The use of foreign examples in research policy
Public funding for nanoscience and nanotechnology in France
This article examines the influence of major international paradigms on nanoscience and nanotechnology funding policies (nanoS&T) pursued in France during the 2000s (1999-2013). It is concerned with how foreign examples become exemplary (in the sense of “exemplar” as used by Kuhn, 1990) to the extent of being regarded as public policy solutions. Using extensive field surveys in the field of nanoS&T, the article shows that the paradigmatic value of foreign examples derives from “editing work” (Sahlin and Wedlin, 2008), i.e. de-contextualization and re-contextualization which establishes their relevance for certain dimensions of science policy. It highlights three key terms of this editing work –one which creates an example of a prototype for public policy, one that lists comparable examples more systematically to define a concept, and finally one which borrows from management techniques– and identifies the key actors in the development of national programmes and the creation of local innovation clusters in nanoS&T.
RESEARCH AND INNOVATION POLICY – RESEARCH FUNDING – NANOSCIENCES AND NANOTECHNOLOGY – FOREIGN EXAMPLES – PUBLIC POLICY PARADIGM – PUBLIC RESEARCH