Presentation on theme: "Dynamics of Innovation Systems"— Presentation transcript:
1 Dynamics of Innovation Systems Marko HekkertSimona NegroUtrecht UniversityDepartment of innovation and environmental sciences
2 Innovation systems is powerful heuristic framework Highlights the systemic nature of innovation processesNo innovation in isolationVery well diffused under policy makersIt has potential to contribute to ‘system innovations for sustainable development’
3 However, it is still associated with conceptual diffuseness System boundaries are problematicDefinition of institutions variesMost of all: it lacks rigor; it is hardly fit to come up with specific hypothesis about specific variables in the innovation system.So: it needs to be improved
4 One way to increase rigor and specificity is relating it to general systems theory (Edquist 2005) Natural science approach for studying (dynamics of) systemsOne of the characteristics of a ‘system’ is that it has a function; it is performing or achieving somethingThe main function of an innovation system (what is supposed to achieve) is the generation and diffusion of innovations.The term ‘function’ should not be read as functionalism in the sociology sense
5 Several authors study IS in relation to the (sub)functions of the IS that they consider important. These functions relate to what needs to be achieved by (in) the system to create and diffuse innovation
6 This cumulative outcome can be studied. The way a certain system function is fulfilled is determined by many activities of agents and by different institutionsThese agents do not act purposely to fulfill a system’s function, but act based on strategies to meet their own (or public) needs.Free will but also bounded by institutional settingsThe way all these activities cumulate determines the functioning of the innovation systemThis cumulative outcome can be studied.
7 This line of research is important since Different scholars have picked up this way of studying innovation systemsThis line of research is important sinceIt provides a starting point for formal hypotheses about innovation system functioning in relation to innovation outputIt provides a theory on IS dynamics: Virtuous and vicious cycles.
9 Problem 1: Different lists of functions are used in literature Problem 2: detailed mapping method to map function interactionGoal of our paper:Testing one set of system functionsTesting whether cycles really take placeStudying which type of interactions often take place / reoccurring patterns
10 Method: event history analysis / process method 10 cases analyzed (all sustainable technological innovation systems)
11 System FunctionsBiomass Digestion NLBiomass Digestion DBiomass GasificationBiomass CombustionBiofuelsPVTotal % per SFFunction 1:Entrepreneurial Activities12211192013Function 2:Knowledge Development2281730Function 3:Knowledge Diffusion144528Function 4:Guidance of the Search2725343740Function 5:Market Formation124Function 6:Resource Mobilisation63Function 7:Advocacy Coalition
12 Also based on the 6 narratives, we conclude that all seven functions are important factors that strongly influence IS dynamics.
13 Virtuous and vicious cycles Strongly groing IS show continuous process of positive interaction between system funtionsSometimes temporal vicious cycles take place, but are quickly terminated / taken over by virtuous cyclesMore problematic functioning IS show alternating cycles; virtuous – vicious.Some developments end due to vicious cyclesPoorly functioning IS show hardly any positive interaction between SF. Also over large time periods several functions are missing
14 Trends / Reoccurring patterns Very preliminary resultsGuidance very important: often starting point of IS dynamics, often also starting point of new vrituous cycleGuidance often leads to (soft) knowledge development (via resources formation). Then whole range of different patternsEntrepreneurial activities have a pivotal role in IS. Many other functions lead to EA but in turn also many SF are triggered by EA.Legitimation / lobby / advocacy coalitions proved to be critical in changing existing legislation / creating alignment – requires well organised entrepreneursMarket formation is often final barrier / driver
15 ImplicationsMore insights in these patterns may help to improve innovation policy – now instruments often strongly financially dominated (Anna Wieczorek)May help to improve entrepreneurial strategies – provides insights in how to include the IS in business / innovation strategy