The Actors and the Dynamics of Innovation

This axis examines the dynamics of technological innovation for social, commercial or scientific purposes in order to generate a wide-ranging and multidisciplinary reflexion on the meaning of the verbs "innovate", "create" and "use". This Axis focuses on the link between industrial innovation and use innovation as expressed in the phenomena of appropriation and/or co-construction in the workplace and in civil society, phenomena that reveal the malleability of technological devices that affect as much the economy as they do scientific discussion and public mobilization and advocacy.

By linking objects of study that are usually separated (management of innovation, communications, information science), CIRST’s projects promote a wider reflection on the changing conditions of innovation and its dissemination. Technological dispositifs are presented not as finished products or as the fruit of a linear process, but as the results of constructions and unplanned collective reconstructions with significant economic, sociopolitical and scientific impacts.


Major research themes


The impact of digital technologies and the increased circulation of information on various types of industrial, social or organizational innovation, a central issue both in management sciences (most notably with regards to the concept of open innovation) and in communication studies. CIRST approaches this problem in a multidisciplinary fashion from three different angles.

3.1.1    The characterization of emerging, non-linear mechanisms of collaboration, dissemination and relocation of industrial innovations in high-technology sectors (aerospace, biotechnology) in order to identify the impact of networks and politico-industrial ecosystems on the success of innovations or on the attitude of firms. In this approach, the synergy between CIRST, OST and the C. Beaudry  Chair will draw together an extensive theoretical program and case studies on the determinants of industrial innovation, such as the governance of digital technologies and the internationalisation of firms.

3.1.2    The study of the appropriation of technologies by members of civil society or in the context of the workplace, leading to co-design or collaborative innovation by the users, in areas of activity usually viewed as distinct (civil society, office work), but that at CIRST contribute to a dialog on the impact of digital technology on the production of knowledge and new practices and on the malleability of these technologies.

3.1.3    Reflexions on the practical and conceptual future of the idea of "social acceptance" that are as marked by the potential uses of co-construction and participatory evaluation in the facilitation of high-technology projects, as they are by the overtaking of this notion by the idea currently accepted in the global arena of "responsible technological innovation" in the fields of nanomedicine and climate change. All of this will be examined in the context of a broader general reflection on the regulation of new technologies.

Researchers: F. Armellini, C. Beaudry, G. Blum, C. Bonneau, A. Gentzoglanis, L. Heaton, E. Lachapelle, G. Latzko-Toth, R. Leonard, F. Millerand, F.-X. Olleros, M.-H. Parizeau, S. Veilleux, M. Zhegu


The adoption and use of digital technologies in the world of academic research. The real impact of digital technologies on the strategies of individual researchers and research institutions is currently the subject of wide-ranging, open-ended discussions of great significance for future research policies. At CIRST, this question is the subject of a collaboration between researchers in communications ans scientometrics and bibliometrics that combines in an original way qualitative and quantitative approaches. This collaboration takes two forms.

3.2.1    The analysis of the growing use by academic researchers of alternative publication platforms – whose magnitude awaits evaluation - as well as its effect on the circulation of information, communicational behaviors, and the displacement of scholarly discussions toward more informal fora.

3.2.2    The evaluation of the impact of digital technologies on the future of science policy. This includes a number of issues that range from scholarly communication and access to science to the role of cyberinfrastructures (databases, distance education) and the increased ease of research practices which themselves run the gamut from partnership to fraud.

Researchers: F. Bouchard, Y. Gingras, L. Heaton, V. Larivière, F. Millerand, M. Zhegu

Updated 15 February 2017 at 10 h 21 min.