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Breakthroughs and Excellence: Between Science and Economy

European Politics
Globalisation
Governance
Public Administration
Regionalism
Knowledge
Global
Mitchell Young
Charles University
Carter Bloch
Aarhus Universitet
Mads P. Sørensen
Aarhus Universitet
Mitchell Young
Charles University

Abstract

Research and innovation have been attributed a growing role in maintaining global competitiveness and socio-economic progress; in particular, major research breakthroughs are seen as important catalysts for innovation and growth. This has heightened focus on monitoring scientific excellence, breakthroughs and how they can be fostered. The ways in which excellence and breakthroughs are defined, perceived and promoted in policy discourses thus have an impact on research results, and also processes, behavior and goals. The objective of this paper is to examine the development of and relationship between the concepts of research excellence and research breakthroughs, their prominence in policy, and to what extent the processes behind and pursuit of excellence have been changed as a result. The study will draw on work in the social construction of excellence, the constitutive effects of performance indicators, observational studies of high performance research groups, and our own work in this area.