Mobilizing innovation for sustainability transitions: A comment on transformative innovation policy

J. Fagerberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The topics addressed in this paper concern the (much-needed) transition to sustainability and what role (innovation) policy can play in speeding up such changes. In their Discussion Paper Schot and Steinmueller (2018) argue that the existing theorizing and knowledge bases within the field of innovation studies are “unfit” for this task and that a totally new approach is required. This paper takes issue with this claim. Policy advice, it is argued, needs to be anchored in the accumulated research on the issue at hand, in this case, innovation. The paper therefore starts by distilling some important insights on innovation from the accumulated research on this topic and, with this in mind, considers various policy approaches that have been suggested for influencing innovation and sustainability transitions. Finally, the lessons for the development and implementation of transformative innovation policy are considered. It is concluded that the existing theorizing and knowledge base in innovation studies may be of great relevance when designing policies for dealing with climate change and sustainability transitions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1568-1576
Number of pages9
JournalResearch Policy
Volume47
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

JEL classifications

  • q56 - "Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth"
  • o31 - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Innovation system
  • Mission-oriented policy
  • Sustainability
  • Transformative innovation policy
  • Transition
  • Knowledge based systems
  • Sustainable development
  • Innovation policies
  • Innovation studies
  • Knowledge basis
  • Mission-oriented
  • Policy approach
  • Sustainability transition
  • MANAGEMENT
  • CHALLENGES
  • ENERGY TRANSITIONS
  • FRAMEWORK
  • DYNAMICS
  • MULTILEVEL PERSPECTIVE
  • SYSTEMS
  • TECHNOLOGY
  • INDUSTRIAL-POLICY
  • INSIGHTS

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