Difference between Science policy and technology policy
This can be best understood by looking at the Clinton-Gore Technology Policy In 1992 Clinton & Gore team announced USA’s technology policy. As a policy document it was an important statement for its clarity and lucidity. First they say why a technology policy is necessary, is not a science policy adequate?
Clinton-Gore Technology Policy
After world war II, Vannevar Bush defined the framework for US Science policy. It made the United states a world leader in science; made America’s university education and research system the best in the world. In introducing a technology policy they enlisted the various challenges faced by their nation and reasoned Science policy alone does not address those issues. To quote:
` in essence, science policy is a supply –push policy in which the government supports science education, basic research and some applied R&D that relates to specific nations missions. During the cold war, this policy worked well because US industry dominated world markets and massive US defense spending for high tech weapons systems provided a big demand for leading edge technology. Today, however, US industry faces intense international competition and the global civilian market not the department of Defense is the testing ground for most of the new technologies. Technology policy picks up where science policy leaves off. It is not limited to just research and development. It also focuses on the rapid application of new ideas. The absence of a coherent technology policy is one of the key reasons why America is trailing some of its major competitors in translating its strength in basic research into commercial success and why America is losing its lead in technology. Even in the technologies where we still lead, we face the challenge of translating the world’s best research into the worlds best jobs for American workers’.
The Clinton-Gore technology policy consisted of 6 broad initiatives that together would restore America’s technological leadership. They were: Building a 21st century technology infrastructure, Establishing education and training programs for a high skill workforce, Investing in technology programs that empower America’s small businesses, Refocusing federal R&D program on critical technologies that enhance industrial performance, Leveraging the national R&D investment, Creating a world class business environment for private sector investment and innovation.
Science policy is concerned with building infrastructure to take care of supply of qualified scientists and researchers. Technology policy deals with networking and managerial infrastructure. The role of state in S&T does not end with providing S&T infrastructure, like universities or research institutes. The state has to play a critical and leading role in providing S&T policy and management infrastructure. The economic development from technology comes along with increasing human skills and most critically that it is cooperation and not competition that ultimately encourages science and technology based economic growth.
Technology policy ,1983
In 1983 the Government of India, enunciated the Technology policy emphasizing technological self-reliance. The basic objective of the technology Policy was the development of indigenous technology and efficient absorption and adaptation of imported technology appropriate to national priorities and resources. Its aims are:
a) Attain technological competence and self-reliance, to reduce vulnerability, particularly in strategic and critical areas, making the maximum use of indigenous resources;
b) Provide the maximum gainful and satisfying employment to all strata of society, with emphasis on the employment of women and weaker sections of society;
c) Use traditional skills and capabilities, making them commercially competitive;
d) Ensure the correct mix between mass production technologies and production by the masses;
e) Ensure maximum development with minimum capital outlay;
f) Identify obsolescence of technology in use and arrange for modernisation of both equipment and technology;
g) Develop technologies which are internationally competitive, particularly those with export potential;
h) Improve production speedily through greater efficiency and fuller utilisation of existing capabilities and enhance the quality and reliability of performance and output;
i) Reduce demands on energy, particularly energy from non-renewable sources;
j) Ensure harmony with the environment, preserve the ecological balance and improve the quality of the habitat; and
k) Recycle waste material and make full utilisation of by-products.
S&T policy 2003
Recognizing the changing context of the scientific enterprise and to meet present national needs in the new era of globalisation, Government enunciated the following objectives of its Science and Technology Policy:
a) advance scientific temper and integrate S&T with all spheres of national activity.
b) Ensure food security .
c) Use S&T capabilities for poverty alleviation, generation of employment etc.
d) Foster scientific research in universities.
e) Encourage innovation in areas of relevance for society like soil and water management, human and animal nutrition, fisheries, renewable energy, communication, transportation.
f) Strengthen enabling mechanisms that relate to technology development from concept to commercialisation.
g) Establish an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime and encourage domestic commercialisation of such patented inventions in the public interest.
(to be continued)