Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2011/12: Linking scientific and practical knowledge in innovation systems

Arne Isaksen () and Magnus Nilsson ()
Additional contact information
Arne Isaksen: Dept of working life and innovation, Postal: University of Agder, Norway
Magnus Nilsson: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: New research indicates that firms combining the science-based STI (Science, Technology, Innovation) and the experience-based DUI (Doing, Using, Interacting) modes of innovation are more efficient when it comes to improving innovation capacity and competitiveness. With regard to innovation policy, the STI mode calls for a supply driven policy, typically aimed to commercialise research results. The DUI mode suggests a demand driven policy approach, such as supporting the development of new products or services to specific markets. This paper analyses how the two types of innovation policy and the two innovation modes can be combined in regional innovation systems. The analysis builds on studies of the food industry and related knowledge organisations in two counties, Rogaland County (Norway) and Skåne County (Sweden), and two policy initiatives (NCE Culinology and Skåne Food Innovation Network) aimed at strengthening the innovative capability of the regional innovation systems. The analysis indicates that policies aimed to link science and user driven innovation activity should focus on building absorptive capacity of DUI firms (e.g. through increased scientific competence) and implementation capacity of STI firms (e.g. through increased market and process competence).

Keywords: innovation policy; scientific knowledge; practical knowledge; regional innovation systems; food industry; Norway; Sweden

JEL-codes: O33; O38

30 pages, December 12, 2011

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201112_Isaksen_Nilsson.pdf PDF-file 

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