Understanding how progress in science is connected to technological development is crucial to get a better handle of the drivers and policy levers that can foster science-based innovation in a rapidly changing innovation ecosystems and knowledge-intensive economies. One area of rising interest is understanding in more detail the role of basic and applied scientific research in driving new emerging technologies and related technological innovations. Science is an important source of novel ideas, tools, materials and prototypes in some areas of advanced technological development. The key question however is whether or not science has become increasingly important in recent technological developments. To address this question, in a broad systematic fashion, one needs to establish a stable frame of reference, appropriate empirical information, and a sufficiently long time-window.
By Robert Tijssen (Leiden University)