'open access' policies. This paper explores the relation between e-infrastructures and open science, and argues that there are a number of factors apart from research policy that will shape e-research. These include not only the legal and economic environment, but also the ethos of science, 'open' initiatives outside of research, the momentum of large technological systems, and the activism of experts and wider social movements. The paper assesses the strengths and weaknesses of these factors, as well as the tensions and confluences between openness and e-infrastructures.

Keywords: e-research; infrastructure; open science; social implications of technology; Internet and research; research policy

Nuclear Power and Antiterrorism: Obscuring the Policy Contradictions (pp19-29)
Brian Martin
Some governments are promoting both nuclear power and antiterrorism, but without much attention to connections between the two issues. Nuclear power increases the risk of nuclear terrorism directly and via nuclear proliferation, but this is seldom mentioned by policy-makers. Governments use a set of rhetorical moves to hide the tensions in their policies concerning nuclear power and terrorism.

Keywords: nuclear power; terrorism; nuclear weapons; technological vulnerability

Knowledge and Cooperation for Regional Development: The Effect of Provincial and Federal Policy Initiatives in Canada and Australia (pp31-50)
Sam Garrett-Jones
This paper examines how federal systems of government in Canada and Australia deal with the challenges of promoting regional innovation and knowledge-based industries. It focuses on selected cases of federal and regional (provincial or municipally based) policy initiatives and structures that support cross-sector collaboration between 'knowledge institutions' (such as universities) and locally based industries. The study reveals both anticipated commonalities in and unexpected differences between the Canadian and Australian innovation environments and policy approaches. Federalism, resource-based economies and sparse population have led to similar concerns and solutions. However, building local innovation systems and networks is a question of building on social capital and Canada seems rather more inventive and effective than Australia in turning social capital into sustainable organisations. Several regions of Canada have developed very strong community involvement in networks and institutions for improving technological skills, awareness and programmes - examples which provide valuable lessons for Australia.

Keywords: regional development; innovation systems; government policy; community development

Australian Framework for the Commercialisation of University Scientific Research (pp51-68)
Alan Collier
Australia spends proportionally more on university R&D, particularly when compared with business expenditure on R&D, than almost any other advanced economy, which suggests that creating the right environment to encourage the commercialisation of Australian university research results is vital if Australia is to obtain the best economic results from its investment. In this paper a meta-analysis is used to review literature from various sources available on the broad environment in which university research commercialisation is conducted in Australia in order to identify the key components of the environment and where change may encourage or promote better commercialisation outcomes.

Keywords: Australia; universities; research; R&D; commercialisation

Closing the Digital Divide: The Role of Services and Infrastructure in Bhutan (pp69-84)
Jason Whalley
Considerable attention has been devoted in recent years to the digital divides that exist between and within countries. Within developing countries, information and communication infrastructures are often limited. This paper focuses on the digital divide within Bhutan. More specifically, the paper identifies two related dimensions of the digital divide in Bhutan - access and skills - and argues that the interaction between geography, resources and services will shape how the divide is tackled.

Keywords: digital divide; Bhutan; ICT; resources; services

Fault Lines: Emerging Domains of Inertia within the Australian Wine Industry (pp85-98)
David Aylward
It is common knowledge that the Australian wine industry has enjoyed remarkable success over the past three decades in terms of production and export growth, innovation and reputation for consistent quality. The centralisation of resources and infrastructure, as well as the nationally-oriented funding and R&D agendas, are usually cited as providing the foundation for this success. Yet in more recent years it is this same nationally-focused centralisation that is increasingly at odds with a rapidly changing international wine landscape and therefore, the organisational and innovation requirements of the firms that must respond to these changes.
This paper explores these issues within the theoretical context of what it has termed domain inertia - an industry-level dislocation between organisation and firm imperatives. Arguing that neither traditional organisational nor innovation-based change theories deal with the complexities of industry-level inertia, the paper attempts to move beyond orthodox theoretical parameters. In so doing, it adopts a somewhat unique theory that places organisational and innovation inertia within a widening domain of discordant industry-level imperatives.

Keywords: wine industry; domain inertia; innovation; organisational; firm

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