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The UK's changing research base for construction: the impact of recent government policy

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Recent government policy on construction R&D in the UK is presented as having been a contradictory amalgam involving, simultaneously, government intervention and disengagement. Confusingly, both parts of the policy appear to have been aimed at the same purpose - increasing the responsiveness of the sector's R&D activities to market forces. Given the noted reluctance of the UK's private sector to assume responsibility for such activities over the past two decades, there is little to suggest that this policy will prove successful. A more likely outcome, in the short to medium term at least, is that the speed and extent of apparent government retreat from funding could, in combination with other current changes, destabilize both the capacity and the capability of Britain's construction R&D base.

De l'avis de l'auteur, la politique recemment menee par le Gouvernement du Royaume-Uni en matiere de R&D dans le secteur du batiment est un amalgame contradictoire qui met en presence simultanement l'intervention du Gouvernement et son desengagement. Entrangement, ces deux facettes de la politique semblent orientees vers le meme objectif, a savoir, mieux sensibiliser les activites de R&D de ce secteur aux forces du marche. Compte tenu du pen d'enthousiasme du secteur prive du Royanne-Uni a assumer des responsabilites vis-a-vis de telles activites au cours des vingt dernieres annees, rien ne laisse presager que cette politique sera couronnee de succes. En revanche, il est plus probable, a court ou a moyen terme au moins, que la celerite du Gouvernement a se retirer de facon importante du financement, combinee a autres changements qui se produisent actuellement, aura pour effet de destabiliser les capacites et les aptitudes de la base de R&D de la construction au Royanne-Uni.
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Keywords: PRIVATIZATION; PUBLIC POLICY; RESEARCH FUNDING; RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE; RESEARCH POLICY; TRENDS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 1997

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