More than 150 colleagues participated in PRIME’s last major integration event. The conference was deliberately scheduled at the end of the last year of the official EC contract.
We decided to spend only limited time in reflecting on past experience and this was mostly divided into three sessions/discussions : on the results arrived at in the second survey of the characterisation group, a somewhat heated discussion of the Horvart report on NoEs, and an open discussion on ‘orphan themes’.
The conference thus focused on key issues each based on a short statement prepared for the debate. The issues as such tell us about the transformations of approaches over a five year period :
- Can we govern science and innovation in regions ?
- Should we abandon policies to foster the creation of university spin-off firms ?
- Post-national dynamics in STI and STI governance : are our perspectives and models keeping pace ?
- Are ‘our’ indicators of some use for policy-making ?
- Characterising the diversity of European universities : pursuing a good but lost cause ?
- The future of innovation policy : creative destruction, new combinations and white elephants.
- Cultural industries as a major component of knowledge-based societies.
The first 6 themes clearly derive from major results and work conducted within the PRIME network and have given rise since then to either major articles or books that have been published or are under publication.
The conference was also critical in preparing for the future. The ENID international association (see specific section) was officially created. Similarly there was an important but so far inconclusive debate about developing a follow-up for PRIME, in particular for maintaining three of its four functions : the agenda, the periodic conference and above all the activities dedicated to initial capacity building (see 2009 Amsterdam workshop for further developments).