Innovative Potential in Hungarian Agricultural Biotechnology and the Evolution of Networks

Huzair, Farah (2008). Innovative Potential in Hungarian Agricultural Biotechnology and the Evolution of Networks. Studies in Ethics, Law and Technology, 2(2), article no. 3.




The ban on commercial GMO cultivation in Hungary suggests a scenario where scientific progress may decline and innovative potential thus deteriorates. There is the added difficulty of greatly reduced funding and the loss of expertise that accompanied fiscal austerity measures. However, initial findings from recent fieldwork suggest that science and innovative potential has not been ‘stopped in its tracks’. This paper demonstrates how innovative potential may be generated and captured. It identifies the key actors in the Hungarian system and via narrative reflection of these actors, the affects of the evolving regulatory framework on innovative capability is also investigated. The ability of innovative potential to survive this period of regulatory uncertainty depends on the adaptability of the R&D network, the ability to shift to alternative learning trajectories and the extent and depth of its international connections. Early indicators of NIS adaptation and response to the regulatory environment in Hungary include changes of activity at the institutional level and at the individual level, which still employ the creative and learning capacities of key innovators, thus allowing them to re-enter the field of GMO technology development, should it become a possibility.

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