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Mobilizing innovation for sustainability transitions: A comment on transformative innovation policy

Jan Fagerberg ()

Research Policy, 2018, vol. 47, issue 9, 1568-1576

Abstract: The topics addressed in this paper concern the (much-needed) transition to sustainability and what role (innovation) policy can play in speeding up such changes. In their Discussion Paper Schot and Steinmueller (2018) argue that the existing theorizing and knowledge bases within the field of innovation studies are “unfit” for this task and that a totally new approach is required. This paper takes issue with this claim. Policy advice, it is argued, needs to be anchored in the accumulated research on the issue at hand, in this case, innovation. The paper therefore starts by distilling some important insights on innovation from the accumulated research on this topic and, with this in mind, considers various policy approaches that have been suggested for influencing innovation and sustainability transitions. Finally, the lessons for the development and implementation of transformative innovation policy are considered. It is concluded that the existing theorizing and knowledge base in innovation studies may be of great relevance when designing policies for dealing with climate change and sustainability transitions.

Keywords: Transformative innovation policy; Mission-oriented policy; Innovation system; Climate change; Sustainability; Transition (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Research Policy is currently edited by M. Bell, B. Martin, W.E. Steinmueller, A. Arora, M. Callon, M. Kenney, S. Kuhlmann, Keun Lee and F. Murray

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