Attending 25th SPRU PhD Forum: “Global challenges, local contexts: Reconciling theory and practice in Science, Technology and Innovation”

Ema Talam, PhD Student in Economics at Staffordshire University


On May 16 and 17 this year, I had a privilege to attend 25 Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) PhD Forum. The Forum was organised by the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) of the University of Sussex, which is world-renowned research centre around the areas of science, technology and innovation policy. The work of SPRU is diverse, including: economics of innovation and industrial policy; science, politics and decision making; sustainable development; energy; and technology and innovation management.

The 25th edition of the PhD Forum, which started back in 1994, was organised around the theme: “Global challenges, local contexts: Reconciling theory and practice in Science, Technology and Innovation”. The programme of two-day conference included 14 panel sessions with total of 30 presentations by PhD researchers from all over the world; keynote speeches and plenary panel sessions; and plenty of networking opportunities. The full programme of the Forum can be found here.

On the second day of the Forum, in Panel 11: “R&D Innovation Policy and Centres of Excellence”, I presented my own research titled: “Evaluating the effectiveness of R&D tax credits: Critique of the user cost approach”, which was very well received. The paper I presented – still work in progress – looks into two distinct approaches to evaluation of the effectiveness of R&D tax credits, and specifically, critically appraises one of the approaches: the user cost approach. The full abstract of my paper can be found on the link provided above. The 25th SPRU Forum was an excellent and an invaluable opportunity to present and get feedback on my research; learn about the ongoing, diverse and very relevant research in the fields of science, technology and innovation; and to meet and network with other scholars working in the field.

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