How mission-driven policies challenge traditional research funding systems

Kaare Aagaard*, Maria Theresa Norn, Andreas Kjær Stage

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskning

Abstract

For decades, public research funding systems have operated with the dual objectives of fostering research excellence on the one side and research contributing to innovation and growth on the other. These two objectives have to a large extent been pursued and institutionalized separately. Recently, a third objective has become increasingly prominent: to orient public research towards societal challenges through missions. This paper stresses that a precondition for achieving this new objective is successful coordination across the whole value chain of research and a more integrated and holistic approach to the design and implementation of funding policies. So far, limited attention has been paid to the risk that such coordination may be in conflict with dominant rationales underlying the current design of funding systems. In this study, we examine the challenges associated with the institutionalization of this emerging objective from both a theoretical and an empirical perspective. The theoretical analysis builds on historical institutionalism and argues that a partial conversion of the funding system as a whole is necessary for the new rationale to succeed. The empirical analysis focuses on two different national settings, the Danish and the Norwegian, and highlights challenges and tensions experienced by funding bodies responsible for operationalizing mission-driven research funding instruments, based on interviews with experts and key funding actors. We conclude that the key institutions in both national systems are attempting to adjust to the increasing political focus on missions through layering rather than processes of conversion, which we argue is necessary for funding organizations to successfully implement mission-driven policies. Finally, implications for the success of mission-driven policies are discussed.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer949
TidsskriftF1000Research
ISSN2046-1402
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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