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Open access

Vlastimil Růžička

Abstract

Over the last several decades the traditional role of universities in their unique mission in education and research changed to include also the so-called third mission consisting in their active involvement in the socio-economic development of the society. Publicly available data from annual economic report of Czech public universities were analysed to demonstrate the universities´ ability to raise funding from off-budgetary sources which belongs to main characteristics of entrepreneurial university. Off-budgetary sources, where revenues for internal services prevailed, made in 2016 around 16 % of the total income of Czech public universities. The off-budgetary sources include in particular charges for accommodation and board, fees for entrance exam, tuition fees for students that exceed the standard length of studies by more than one year, and tuition fees for studies in a foreign language. The last fees make up to three quarters of all offbudgetary sources at universities that offer studies at medical faculties. The universities´ ability to execute the third role was due to limited availability of data accessed only partially by analysing revenues from knowledge transfer in supplementary activities that involve contractual research, income from licences, educational courses on demand, consultations and counselling. Contractual research in supplementary activities was the most important among the listed activities making up to 8 % of all off-budgetary sources revenues. In international comparison the Czech public universities raise about one half of revenues for R&D from entrepreneurial sources than EU-28 average and only one third compared to German universities. Revenues from license agreements are low making around 0.1 % of all revenues for R&D.

Open access

Zdeněk Kučera and Tomáš Vondrák

Abstract

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the dynamically evolving research fields on the global scale. The world production of publication associated with the AI field increased by a third over the four-year period 2013–2017. Even less research intensive countries as Iran, Turkey, India and Indonesia appear to increase the share of the AI topics in their publication output. In the Czech Republic the fraction of publications in the AI field increased by approximately 10 % over this period. It makes the lowest increase within the EU/EEA. The field normalized citation index of the Czech publications in the year 2016 was above the world average but it is deeply below the top countries USA, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Singapore, and Norway.

The extent of international cooperation in AI is generally below the world average. The Czech Republic falls into the group of less cooperating countries. The countries exhibiting the highest growth in AI research are underrepresented in the Czech cooperation portfolio. The fraction of Czech publications in AI coauthored by foreign authors is lower than the national average. It indicates a lower international collaboration in comparison with other research fields. CR falls also in the group of countries less engaged in the international cooperation. The Czech international collaboration misses the countries exhibiting the most vigorous R&D in AI. The international collaboration adds to the quality of the research. The Czech publications originating from the international collaboration are cited above the country average for the AI field. It is even more significant in the collaboration with researchers from the top countries in the AI R&D.

The patent activity in the AI field has grown significantly in recent years. There is a marked increase of patent applications having inventors/applicants from more than one country. It indicates that the applied R&D in AI has a more international character in comparison with other technology fields. A high intensity of collaboration in the authorship of patent applications is within language and geographically neighbouring countries and with countries having a highly internationalized R&D system. Multinational corporations involved in international innovation networks contribute also to the international cooperation. ICT corporations like IBM, Google, or Microsoft which often employ foreign researchers have a dominant role in international cooperation.

The R&D of the Czech enterprises is relatively closed to the international cooperation. Domestic enterprises in AI use foreign employees in a small extent. The domestic enterprises even do not tap into the pool of intellectual property authored by the Czech researchers. The majority of patents with participation of Czech inventors is registered by foreign corporations.

Open access

Otakar Fojt and Aleš Vlk

Abstract

The purpose of our contribution is to discuss shortcomings of purely descriptive quantitative evaluation of research policies – based either on inputs (public investment, number of researchers), or outputs (publications, number of patents). To give an example we compare selected indicators across Visegrad countries in the period between 2006 and 2015. We conclude that both quantitative and qualitative perspectives as well as societal and political context should be taken into account when the performance of any R&D system and the impact of public investments into a public R&D sector are scrutinized.

Open access

Vladislav Čadil

Abstract

Behavioural additionality is defined as permanent (long-term) changes in all spheres of behaviour and general capabilities of supported companies as a consequence of public support received. It closely relates to the output additionality because it creates prerequisites for improvement of firms economic performance. This paper aims to show the concrete application of this concept in the evaluation of programmes in the Czech Republic on the example of the TIP programme. It also tries to outline certain aspects that cannot be captured on the one hand when looking only at input and output additionalities, but on the other hand they enable better understanding of these additionality types. The methodology used for assessing behavioural additionality is based on a qualitative approach, a mix of a questionnaire survey and structured interviews. The evaluation confirmed the applicability of the behavioural additionality concept for programmes evaluation in the Czech Republic and showed that both the short-term and long-term effects of the R&D support in the areas of cooperation, R&D activities and firms strategies have already occurred.

Open access

Stephan Köppe and Muiris MacCarthaigh

Abstract

The creation of Intreo as a one-stop shop for jobseekers in Ireland occurred during the financial and sovereign debt crisis period of 2010–16. The organisational merger was the product of an extensive programme of successful administrative reorganisation and service integration that deserves attention. This article begins with an overview of the policy to merge insurance-based unemployment benefit, discretionary social welfare payments and labour market activation measures, as well as the various political and institutional rationales that led to this development. Drawing on the special issue framework concerning how the interaction of ideology, institutions and interests comes into play during policy change, we consider the contextual factors that facilitated the rapid implementation of the programme and its overall successful execution. Whilst focusing on the success, we also critically point out the inhibitors in the implementation chain, some of which predated the crisis, as well as problems during the implementation process, such as delays in the national rollout and back-office supports. We identify the main contributing factors for successful implementation of a one-stop shop for activation and unemployment services as (a) a high problem pressure, (b) a small and agile implementation team, (c) changing labour relations (e.g. binding arbitration, weakened unions) and (d) a modern communication strategy.

