Governing industrial transitions – Policy experiences from across Europe

Past Event
20 January 2022 15:00 (GMT)
20 January 2022 16:30 (GMT)

While much has been written on the rationales and need for transformative innovation policies, there are still few studies or initiatives that provide an understanding of what is needed on part of policy and public administration to become more ‘transformational’. Particularly challenging is the question how to successfully phase out sectors with poor sustainable performances. This requires understanding of vested interests of incumbent industries, and careful consideration of how these resist and support systemic change. Little is known about good and bad policy practices when it comes to ‘industrial transitions’, i.e. the processes through which societies break away from declining sectors and activities, and chart actionable paths towards sustainable economic development without creating new inequalities. Our initiative therefore unites different stakeholders and communities with an interest in governance arrangements for facilitating challenge-led and transformation-oriented innovation, including both academic scholars as well as policy practitioners. Based on the research conducted in joint projects between MIPO, JRC and INTRANSIT on European policies for industrial transformation, the aim of the session proposed for the TIP Conference 2022 is to bring together policy officials in reflecting on the research results and each others experiences. In line with the ambition of creating knowledge infrastructures for sharing lessons, the envisaged policy panel helps to consolidate a network of policy makers that seek to become more transformative both in terms of how they operate as well as what they bring about.

Ref: #45

Policy and governance for transformative change
Transformative Missions


Iris Wanzenböck
Iris Wanzenböck is an Assistant Professor at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University. Her research focuses on new forms of research and innovation policy, particularly the governance of mission-oriented and regional innovation policies to address societal challenges. With her interdisciplinary background, she combines insights from economic geography, political science and innovation studies in her research.
Matthijs Janssen
Trained as an innovation scientist, Matthijs investigates innovation policy and strategy. His research activities involve both quantitative and qualitative analyses, based on methods like statistical modelling, survey research, interviews and case studies. As assistant professor at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Matthijs mainly focuses at industrial policy, transitions, mission-oriented innovation policy, and novel forms of smart specialization. These lines of research follow on Matthijs’ PhD-thesis on ‘service innovation in an evolutionary perspective’ (runner-up for the ISPIM Innovation Management Dissertation Award 2016) from Eindhoven University of Technology, and his post-doc position at the Center for International Development - Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Matthijs' current work mainly focuses on assessing the governance and impact of ‘transformative’ innovation policies targeted at specific sectors, knowledge domains or societal challenges. Matthijs is coordinator of Utrecht University’s ‘Mission-oriented Innovation Policy Observatory’; see: www.uu.nl/en/research/copernicus-institute-of-sustainable-development/mission-oriented-innovation-policy-observatory. Matthijs also holds a position as Principal Scientist at Dialogic Innovation & Interaction. Often acting as project leader, he has (co-)authored about 40 studies for clients like the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Ministry of Education Culture and Science, Ministry of Infrastructure and Watermanagement, Ministry of Finance, Rijkswaterstaat, the European Commission and the OECD.
Joeri Wesseling
Joeri Wesseling works as assistant professor and the Innovation Studies group of the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development. His research focuses on socio-technical transitions, innovation and transition policy – with a particular focus on missions, and the role of incumbent firms in these processes. His most recent conceptual contributions focus on Mission-oriented Innovation Systems and other perspectives to better understand mission policies, and on conceptualizing the positive and negative impact of global regimes on radical innovations via institutional pressures. The sectors he most frequently studies are the energy-intensive processing industries and the transportation industry.
Koen Frenken
Koen Frenken is Full Professor in Innovation Studies at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, from 2014 onwards. He currently chairs the section of Innovation Studies at the Copernicus Institute, and is a program team member of Utrecht University's strategic theme 'Institutions for Open Societies'. Before 2014, Koen held positions in Economics of Innovation at Eindhoven University of Technology (2009-2013) and in Economic Geography at Utrecht University (2001-2009). He served as a committee member at the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER) on the topics of robotisation and of platform work. Koen also collaborated with the Rathenau Institute on the topic of sharing economy (2017) and with Netherlands Bureau for Spatial Planning on the topic of the European Research Area (2007). His theoretical interests include evolutionary economics, institutional sociology and complexity theory. He works on sustainability transitions, economic geography, platform economy and innovation policy. In 2001, he received a joint PhD from the University of Grenoble (applied economics) and the University of Amsterdam (social sciences).
Caetano C. R. Penna
Senior Research Fellow
University of Utrecht's Centre for Global Challenges
Caetano C. R. Penna is Senior Research Fellow at the Utrecht University Centre for Global Challenges (Netherlands) and Adjunct Professor (currently on leave) at the Institute of Economics of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Dr. Penna also acts as expert advisor to the Technology Directorate of the Rio de Janeiro science, technology and innovation agency FAPERJ. He holds a doctorate in science and technology policy studies from SPRU, University of Sussex (United Kingdom), a master's degree in technological governance from the TalTech University (Estonia) and a bachelor's degree in economic sciences from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. His research interests include transformative “mission-oriented” policies and financing for sustainability transitions. In the MOTION project, Dr Penna coordinates the co-creation and testing of the formative evaluation methodology that integrates transformative outcomes into the EIT Climate-KIC initiative on Sustainable Shared Mobility (SuSMO).
Jonas Torrens
Dr Jonas Torrens is an assistant professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Technology, Innovation and Society group. He is a transdisciplinary researcher with expertise in urban, policy and societal experimentation applied to sustainability transitions. Jonas has worked with the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium since 2016. He is also a member of the Mission-oriented Innovation Policy Observatory (MIPO) hosted by the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development.
Taran Thune
Taran Thune is professor of innovation policy and management at the University of Oslo, where she also directs the research center INTRANSIT that address research and innovation policy for green industrial transformations. Her current research interests focuses on reorientation of established industries and interrelationships between incumbent industries and sectors and emerging niches, with an empirical focus on the energy sector. With an interest in existing regimes, policy processes, politics and power held by incumbent actors are also important research foci in INTRANSIT.
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