Coping with societal challenges: Lessons for innovation policy governance
Prof. Jan Fagerberg, UNU-MERIT & TIK-UiO
Grand societal challenges, such as global warming, can only be adequately dealt with through wide-ranging changes in technology, production and consumption, and ways of life, that is, through innovation. Furthermore, change will involve a variety of sectors or parts of the economy and society, and these change processes must be sufficiently consistent in order to achieve the desired results. This poses huge challenges for policy-making. In this paper we particularly focus on implications for the governance of innovation policy, i.e., policies influencing a country’s innovation performance. Based on a systemic understanding of innovation and the factors shaping it, the paper highlights the need for effective coordination of policies influencing innovation and what changes in innovation policy governance that this may require. To throw further light on how this may be done in practice the paper discusses evidence on national innovation policy practice, from Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden, respectively, drawing on the country innovation policy reviews conducted by the OECD as well as other sources. It is concluded that for innovation policy to tackle societal challenges effectively, clearer goals and stronger and better coordination among the various actors – both public and private – whose actions matter for innovation performance will be required. Based on the experiences of the three countries the paper particularly considers the role that comprehensive and inclusive innovation policy councils, with the prime minister in a central role, may play in such a process.
About the speaker
Professor Jan Fagerberg is affiliated with the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture (TIK) at the University of Oslo. Previous affiliations include the Norwegian Ministry of Finance and the Norwegian Institute for Foreign Affairs (NUPI) and Aalborg University. Fagerberg studied history, political science and economics before he graduated from the University of Bergen in 1980 with a degree in economics. He holds a D. Phil. from the University of Sussex (1989), where he was at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU).
In his research Fagerberg has among other things focused on the relationship between technology (innovation and diffusion) on the one hand and competitiveness, economic growth and development on the other. He has also worked on innovation theory, innovation systems and innovation policy. Fagerberg has published extensively on these and other topics in books and journals. His research is widely cited and disseminated. He is among the 1% most downloaded authors worldwide in “economics and related sciences” through the REPEC service.
During the period 1996-1999 Fagerberg was one of the co-ordinators of a large European project “Technology, Economic Integration and Social Cohesion (TEIS)” funded by European Commission (in which more than 50 European researchers and 15 different institutions took part). This work resulted in 1999 in the publication of the book “The Economic Challenge for Europe: Adapting to Innovation Based Growth” (Elgar) edited by Fagerberg, Paolo Guerrieri and Bart Verspagen.
Another initiative of his was the TEARI project (2002-2004), supported by the European Commission, which aimed at producing an authoritative survey of the role of innovation in modern societies. This project led in 2004 to the publication of “The Oxford Handbook of Innovation” at Oxford University Press, edited by Fagerberg, David Mowery and Richard Nelson. The handbook has since reprinted several times and came in paperback in 2005. It is also published in Italian and Chinese editions.
Between 2003 and 2008 Fagerberg led a large scale research effort funded by the Norwegian Research Council on the working of the Norwegian innovation system, one of the outcomes of which was of which was the book “Innovation, Path Dependency and Policy: The Norwegian Case” (Oxford University Press 2009), edited by Fagerberg David Mowery and Bart Verspagen. In addition, during 2007-8, he headed a cross-disciplinary research group focusing on innovation at the Centre for Advanced Study (CAS), Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo. Around twenty scholars participated in activities during that year, and many more participated in the three international workshops organized by the group, leading to, among other things, special sections in the journals Research Policy and Industrial and Corporate Change (in 2011 and 2012, respectively).
Recently Fagerberg has been engaged in a number of activities intended to map our current knowledge about innovation and stimulate discussions about the future research agenda in this area. One such initiative was the EXPLORE project, carried out between 2009 and 2011 with support from the DIME network of excellence (financed by the European Commission). Results from this project, which tried to map the knowledge base of not only innovation-studies but also entrepreneurship-studies and STS, appeared in a special issue of Research Policy in 2012. At Ålborg University he was, with the support of the Danish OBEL foundation, responsible for a series of conferences about the future of innovation-studies, the first of which led to the publication of the book “Innovation Studies: Evolution and Future Challenges” (Oxford University Press 2013), edited by Fagerberg, Ben Martin, and Esben Sloth Andersen. A second book, “The Triple Challenge for Europe: Economic Development, Climate Change and Governance”, edited by Fagerberg, Staffan Laestadius and Ben Martin, was published by Oxford University Press in 2015.
Fagerberg is on the editorial boards of the journals “Evolutionary Economics”, “Industry and Innovation”, “Research Policy” and “Technology Analysis & Strategic Management”. He has been keynote speaker at numerous international conferences. Between 2004 and 2008 he was Vice-President of the Joseph Schumpeter Society. Fagerberg has been visiting professor at several foreign universities including the University of California San Diego, the Technical University of Lisbon (where he was a “Gulbenkian Professor”) and the University of Sussex. He has served on several committees in Norway and elsewhere, including the Norwegian Research Council and the European Science Foundation, and has been a consultant to the European Commission, the OECD and the United Nations. During 2009-2011 he served as chairman of a Norwegian governmental committee assessing the efficiency of public support to R&D (in the public and private sector). He also has extensive experience in teaching and supervision at the graduate and post-graduate level and has supervised eight PhDs.
Date: 19 December 2019
Time: 12:00 - 13:00 CET