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Innovation Regimes and Institutional Reflexivity Innovation, Institutions and Path Dependency: The Management of Variation and Diversity in Innovation.

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Presentation on theme: "Innovation Regimes and Institutional Reflexivity Innovation, Institutions and Path Dependency: The Management of Variation and Diversity in Innovation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Innovation Regimes and Institutional Reflexivity Innovation, Institutions and Path Dependency: The Management of Variation and Diversity in Innovation Systems International Workshop Series System Innovations for Sustainable Development, Workshop No. 2, Zurich, 15–18 April 2007 Daniel Barben Arizona State University

2 15–18 April 2007, ZurichSystem Innovations Workshop Daniel Barben 2 Background System innovations for sustainable development require Coordinated change – they do not occur automatically; Institutional reflexivity, i.e. capacities to evaluate, anticipate, and learn Innovation system analysis and management require Multi-level approach including national, organizational, sectoral, and technological levels, among others; Self-reflexive capacities relating to scope and perspective of what innovation and sustainability mean

3 15–18 April 2007, ZurichSystem Innovations Workshop Daniel Barben 3 Overview 1.Notion of innovation regime 2.Innovation regimes, institutional reflexivity and sustainability – example biotechnology 3.Regime change: challenges and opportunities 4.Conclusion regarding comparative analysis

4 15–18 April 2007, ZurichSystem Innovations Workshop Daniel Barben 4 1.Innovation systems – innovation regimes Innovation systems: predominantly Focused on economic performance and innovativeness; Shaped by Evolutionary and Institutional Economics; Conceptualized in terms of system analysis Innovation regimes: Focused on societal ecology of innovations; Building on a variety of social science perspectives; Conceptualized in terms of structuration analysis

5 15–18 April 2007, ZurichSystem Innovations Workshop Daniel Barben 5 Notion of regime Social structures as result and precondition of action; Extend in time, i.e. are stable though never fixed; Often characterized by relations of power; Combine institutional, technological, discursive, and practical dimensions; Build across various domains of society, e.g. the economy, science, politics, law, and culture; To be specified by particular institutional forms, i.e. principles and norms, rules and procedures

6 15–18 April 2007, ZurichSystem Innovations Workshop Daniel Barben 6 2.Innovation, reflexivity and sustainability Innovation regime: Functions: - Generate marketable innovations (product, process); - Innovation-oriented configuration of academic R&D, companies, government policies, and societal conditions Institutional forms: - As provided by modern, capitalist societies (e.g., differentiation of institutional domains); - Innovation linked with intellectual property rights, risk regulation, ethics, and forms of application and use; - At local, regional, national, supranational, and international levels, plus transnational dynamics

7 15–18 April 2007, ZurichSystem Innovations Workshop Daniel Barben 7 Institutional reflexivity: Functions: - Evaluate and anticipate events, actions and effects; - Learn from experiences, i.e. adapt and transform Institutional forms: - Markets: utility, costs and profits of products and processes offered; - Companies: own offerings and competitors; consumer demands and institutional/societal developments - Science and engineering: state-of-the-art and trends; values in science and society - Governments: own S&T policy and competitors; policies affecting innovations in society (e.g., patenting, risk regulation, and ethics regulation)

8 15–18 April 2007, ZurichSystem Innovations Workshop Daniel Barben 8 Sustainable development: Functions: - Evaluate environmental, economic, and social impacts; - Reorientation toward goals of long-term survival Institutional forms: - Markets: emerging niche or mass markets; government policies and regulations; citizen and NGO campaigns - Companies: new business opportunities; adapt to new policy and socio-cultural environments; - Science and engineering: inventions for solving problems of non-sustainability and new products - Governments: complement competitiveness-oriented policies with sustainability-related criteria - NGOs: policies in the public and private interest

9 15–18 April 2007, ZurichSystem Innovations Workshop Daniel Barben 9 Example: biotechnology Innovation regime – institutional reflexivity? International organizations and regimes: - OECD, among others: promoting future key technology; - Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD): modifying the access to and use of genetic resources; - Risk management: WTO vs. Biosafety Protocol: hierarchy? - Patenting: TRIPS vs. CBD, FAO: limitations of ownership? - Ethics: Council of Europe, UNESCO: principles? National innovation regimes in transnational competition: Actors generating, regulating, and appropriating biotech Cross-sectoral technology: Medicine, agriculture/foods, raw materials, energy, environment, process engineering etc.: what sustainability?

10 15–18 April 2007, ZurichSystem Innovations Workshop Daniel Barben 10 Sustainability: Contested claims about sustainability of biotechnology: - Limits to growth: biotechnology as solution to global problems vs. new source of problems? - Ag biotech: by definition non-sustainable (NGOs) vs. environmental benefits (agribusiness) Principles of risk regulation: promoting sustainability by - Precautionary principle regarding risk uncertainties? - Monitoring GM throughout production and distribution? - Labeling of GM/GM-free products on market? Configuration of needs, challenges, and opportunities at international, EU, national, regional and local levels?

11 15–18 April 2007, ZurichSystem Innovations Workshop Daniel Barben Regime change: challenges and opportunities Biodiversity: - International: UN Earth Summit 1992: CBD regime - National/local: protection and use of genetic resources; equitable benefit sharing: e.g., technology transfer Continuing rapid loss of biodiversity, demands to protect biodiversity as such (beyond sustainable use) Climate change: - International: UN Earth Summit 1992: Framework Convention; Kyoto Protocol etc.: goals and instruments - National/local: antagonistic approaches to the science and policies of global warming Emerging new demands to adapt and change, political alliances, businesses and markets, and ways of life

12 15–18 April 2007, ZurichSystem Innovations Workshop Daniel Barben 12 Mobility: - Global circulation of goods in production and distribution, and of people in business and leisure travel; - National and local connectivity to global/regional economy; divergent combinations of private & public mobility providers Demands to regionalize production, distribution, and travel, and to change foundations of fossil-based mobility Energy: - Increasing global demand for energy; - National and local growth/development strategies coupled with increasing energy use Demands to reduce use of energy, and to change foundations of fossil-based energy system

13 15–18 April 2007, ZurichSystem Innovations Workshop Daniel Barben 13 4.Conclusions Challenges to regime change: - Interdependent problems, with uneven local causation; mutually reinforcing effects, with uneven local distribution; - Interrelated infrastructures, modes of production and innovation, and ways of life Innovation regime analysis, management and governance: - Distinguish innovativeness and sustainable innovations, and neoliberal and comprehensive sustainability; - How to achieve improved institutional reflexivity, given the multiplicity of levels, institutions, and actors? Comparative studies of regime plasticity, i.e. technological variation and diversity supporting sustainability


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