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Kevin Mulligan

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Prof. Helena Lenihan (UL) & Dr. Justin Doran (UCC)
Working Title of Thesis: 
Modelling the Science and Innovation System: An Economic Impact Evaluation of Policy Mix

Advanced economies are characterised by different national systems of innovation (NSI); differences in economic performance depend on different underlying innovation capabilities and institutional support structures. Innovation is a complex, non-linear process where economic impact occurs in firms and is fundamentally underpinned by the national science-base. Policymakers have sought to strategically orient the science-base via science policy instruments (grants for researchers, research centres, etc.), and promote innovation at firm level through the use of innovation policy instruments (R&D subsidies, innovation vouchers, etc.).

However, the rationale for government intervention has not taken into account the dynamic character of the NSI and systems-failure. Economic evaluations of science policy have tended to focus on scientific inputs (e.g., academic studies) and economic outputs (e.g., employment growth), without considering the innovation process linking them. In addition, the term ‘policy mix’ has gained prominence in recent literature on innovation policy evaluation, calling into question the reliability of previous evaluations focusing on single innovation policy instruments. Instead, recent literature has called for evaluation of the innovation policy instrument mix.

My PhD research addresses this gap in the literature, and takes a step further, by constructing a system based on the interaction of both science and innovation policy instruments. A completely novel economic model of the interaction effects between different policy instruments will be created, enabling a more methodologically robust assessment of the true economic impact of public funding. This will provide a vital tool for policymakers to evaluate the effectiveness of current science and innovation policy instrument mixes, and strategically coordinate future mixes to take advantage of instrument mix.

Details of any scholarships/funding received (NOT USED): 
KBS Graduate Business Centre Scholarship
Innovation Policy, Policy Mix, Policy Complexity, Systemic Innovation
Details of any scholarships/funding received: 
KBS Graduate Business Centre Scholarship Science Foundation Ireland & Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship in Science Policy and Innovation
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