Science and technology (S&T) are key global resources for wealth and job creation and for shared prosperity at home and abroad. The impact of S&T on economic development is a result of complex processes involving the interaction of business, academia, and government. National and regional innovation systems impact the effective and efficient generation, application or use, and diffusion of S&T. Increasing interest in these processes has motivated creative and innovative research and practice across a wide range of businesses and academic disciplines – from management, marketing, engineering, and economics to public policy, sociology, history, and law.

The main objective of this series of international conferences on Technology Policy and Innovation is to bring together leading representatives of academic, business, and government sectors worldwide to present and discuss current and future issues of critical importance for using science and technology to foster regional economic development and shared prosperity at home and abroad, as described at http://in3.dem.ist.utl.pt/confpolicy/. Multidisciplinary perspectives are encouraged to provide state-of-the-art and useful knowledge to decision makers in both the private and public sectors – including informed and effective education, business, and government policies and strategies for the global, knowledge economy.

The 1st International Conference on Technology Policy and Innovation was held in Macau, off the coast of China, July 2-4, 1997, with the theme 21st Century Opportunities and Challenges for Science, Technology and Innovation Policy. The 2nd international conference was held in Lisbon, Portugal, August 3-5, 1998, with the theme Knowledge for Inclusive Development. The 3rd Conference was held in Austin, Texas, August 30-September 2, 1999, with the theme Global Knowledge Partnerships: Creating Value for the 21st Century. The 4th Conference was held in Curitiba, Brazil, in August 2000, focusing on "Learning and knowledge networks for development". And, in 2001, the 5th Conference will be held in Delft, the Netherlands, and will give emphasis on "Critical Infrastructures". For 2002, the 6th Conference, KANSAI 2002. will emphasize “Integrating Regional and Global Initiatives in the Learning Society”. As knowledge increasingly becomes a key strategic resource for regional as well as national economic development, there is a need to enhance our understanding of the barriers and incentives—in developed, developing, and emerging regions worldwide—for effective knowledge generation, transfer, application or use, and diffusion.