Mission-Oriented Mega-R&D Programs: Governance and Policy

  • 12 18, 2021
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  • Author:Yutao Sun, Cong Cao


  Using the concepts of technology goal (T), effective organization (O), and market end-user (M), this paper proposes a TOM framework for analyzing the contextual characteristics of adoption of the MMRD model as a tool of R&D governance. Applying the framework to cases across multiple historical periods, sectors, and countries, we find that R&D with a clear and specific technology goal, dominance of R&D by government agencies, and public sectors as end-users create an appropriate scenario for a government to adopt the MMRD model, while in doing so the government should also take into consideration such factors as economic efficiency, national security, and public interests. We evaluate the TOM framework based on its application to China’s practice, particularly its ongoing mega-engineering programs (MEPs). Only a few MEPs under its national development plan are likely to be successful while others will likely not achieve their original aims.

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