Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

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

No 2013/28: Competence Building: A Systemic Approach to Innovation Policy

Susana Borrás () and Charles Edquist ()
Additional contact information
Susana Borrás: Department of Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark And CIRCLE, Lund University, Sweden
Charles Edquist: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: The main question that guides this paper is how governments are focusing (and must focus) on competence building (education and training) when designing and implementing innovation policies. With this approach, the paper aims at filling the gap between the existing literature on competences on the one hand, and the real world of innovation policy-making on the other, typically not speaking to each other. With this purpose in mind, this paper discusses the role of competences and competence-building in the innovation process from a perspective of innovation systems; it examines how governments and public agencies in different countries and different times have actually approached the issue of building, maintaining and using competences in their innovation systems; it examines what are the critical and most important issues at stake from the point of view of innovation policy, looking particularly at the unresolved tensions and systemic unbalances related to competences in the system; and last but not least, it elaborates a set of overall criteria for the selection and design of relevant policy instruments addressing those tensions and unbalances.

Keywords: Innovation system; innovation policy; public policy instruments; Knowledge; R&D; learning; skills; training; education; competences; competence building; innovation policy instruments

JEL-codes: L38; M38; O25; O30; O31; O32; O33; O38

29 pages, November 19, 2013

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201328_Borras&Edquist.pdf PDF-file 

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