Locating Industrial Research: Universities, Firms and the State, 1916–39

  • Keith Vernon


One of the main reasons for doing research is to promote economic growth. In an increasingly knowledge-based economy and society, research becomes ever more important for competitive advantage and national prosperity. There are numerous ways by which research can enhance economic development; here the focus will be on scientific investigations of a fundamental, laboratory-based character, but which are geared towards practical industrial problems. Industrial research of this type raises a number of issues. Since several constituencies have an interest in industrial research, there are questions as to its location. Obviously, industrial firms are concerned with research to enhance their own position. Governments have wider responsibilities for national well being, which relates to that of private firms, although in a rather general sense. Universities, too, have a broad commitment to the national good, which includes material prosperity, and which also embraces a more universal and abstract ethos. Where, then, is the proper location for industrial research? Furthermore, does the location influence the nature of the investigations conducted, and does this carry any implications for what qualifies as legitimate knowledge?


Industrial Research Private Firm Research Association Advisory Council National Physical Laboratory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Keith Vernon 2005

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  • Keith Vernon

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