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Mission (im)possible? The role of innovation (and innovation policy) in supporting structural change & sustainability transitions

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  • Jan Fagerberg

    (TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo)

Abstract

The topics addressed in this paper concern the (much-needed) transition to sustainability, the structural changes it entails and what role (innovation) policy can play in speeding up such changes. While it is easy to argue that innovation must play an important role in the transition towards sustainability, it is more challenging to provide good models for how policy may help in mobilizing innovation for this purpose. Such models, it is argued, needs to be based on the accumulated knowledge base on the role of innovation in social and economic change. The paper therefore starts by distilling some important insights on innovation from the accumulated research on this topic, and, with this in mind, discusses various policy approaches that have been suggested for influencing innovation and sustainability transitions. To allow for a more in-depth discussion the paper then goes into more detail about three cases in which policy arguably had a large impact, namely renewable energy in Denmark and Germany and electric cars in Norway. The final part of the paper sums up the discussion about the role of (innovation) policies in sustainability transitions.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Fagerberg, 2018. "Mission (im)possible? The role of innovation (and innovation policy) in supporting structural change & sustainability transitions," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20180216, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tik:inowpp:20180216
    as

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    File URL: http://www.sv.uio.no/tik/InnoWP/tik_working_paper_20180216.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jakob Edler & Paul Cunningham & Abdullah Gök & Philip Shapira (ed.), 2016. "Handbook of Innovation Policy Impact," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 16121.
    2. Charles Edquist, 2011. "Design of innovation policy through diagnostic analysis: identification of systemic problems (or failures)," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(6), pages 1725-1753, December.
    3. Jakob Edler & Jan Fagerberg, 2017. "Innovation policy: what, why, and how," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(1), pages 2-23.
    4. Jakob Edler & Philip Shapira & Paul Cunningham & Abdullah Gök, 2016. "Conclusions: Evidence on the effectiveness of innovation policy intervention," Chapters, in: Jakob Edler & Paul Cunningham & Abdullah Gök & Philip Shapira (ed.), Handbook of Innovation Policy Impact, chapter 18, pages 543-564, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Dietmar Braun, 2008. "Lessons on the political coordination of knowledge and innovation policies," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(4), pages 289-298, May.
    6. Edler, Jakob & Georghiou, Luke, 2007. "Public procurement and innovation--Resurrecting the demand side," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 949-963, September.
    7. Dosi, Giovanni, 1993. "Technological paradigms and technological trajectories : A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 102-103, April.
    8. Edquist, Charles, 2011. "Innovation Policy Design: Identification of Systemic Problems," Papers in Innovation Studies 2011/6, Lund University, CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research.
    9. Jan Fagerberg, 2003. "Schumpeter and the revival of evolutionary economics: an appraisal of the literature," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 125-159, April.
    10. Jan Fagerberg, 2003. "Innovation: A Guide to the Literature," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20031012, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
    11. Bergek, Anna & Jacobsson, Staffan & Carlsson, Bo & Lindmark, Sven & Rickne, Annika, 2008. "Analyzing the functional dynamics of technological innovation systems: A scheme of analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 407-429, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fagerberg, Jan, 2018. "Mobilizing innovation for sustainability transitions: A comment on transformative innovation policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(9), pages 1568-1576.
    2. Mariana Mazzucato & Rainer Kattel & Josh Ryan-Collins, 2020. "Challenge-Driven Innovation Policy: Towards a New Policy Toolkit," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 421-437, June.
    3. Rainer Kattel & Mariana Mazzucato & Keno Haverkamp & Josh Ryan-Collins, 2020. "Industriestrategie der nächsten Generation für Deutschland," Wirtschaftsdienst, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 100(10), pages 757-762, October.
    4. Florina Pînzaru & Adina Săniuță & Bianca Roxana Sălăgeanu, 2022. "Managing innovation for sustainability in public administration: the challenges of capacity-building," Nowoczesne Systemy Zarządzania. Modern Management Systems, Military University of Technology, Faculty of Security, Logistics and Management, Institute of Organization and Management, issue 3, pages 65-80.
    5. Cristina Chaminade & Filippo Randelli, 2020. "The Role of Territorially Embedded Innovation Ecosystems Accelerating Sustainability Transformations: A Case Study of the Transformation to Organic Wine Production in Tuscany (Italy)," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(11), pages 1-13, June.

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