In April Markus M. Bugge from TIK (University of Oslo) gave a talk at REDINN webinar. His topic was the role of the public sector in the transition to a more sustainable society. In particular, he focused on the opportunities and leverage that exists in the interaction between the regional and the national level.
The background for Bugges presentation was a study on electric ferries he was part of: The role of regional innovation systems in mission-oriented innovation policy: exploring the problem-solution space in electrification of maritime transport. He wrote this with Allan Dahl Andersen and Markus Steen, and it was published in European Planning Studies last year.
Three phases of innovation policies
Markus started his presentation with how innovation policies has gone through three phases, starting with the linear innovation based on how science pushed innovations forward, to a system based approach where feedback loops and market sensitivity was introduced. The third phase, as we experience it today, shows an innovation policy that has shifted towards a transformative change and has ambitions of challenging the system. This is a response to the great challenges we face as a society.
In their study, Markus and his collaborators, look at how car ferries have moved to a more sustainable electric platform. They analysed how the regional innovation system worked together to find a sustainable and competitive solution. In the conclusion they write “… the case demonstrates how mission-oriented innovation can be accommodated and strengthened when there is a fit between mission solution and the existing regional knowledge base and industrial specialization”.
The presentation spurred an interesting debate, where among other things the role of public procurement was discussed.