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Roles of Systemic Intermediaries in Transition Processes

Harro van Lente (), Marko Hekkert, Ruud Smits and Bas van Waveren
Additional contact information
Harro van Lente: Department of Innovation Studies, Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development and Innovation, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80068, NL-3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands
Marko Hekkert: Department of Innovation Studies, Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development and Innovation, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80068, NL-3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands
Ruud Smits: Department of Innovation Studies, Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development and Innovation, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80068, NL-3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands
Bas van Waveren: Department of Innovation Studies, Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development and Innovation, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80068, NL-3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands

International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), 2003, vol. 07, issue 03, 247-279

Abstract: We note the emergence of a new type of intermediary organization, which functions at system or network level, in contrast to traditional intermediary organizations that operate mainly bilaterally. These "systemic intermediaries" are important in long-term and complex changes, such as "transitions" to sustainable development, which require the coordinated effort of industry, policy makers, research institutes and others. We use the Systems of Innovation approach to characterize the roles of traditional and systemic intermediary organizations. A review of recent changes in innovation systems points to the need of more systemic efforts, such as the articulation of needs and options, the alignment of relevant actors and the support of learning processes. In a phase model of transitions additional roles of systemic intermediaries are identified. A case study of the Californian Fuel Cell Partnership shows how the efforts of systemic intermediaries in encompassing systemic innovations are useful and necessary, but not sufficient.

Keywords: Intermediary organisation; innovation system; innovation policy; energy policy; sustainability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2003
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DOI: 10.1142/S1363919603000817

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