Innovation Policy: How can it best make a difference?

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The role of innovation policy
Research has documented the impact of innovation on industrial and wider economic development (Fagerberg et al. 2010) and today innovation policy is invariably linked to economic growth in general (OECD 2007) and long-term, sustainable growth in particular (OECD 2010; European Commission 2015). Innovation policy is now discussed as a separate policy and academic field (Christensen and Fagerberg 2016) but it is important to bear in mind that the discussion on a pro-active or re-active innovation policy is also part of a current, broader discussion on the role of the state; to what extent the state should intervene, and if it should have an initiating or a supporting role.
The development of the understanding of how the innovation process unfolds and which factors influence innovation has had an impact on innovation policy. This regards not only the often discussed implications of moving from an understanding of innovation as a linear process towards a more systemic and interactive model (Lundvall 2007; Edquist 2011; 2014), but also that innovation is now embedded in a different context than a few years back. Nevertheless, holistic innovation policies have relatively low status and legitimization compared to other, more established policies (Edquist, 2014). Moreover, the scope and scale of problems that innovation is expected to address has expanded. Societal challenges like climate change have e.g. been seen as something that will get closer to a solution by way of introducing more innovation into the energy production and consumption (Criscuolo and Menon 2015). The papers included in this issue contribute with different types of answers to the question of how innovation policy can best make a difference.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIndustry and Innovation
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)135-139
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016

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