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Functions of innovation systems as a framework to understand sustainable technological change: empirical evidence for earlier claims

  • Marko P. Hekkert

    ()

  • Simona O. Negro

    ()

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    Understanding the emergence of innovation systems is recently put central in research analysing the process of technological change. Especially the key-activities that are important for the build up of an innovation system receive much attention. These are labeled ‘functions of innovation systems’. In most cases the authors apply this framework without questioning its validity. This paper builds on five empirical studies, related to renewable energy technologies, to test whether the functions of innovation systems framework is a valid framework to analyse processes of technological change. We test the claim that a specific set of functions is suitable. We also test whether the claim made in previous publications that the interactions between system functions accelerate innovation system emergence and growth is valid. Both claims are confirmed.

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    File URL: http://www.geo.uu.nl/isu/pdf/isu0810.pdf
    File Function: Version April 2008
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    Paper provided by Utrecht University, Department of Innovation Studies in its series Innovation Studies Utrecht (ISU) working paper series with number 08-10.

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    Date of creation: Apr 2008
    Date of revision: Apr 2008
    Handle: RePEc:uis:wpaper:0810
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.uu.nl/faculty/geosciences/EN/research/institutesandgroups/researchinstitutes/copernicusinstitute/research/Innovation/Pages/default.aspx

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    1. Jacobsson, Staffan & Johnson, Anna, 2000. "The diffusion of renewable energy technology: an analytical framework and key issues for research," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 625-640, July.
    2. Liu, Xielin & White, Steven, 2001. "Comparing innovation systems: a framework and application to China's transitional context," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1091-1114, August.
    3. Smith, Adrian & Stirling, Andy & Berkhout, Frans, 2005. "The governance of sustainable socio-technical transitions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1491-1510, December.
    4. Geels, Frank W., 2002. "Technological transitions as evolutionary reconfiguration processes: a multi-level perspective and a case-study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1257-1274, December.
    5. Staffan Jacobsson & Anna Bergek, 2004. "Transforming the energy sector: the evolution of technological systems in renewable energy technology," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(5), pages 815-849, October.
    6. Malerba, Franco, 2002. "Sectoral systems of innovation and production," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 247-264, February.
    7. van der Laak, W.W.M. & Raven, R.P.J.M. & Verbong, G.P.J., 2007. "Strategic niche management for biofuels: Analysing past experiments for developing new biofuel policies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 3213-3225, June.
    8. Negro, Simona O. & Hekkert, Marko P. & Smits, Ruud E., 2007. "Explaining the failure of the Dutch innovation system for biomass digestion--A functional analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 925-938, February.
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