Knowledge and Industrial Dynamics

, , ,

  • Through the Knowledge and Industrial Dynamics Programme, the UNU Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT) focuses in detail on knowledge flows, learning, and the recombination of knowledge at the multiple levels of firms and sectors. It entails microeconomic research, or the detailed study of particular high-tech sectors such as biotechnology, information technology, and environmental technologies. The use and adoption of technologies in more traditional sectors, in particular in developing countries, is also one of the themes addressed. Central issues of concern include the evolution of firm and industry structures, the possible co-existence of several technologies or activities within a region, or the presence of one type of activity in several locations.


    Research under this programme is covered in both the Chinese and Senegalese twinning initiatives. However no specific direct input is delivered.

    Focal Point

    Professor Anthony Arundel is the focal point for the Knowledge and Industrial Dynamics Programme.


    The programme covers both detailed studies on high-tech sectors such as biotechnology, software and environmental technologies and research on the use and adoption of technologies in traditional and ‘low technology’ sectors. Another research focus is the ‘Creative Commons’ research area.


    This programme furthers the discussion of the above-mentioned issues primarily through sectoral and micro-economic analyses.


    No gender issues are currently studied within this programme.

    Target Audience

    The audience consists of statistical agencies, academic research institutions, international agencies such as the European Commission, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development but also the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Bank, the EP, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development and the World Information Society Forum.

    Intended Impact

    Impact: Contribution to a UN assessment/issue/query
    Target: The programme targets UN organizations dealing with access to knowledge, in particular information society. World Intellectual Property Organization and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as well as specific organizations dealing with agriculture (FAO), health (World Health Organization) and other sectoral technology issues (United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development).
    How: This will be achieved through contributions to UN reports and debates and participation in conferences.

    Impact: Influencing policymaking at the international level
    Target: The programme aims to contribute to international conferences on sectoral issues (agricultural technologies in Latin America, Asia and Africa through the Learning INnovation Knowledge Network (LINK), international access to medicines issues and the impact of open source software on worldwide knowledge diffusion, etc.
    How: This will be achieved through the organization of and participation in international conferences, papers, publications and workshops.

    Impact: Influencing policymaking at the national level
    Target: The programme targets specific developing countries through, for example, LINK and CCG.
    How: This will be achieved through reports, presentations, publications and the website.

    Impact: Furthering knowledge in an academic field
    Target: The programme targets academics as well as policymakers.
    How: This will be achieved through academic and policy publications.

    Impact: Capacity development in developed/developing countries
    Target: The programme targets various sectoral knowledge capacity building areas in agriculture, horticulture, health, pharma, sanitation, textiles and motor vehicles among others.
    How: This will be achieved through workshops and conferences.

    Research Findings

    For an overview of the research findings of this programme, please listen to an interview with programme leader.

    Value Added

    The programme provides input into sectoral and technology policymaking, as well as policies dealing with standard settings and intellectual property.


    Project outcomes are primarily published in journals, research memoranda and policy briefs. A list of publications is available on UNU-MERIT’s website and the Institute’s annual report contains a full list of all publications and other relevant output of this research programme.

    Timeline/Programme Cycle

    The programme has been running since the beginning of 2006 and will continue through the biennium (2012-2013).


    External evaluation is regularly carried out. Assessment of progress is based on success in publications.


    The coming biennium will be strongly influenced by the success in attracting new funds.

    Expected Duration

    The programme is expected to run for a duration of 109 months, from 1 January 2006 through 1 January 2015.

  • Activities within the Programme will involve cooperation between the UNU Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

  • United Nations University
    Maastricht Economic and Social Research and Training Centre on Innovation and Technology
    Keizer Karelplein 19, 6211 TC Maastricht
    The Netherlands

    T: +31 43 388-4400
    F: + 31 43 388-4499