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Valorisation: is that even a word?

Comment on: Stakeholder consultation on the guiding principles for knowledge valorisation,

Valorisation is a term used, in German, by Marx. It means value-adding activities that increase the value of capital through labour. Therein lies the rub of course, as traditionally that means exploitation of labour for the owners of capital. (Piketty may weigh in here).

It is one of those words loved by Eurocrats which sounds like it means something when it likely doesn’t or is misused in context. The best substitute is the well-established ‘value add’, so we go back to Porter’s value chain. In science, I’d prefer to capture value creation through the better understand research translation process and commercialisation and metrics such as patents per millions of currency units, rather than papers published per x (q.v. Milken on this). That avoids a cynical notion of commercialisation of research as solely about market share and profits by solving a problem (i.e. novel innovation) which is value extraction from the underlying science. Scientists/universities are not that good at doing this, which is why few universities earn more from tech transfer which is just one way to signal value.