Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

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

No 2018/2: Towards a Holistic Innovation Policy: Can the Swedish National Innovation Council Serve as a Role Model?

Charles Edquist ()
Additional contact information
Charles Edquist: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: A holistic innovation policy is defined in this article as a policy that integrates all public actions that influence or may influence innovation processes. The Swedish National Innovation Council (NIC) was created by the Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, in February 2015. It is personally chaired by the Prime Minister, which is unusual for similar councils in other countries. Another atypical characteristic of the Swedish NIC is that it has a dominant and wide focus on innovation policy. In other countries, such councils focus predominantly on science and/or research policy and treat innovation policy, if at all, as an “appendix” to research policy. The purpose of this article is to answer the following four questions: A. Has Swedish innovation policy recently been moving in the direction of a more holistic innovation policy? If so, how and in what respects? B. Has the Swedish National Innovation Council (NIC) had an influence on Swedish innovation policy and has it played a role in the transition towards a holistic innovation policy? Which role and how? C. Have conceptual specifications and advancements, such as innovation systems (in a broad sense), functional public procurement, additionality, and holistic innovation policy played a role in the changes in Swedish innovation policy? D. Can Sweden serve as a role model for other countries in these respects?

Keywords: Innovation; Innovation policy; Holistic innovation policy; Research policy; Linear view; Systems of innovation

JEL-codes: O30; O38; O49; O52

42 pages, February 1, 2018

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