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1 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Innovation and sustainability transitions in regional innovation systems NORSI/PING PhD course ‘Innovation Systems, Clusters.

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Presentation on theme: "1 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Innovation and sustainability transitions in regional innovation systems NORSI/PING PhD course ‘Innovation Systems, Clusters."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Innovation and sustainability transitions in regional innovation systems NORSI/PING PhD course ‘Innovation Systems, Clusters and Innovation Policy’ Lars Coenen CIRCLE & NIFU, Oslo

2 2 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Overview of lecture The sustainability imperative Ecological modernization What are sustainability transitions? Multi-Level Perspective Technological Innovation Systems Empirical illustration

3 3 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T The sustainability imperative

4 4 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T The sustainability imperative Source: Ecofys

5 5 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T The sustainability imperative Climate policy and innovation policy: friends or foes? Is innovation policy only about economic growth? What kind of innovation policy for sustainable development?

6 6 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Greening Innovation Systems through Ecological modernization Ecological modernization: readaptation of industrial society within the boundaries of earth’s carrying capacity by modern means such as scientific knowledge, advanced technology, capitalist systems of production and consumption (Mol, Spaargaren) Technology as a solution, not a problem Porter hypothesis: stringent environmental regulation > improved competitiveness Pioneering countries & Lead markets Multinational companies

7 7 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Critisism on ecological modernization No real theory rather a meta-narrative (Gibbs, 2006) – Technological determinism – Lacks theory of change and governance (bias towards corporatist relationships between government & industry) – Lacks a theory of power relations (opposition)

8 8 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T A definition of ’transition’ Co-evolution towards system innovations through new technology, changes in markets, user pratices, policy and cultural discourses, and governing institutions (Geels, Hekkert and Jacobsson, 2008) (1) co-evolution and multiple changes in socio-technical systems or configurations (2) multi-actor interactions between social groups such as firms, user groups, scientific communities, policy makers, social movements and special interest groups (3) ‘radical’ change in terms of scope of change (not speed) (4) long-term processes covering years.

9 9 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Sustainability Transitions: an emerging field of scholarship (courtesy of B. Truffer) A burgeoning field of research (Markard et al., 2012) – Environmental innovations (products, technologies, lifestyles) – Sectoral transformation processes & emerging industries – Core concepts Process: Social construction, evolution Structures: Systemic interactions Policies: Transition Management

10 10 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Theoretical origins (Economic) Evolutionary theory (Nelson, Winter, Dosi): – Change as a process of variation, selection and retention – Dominant design (Abarnathy & Utterback) – Incremental, radical and paradigmatic innovation Institutional theory (North, Scott, Hodgson) – Innovation as inter-organizational process / embedded agency – Organizations are guided by institutions which results in mimicry, conformity and lock-in Science and Technology Studies (Bijker, Latour) – Social construction of technology – Actor Network Theory

11 11 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Socio-Technical System (Geels, 2004)

12 12 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Socio-technical transitions: multi level perspective (Geels, 2004)

13 13 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Socio-technical regimes (Kemp et al. 1998) A socio-technical regime is defined as `the coherent complex of scientific knowledge, engineering practices, production process technologies, product characteristics, skills and procedures, established user needs, regulatory requirements, institutions and infrastructures that make up the totality of a technology‘’ A regime pre-defines the variation and selection environment for an innovation Helps explain why most change is non-radical and geared to regime optimization Constitutes a major barrier for new technology

14 14 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Example regime Courtesy: Bernhard Truffer

15 15 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Niche Niches: protected spaces in which actors learn about novel technologies and their uses and that nurture novelty and protect radical innovations against mainstream market selection – Military demand – Early markets – Demonstration experiments – Living labs

16 16 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Multi-level perspective: path dependence versus path creation (Geels & Schot, 2006) Reproduction of regime: business as usual Transformation path: the regime adapts to landscape pressures without being threathened by niches Technological substitution: the existing regime is replaced by a sufficiently strong niche Reconfiguration: partial replacement of elements if the regime by niche De-alignment & re-alignment: in case of multiple niches

17 17 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Transition policy: Strategic Niche Management (Raven, 2005)  technical development: design specifications and required complementary technology  user context: user characteristics, requirements, meanings and barriers to use  societal and environmental impact  industrial development: production and maintenance  government policy and regulatory framework.

18 18 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Geographical critique on Multi Level Perspective Obscured scalar dimensions: Risk of conflating levels & scales (particularly in empirical applications of MLP) Overlooking important differences between scales and the proximity advantages / disadvantages involved in local-global transitions. Institutions / rules are treated as footlose Implicit focus on country-specific regimes

19 19 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T ’Niche upscaling’ regime, landscape T1 regime, landscape T2

20 20 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Potential trading zones with RIS RIS <> history matters Emergence (path creation) and renewal (path deviation) EEG exclusively focused on firm-based routines and competences Emergence: – Non-firms actors (social movement, academia, public sector organizations) – Mindful deviation / institutional entrepreneurship Renewal: – Related variety, branching & localization advantages – Primary supply-side focused – Relative neglect of demand-side factors & institutional change

21 21 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Policy implications Clean tech, the next ’tech’ fantasy? Transition policy <> broad innovation policy Localized user-producer learning through niche experimentation (public procurement) Social innovation (purpose and process) Lockin as a multiscalar, multidimensional process (see also Grabher, Hassink)

22 22 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T TIS: framework for analyzing the emergence and formation of new technology (Bergek et al., 2008)

23 23 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T TIS: example

24 24 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Trading zones RIS and TIS RIS: ’inventory-like descriptions of regional systems, with a tendency to focus on a static landscape of actors and institutions, rather than of functions, roles and relationships’ (Uyarra, 2010) Functional analysis of RIS – Transfer functions from cognate IS approaches – Derive a specific set of activities to construct RIS

25 25 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Systemic failures and policy (Weber and Rohracher, 2012) Structural system failures: Institutional failure Network failure Capabilities failure Transformational system failures: Directionality failure Demand articulation failure Policy coordination failure

26 26 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T TIS: geographical critique Many empirical TIS analyses implicitly focus on national TIS – An insufficient elaboration of coupling structures between TIS and (specific) territorial innovation systems (Garud & Karnøe, 2003; Dewald & Truffer, 2010) Search for ‘universal’ mechanisms to explain TIS dynamics – Spatial configuration of technological innovation system may leverage or inhibit system performance

27 27 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Spatial gap in transition research Scale – Multi-level & multi-scalar perspective on sustainability transitions – How do transition pathways unfold over time and space? Emergence of new socio-technical configurations (niche / TIS) – Technological niches & upscaling: regions & cities as primary sites for niche experimentation & new industry formation – To what extent does emergence profit from proximity advantages? Spatial embedding of socio-technical regimes – Focus on regional & national variety in socio-technical regimes – Institutional comparative advantage – To what extent does the uneven distribution of regime forces open up for transformative windows of opportunity? Source: Coenen et al. (2012); Truffer and Coenen (2012)

28 28 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Biorefinery Örnsköldsvik

29 29 L U N D S U N I V E R S I T E T Biorefinery transition from a spatial perspective Scale – Local demonstration project – Upscaling through global networks – Multi-scalar policy environment Emergence of new socio-technical configurations (niche / TIS) – Lateral knowledge flows facilitated by proximity – Local initiative ‘held hostage’ by higher level institutions Spatial embedding of socio-technical regimes – Biorefinery initiative and the legacy of biofuel policy in Sweden – Swedish paper and pulp industry has a strategic interest in biorefining to remain competitive


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