Fast Sites: Igniting and Catapulting Knowledge
The purpose of this chapter is to illuminate a largely new and unexplored feature of the sociology of higher education: the emergence of ‘fast’ sites within academia. This chapter looks at knowledge mediators (see Osborne 2004; Meyer 2010), whose task it is to speed up the process of translating research, ideas and knowledge into tradable, possibly profitable commodities and/or services. Fast sites are expected to occupy and secure a space that offers auxiliary instruments for the smooth movement of innovative commercially oriented knowledges into their desired destinations — more often than not a marketplace. An analysis of fast sites, as the central part of this chapter, aims to 1) introduce and contextualize ‘catapult’ initiatives, offering a brief history of the principle of ‘incubation’; 2) deploy some propositions made by Tomlinson (2007a) to underscore the ‘culture of speed’ that appears to be a defining feature of these initiatives; and 3) highlight specific ambivalences associated with the desired pace of knowledge mediation.
KeywordsNational Health Service Knowledge Economy Technology Strategy Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Business Incubator
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