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    Seminar in Using Technology in Oslo (earlier announced 1 March see below)

    We hereby have the pleasure to invite you to an international symposium on

    Economic Use of Technology and Science

    October 28-30, 2005

    Oslo, Norway

    A co-arrangement by

    the Newmark Project, BI, Norwegian School of Management, Oslo


    Uppsala STS, Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Uppsala University

    Technology and science have probably always evoked dreams about the problems these sources of knowledge can provide a solution to, or about opportunities they can create. However, during the last decades technology and science have been exposed to increasing expectations on their role as creator of economic growth. Or, as it is expressed by OECD: “In the knowledge-based economy, science and technology and their applications in industry and communications are major sources of economic growth and well-being.” However, it is not only governments and research policy organizations that express great trust in the relation between technology, science and economic growth. Approaches like “innovation systems”, “clusters”, “triple helix” and “social networks” all reflect the understanding that these sources of knowledge can be tapped on economic values through the development of appropriate transformation systems.


    Economic use of science and technology

    What the above-presented perspectives have in common is that technology and science is approached from the production point of view, and, furthermore, from their role as inputs in companies and individuals economic activities. Although the industrial economic system has the purpose to link use with supply, the research focus has mainly been directed to the supply side. This means that the user perspective – in terms of companies and individual consumers – to a large extend has been neglected.

    Studies of production of technology and science and the economic use of these sources carried out in an interactive perspective, among others in the IMP and STS traditions, underlines that these processes occur according to rather different logics. As soon as technology and science is approached from a user perspective, some fundamental aspects are outlined. A basic reflection is that it is not the solution in itself, but its effects on existing economic resources in the using companies or individual consumers’ context that defines its value.

    Thus, the values of technology and science appear rather differently when approached from a user perspective; regardless if the users are industrial companies, distributors, retailers or individual consumers. The aim with the Oslo Symposium is to question the traditional focus on production of technology and science and to stimulate a discussion on the pictures that emerge when these sources are approached from a user perspective. What processes are behind companies and individual consumers’ economic use of technology and science? How does this use influence the production of technology and science? We believe that we need a more thorough understanding of both the supplying and using side in order to obtain a richer picture of the system as a whole.

    During the Oslo Symposium we want to discuss this theme more extensively. We would like to draw attention to how the use of technology and science appear from several different user perspectives; individual consumers, distributors, retailers, manufacturing companies etc. The ambition is to address research issues dealing with all aspects of the use of technology and science – including how the use influences the development of these sources of knowledge. How do the various user contexts influence the acceptance of new technologies as well as the economic results of innovation activities?


    Examples of topics that can be investigated are:

    · How can we conceptualize technological development from the using side?

    · Should there be new models for using technologies and the interface with producing technologies?

    · What theoretical frameworks can be potentially fruitful to enrich our understanding of using technologies?

    · What empirical examples of using technologies can we identify?

    The above-mentioned list of topics is suggestive and we gracefully accept any topics that you may want to add related to this theme.


    The Oslo Symposium is co-arranged by the NewMark project at the Department of Marketing at the Norwegian School of Management BI and Uppsala STS, Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Uppsala University. The symposium will be located nearby Oslo with its beautiful surroundings. Detailed information regarding the exact location of the seminar will be given later. For more information regarding Oslo, see

    The ambition with the Oslo symposium is to discuss the above-presented issues in an informal, creative and constructive atmosphere. All participants will contribute with first versions of full papers, which will be discussed during the symposium. Each participant is expected to read thoroughly one paper and be prepared to function as a discussant to that paper at the symposium. Based on the discussions at the symposium, all participants will be given more time to develop the papers into a finalized product. Besides creating deeper insights in the defined issues, the aim is to produce an international publication based on the contributions.


    Abstract/proposal July 10, 2005

    First version of full paper October 10, 2005

    Workshop on Using Technology October 28-30, 2005


    Information will be given later.


    The arrangers will cover travel expenses – economy class – and supply the necessary accommodation and meals during the seminar. The workshop is free of charge, however due to practical and financial reasons the numbers of participants are limited. We will select the participants based on the proposals and notification of acceptance will be given successively, but latest in early August. The proposal should not exceed five A4-pages, double-spaced, Times Roman, and 12 pt font size.

    Any questions can be addressed to Frans Prenkert, telephone +47 67 55 73 80 or via e-mail on the address below.

    Send your abstract/proposal, preferably as an attached Word-file to: before July 10.

    We hope to see you in Oslo in October!

    Frans Prenkert

    On behalf of the organizers


    Håkan Håkansson, BI Oslo Alexandra Waluszewski, Uppsala STS

    Frans Prenkert, BI, Oslo Enrico Baraldi, Uppsala STS

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