Conference Programme: Towards a Global Research Agenda for Transformative Innovation Policy 2019

4-5th November 2019

Valencia, Spain

The conference aims to progress work towards the building of a global research agenda for Transformative Innovation, an initiative instigated in 2018 by the inter-network dialogue, represented by four research networks: Eu-SPRI, Globelics, Sustainability Transitions Research Network (STRN) and the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC).

This 2019 event is organised by the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) and co-funded by Eu-SPRI, targeting policymakers, transition researchers and practitioners. With over 60 different projects represented in the conference, it is envisaged as a unique space for engagement between academics, research funders and policymakers. Acknowledging a diversity of approaches of understanding and enacting Transformative Innovation, the conference aims to find some coherence and complementarities among them.

The programme has been designed to maximise the time available for interactions and networking beyond participants’ usual networks and support the creation of new contacts and collaborations. The TIPC website is offered as a temporary space to build a resource pool for projects and people working towards the Transformative Innovation Policy (TIP) agenda. It will feature project overviews (posters), abstracts and biographies with links to project and personal websites.

Here is the preliminary programme for the conference, together with a short description of each session.


Monday 4th November 2019
Venue: Mirador de Comedias, Carrer de les Comèdies, 7, 46003 València

Registration at Mirador de Comedias, Carrer de les Comèdies, 7, 46003 València

This is a semi-structured speed networking session organised into specific groups of 10-12 people. The groups will continue to work together during the following day. The aim is to facilitate new connections and to become familiar with the projects and expertise that are represented during the conference.

An inspiring talk focused on the EIT Climate KIC mission to catalyse systemic change through innovation; looking at the drivers of the strategy and how this is being achieved through experimentation and collaboration. 

The reception includes food and drinks and offers the opportunity for more informal networking.

Tuesday 5th November 2019
Venue: Ingenio, Universitat Politècnica de València, Ciudad Politécnica de la Innovación, Building 8E [Red Cube Hall], Camino de Vera, s/n, 46022 VALENCIA

At Ingenio, Universitat Politècnica de València, Ciudad Politécnica de la Innovación, Building 8E [Red Cube], Camino de Vera, s/n, 46022 VALENCIA

Registration desk will continue to be open for those who arrive later on Tuesday.

A welcome to the conference from Professor Jordi Molas Gallart, Director of CSIC- UPV Ingenio. Dr Bipashyee Ghosh will share an update on how the global research agenda work has been shaped so far by the inter-network dialogue participants.

Following this, a representative from each of the networks will share their vision for transformative change from their network’s perspectives and how this links to aspects of the emerging research agenda

The aim of this session is to offer an open and formal space for getting to know the diverse set of extremely interesting projects that were submitted in response to the call. Each project representative is requested to create a poster to communicate the rationale, focus, methods and findings of their project along with its connection to one or more aspects of transformative innovation research. This one hour is dedicated to learning from and interacting with these posters in innovative ways. There will be a variety of ways for participants to connect to projects and facilitate discussion on areas of mutual interest. The projects set the scene for later engagement activities and panel discussions. All project posters will be available in an online ‘exhibition’ before the conference and there will be facilities to enable participants to do ‘virtual tours’ and connect to each other prior to arriving in Valencia.

This is also a moment for reconvening with group members for the upcoming session.

This is the main structured activity session of the day. Each group will be allocated a space where they will spend the next one and a half hour in an in-depth discussion on a pre-specified topic on transformative change that has emerged as a potential theme of the global research agenda. The group allocations will be done a-priori by the programme committee based on the review of the abstracts and project descriptions. This will be a facilitated discussion to ensure all views are heard and discussions progress fluidly through verbal as well as non-verbal modes of communication. It is a key moment for all participants to bring knowledge from their respective projects on the table and as a working group, produce a set of arguments that feeds into the research agenda theme. It may even be the case that a new theme emerges from the efforts to find coherence in inputs from diverse projects. The session insights will be captured in bullet points and later produced as a blog which will be used to inform the research agenda.

During the lunch, there will be boards set up onto which participants can populate their views on the discussions so far, offering additional inputs and to raise any concerns that were not shared in the group work. This also offers an opportunity to interact with participants from different groups and seek to learn more about specific projects represented in the posters.

The plenary is led by Mike Asquith from the European Environmental Agency (EEA). The core of this session will consist of four or five brief statements by a panel of representatives from various European and non-european agencies setting out how they are operationalizing transitions thinking and the challenges that this is creating for assessing various initiatives.

For this session, there is a background paper available.

This panel is focused on a discussion around what can be considered as ‘cutting edge research’ for transformative change from a funders’ perspective. In this session, a panel of funders will share their experiences of funding proposals that offered to contribute to transformative innovation. They will also share the kind of projects they anticipate to be emerging in the field of science, technology and innovation that can be considered transformative. The panelists in this session will have extensive experience in funding projects particularly in the Global South, therefore a greater insight into research support in specific development contexts can be expected from this session.

After two back to back plenaries, participants will have the opportunity for more interaction during this half an hour with possibility to speak to particular funders of  interest. This is also another opportunity to finalise on the outputs from the engagement activity morning session prior to sharing it in the closing session. 

This session brings together the supply (the research community) and demand (the funders) although supply and demand is also cross cutting since researchers are looking for funding and funders are demanding fit with strategic priorities, aligned with ambitions to address the Sustainable Development Goals. The first half of this session aims to bring it all together and define next steps for the research agenda work and the related research network.

In the beginning of this session, facilitators of each of the groups will present short reflections and key arguments put forward in their respective tables. These inputs will then be matched with the funders’ experiences and anticipations in an open floor discussion. The goal will be to find implications for a global research agenda on Transformative Innovation that bridges the supply and demand.

In the last part of the session, a network around transformative innovation research and funding will be launched to continue collaborations beyond the event.