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Innovative Potential in Hungarian Agricultural Biotechnology and the Evolution of Networks

Huzair, F

Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology   2 (2) Article 3

August 2008   (Published online August 2008)

The ban on commercial GMO cultivation in Hungary suggests a scenario in which scientific progress may decline and innovative potential may thus deteriorate. There is the added difficulty of greatly reduced funding and the loss of expertise that accompany fiscal austerity measures. However, initial findings from recent fieldwork suggest that science and innovative potential have not been 'stopped in their 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 effects of the evolving regulatory framework on innovative capability are 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.