Open access

Fiona Kiernan

Abstract

Policies fail or succeed for many reasons. These reasons include the decisionmaking process, which depends on the interplay of interests, as well as ideology and information. While bearing in mind that perception is often allimportant in deciding if a policy is a success or failure, this paper examines the policy failure of the 2012 decision to reduce salaries for new entrant consultants in Irish public hospitals. This salary reduction resulted in difficulties recruiting and retaining hospital consultants in the public sector. Firstly, the timeline and context of the decision are explored, taking into account the financial crisis at the time. This leads on to an examination of why this decision was made. It appears likely that self-interest on the part of the Minister for Health was a factor, and that self-interest on the part of the medical unions prevented reasonable discourse. The ideology of austerity was a predominant theme of government budgets in 2012; however, this ideology was also influential in creating an environment that allowed blame for public sector pay to be focused predominantly at public hospital consultants. Finally, I find problems with the information used in decision-making for the policy. This is evident from the irrational beliefs held by policymakers on the likelihood of recruiting consultants with lower salaries.

Open access

Cathal FitzGerald, Eoin O’Malley and Deiric Ó Broin

Abstract

Some policies fail to achieve their goals and some succeed. More often than not, it is unclear whether a policy has been a success or a failure, sometimes because the goal was not clear, or because there were a multitude of goals. In this introduction to this special issue we discuss what we mean by policy success and failure, and assume that policy success or failure is ultimately the result of the decision-making process: policy success results from good policies, which tend to come from good decisions, which are in turn the result of a good decision-making process. We then set out a framework for understanding the conditions under which good and bad decisions are made. Built upon factors highlighted in a broad literature, we argue that a potential interaction of institutions, interests and ideology creates incentives for certain outcomes, and leads to certain information being gathered or prioritised when it is being processed. This can bias decision-makers to choose a certain course of action that may be suboptimal, or in other cases there is an absence of bias, creating the possibility for making successful policy choices.

Open access

Sara Burke, Ruairí Brugha and Steve Thomas

Abstract

In 2002 the Irish Government announced the establishment of the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) as a means of addressing patients’ long wait times for public hospital treatment. A new health strategy published in December 2001 promised that ‘by the end of 2004 all public patients will be scheduled to commence treatment within a maximum of three months of referral from an outpatient department’. Qualitative methods, including documentary analysis and key informant interviews, were used to gain an understanding of this policy process. The findings were then analysed through the framework proposed for this special issue where ideas, institutions and politics interact. Using McConnell’s typology of policy failure, this research finds the NTPF to be an example of a policy failure because, even though tens of thousands of public patients have been treated under the NTPF, waiting times and numbers have persisted and escalated since the NTPF was established.

Open access

Stephen Weir

Abstract

This paper analyses the decision-making processes behind the reform of a policy that had caused significant controversy for over a decade. At 8 p.m. on 21 November 2000 the Minister of State for the Environment, Bobby Molloy, TD, signed S.I. No. 367/2000 – Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) (No. 3) into law. This statutory instrument provided ‘for the full resumption of taxi licensing’ and ‘the revocation of regulatory provisions involving quantitative restrictions on the licensing of taxis and hackneys’. With the stroke of a pen, Molloy had effectively ended the taxi licensees’ de facto 21-year control of public service vehicle licensing policy. The paper finds Molloy’s decision to have been a significant policy improvement as it brought about a substantially better taxi service. In addition, the paper shows that even with strong evidence of policy failure, its reform can take a considerable time. With regard to the four-factor framework of institutions, ideology, interests and irrationality, I find that the institutions of the state, while initially facilitating the regulatory capture of the policy by the taxi sector, eventually ensured that this was broken down due to the electoral system and the separation of powers. Up until the reform decision, the interests of the taxi licensees and their political supporters eclipsed the common good. Ideology played a significant role as a backdrop to the policy but ideology was not the primary reason the minister deregulated. Finally, I find that the collective irrationality of the taxi sector leads to an overestimation of their power due to an inability to process the relevant information and collectively agree a reasonable compromise. The key recommendations of the paper are that the means of policy setting should be radically and innovatively overhauled, and that it is imperative that regulators harness the vast information that taxi apps gather in order to improve regulatory outcomes.

Open access

Jonathan Arlow

Abstract

JobBridge, the Irish National Internship Scheme, was a labour activation measure launched in July 2011, during a period of extreme economic crisis, and was marketed as a chance for young people to gain career experience in quality work placements. Over 60 per cent of participants found employment after leaving the scheme but it suffered from high deadweight losses and was widely criticised as exploitative during its existence. This was quite predictable, which leaves the puzzle as to why JobBridge was designed without more regulations to protect the entry-level jobs market and the interests of the unemployed? This paper will trace the processes behind this suboptimal decision-making. First, it will show the institutional factors influencing poor policy decisions on labour activation. Then it will explain the main incentives behind an under-regulated programme, which were the need to develop a workable scheme as quickly as possible and to do this without significant funding. Finally, it will show how the decision-making process prioritised the interests of the Labour Party, government, business and the concerned parents of unemployed youth over the interests of the unemployed.