Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

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

No 2015/13: Innovation Policy for Grand Challenges. An Economic Geography Perspective

Lars Coenen (), Teis Hansen () and Josephine V. Rekers ()
Additional contact information
Lars Coenen: CIRCLE, Lund University
Teis Hansen: Department of Human Geography and CIRCLE, Lund University
Josephine V. Rekers: Department of Human Geography and CIRCLE, Lund University

Abstract: Grand challenges such as climate change, ageing societies and food security feature prominently on the agenda of policymakers at all scales, from the EU down to local and regional authorities. These are challenges that require the input and collaboration of a diverse set of societal stakeholders to combe different sources of knowledge in new and useful ways – a process that has occupied the minds of economic geographers looking at innovation in recent decades. Work in economic geography has informed innovation policies that tackle infrastructural, capabilities, network and institutional failures that may be found in different types of regions. How can these insights improve researchers’ and policymakers’ understanding of the potential for innovation policies to address grand challenges? In this paper we review these insights and then identify areas that push economic geographers to go beyond their previous focus and interests, notably by considering innovation policy in light of transformational rather than mere structural failures.

Keywords: Innovation policy; grand challenges; economic geography; innovation systems failures; transformational systems failure

JEL-codes: O38; Q01

19 pages, March 19, 2015

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201513_Coenen_et_al.pdf PDF-file 

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