SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

Friday seminar

SPRU Friday seminars take place every Friday during trm time from 1pm in Jubilee Building 144.

Sandwiches will be served from 12.55pm. Coffee will be served from 2pm, during a very short break introducing the discussion sessions. The seminar is followed by a SPRU presentation/discussion on topic related to the seminar.

Contact

For more information, material and seminar suggestions, please contact  SPRU-events@sussex.ac.uk

Mailing list

To be kept up to date with information on forthcoming seminars, please email your name and affiliation to SPRU-events@sussex.ac.uk with 'subscribe' in the subject heading. To unsubscribe, email the same address with 'unsubscribe' in the subject heading.

Spring and Summer terms 2016

5 February
Innovation and energy governance: lessons to be learned from New York State? 
Catherine Mitchell (Exeter University)

Abstract

Some energy systems are changing rapidly as a result of a complex mix of economics, technologies, public policies, social preferences and more supportive governance. Other energy systems may be altering in some ways but fundamentally, in terms of ownership and practice, little has changed. New York is attempting to fundamentally restructure its energy system through something called the New York Reforming the Energy Vision (NY REV) – please see here for background http://projects.exeter.ac.uk/igov/new-thinking-reforming-the-energy-vision-an-update/ . Germany on the other hand while making some alterations to direction, is pretty much following a steady-as-she-goes approach. What lessons are there to be learned for GB?  

Bio

Catherine Mitchell is Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Exeter. Previously she worked at the Universities of Warwick, Sussex and California, Berkeley. She holds a PhD from SPRU, Sussex University in Technology and Innovation Policy.
Catherine holds an Established Career Fellowship with the EPSRC (2012-2016) on the relationship between innovation and governance, and led an ESRC/EPSRC interdisciplinary research cluster into Energy Security in a Multi-Polar World (2008-2013).
She is on the Chair of the Regulatory Assistance Project; is on the Board of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, the Centre for Sustainable Energy, and is a Member of IPPRs Policy Advisory Committee.
Catherine was a Lead Author in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, a Co-ordinating Lead Author of the IPCC’s Special Report on Renewable Energy and Climate Change Mitigation (published in 2011); and a Lead Analyst on the Global Energy Assessment undertaken through the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) published in 2012.
She has served on several panels advising the government, including the Energy Advisory Panel (1998-2003), the Balancing and Settlement Code Panel (2008-2010), the Academic Advisory Panel to DECC for Electricity Market Reform (2010), and DECC’s Distributed Generation Advisory Panel (2012). She chaired the British Institute of Energy Economics in 2009-10, and has advised numerous national and international companies, NGOs and institutions on various aspects of the transition to a sustainable energy system.

Background info

New thinking for energy

12 February
Small-town India’s waste economy
Barbara Harriss-White (South Asia Research Cluster, Wolfson College, Oxford University)

Abstract

All economic activity produces waste in some form or other. Waste is understood to be substances emanating from the production-distribution-consumption-reproduction system that have no value to capital - a lack of value that may be brief or last 500m years. Waste is India’s fastest growing sector and India’s peak waste is predicted to be a century hence. Earlier this year I put an imaginary line around a small town (70k pop) in S. India and scoped the social relations of waste. In this presentation, I’ll focus on two aspects of the small-town waste economy: the formal-informal interface; and the dynamics of social discrimination. Neither are peculiar to Indian conditions and the conditions in this case study pose very considerable challenges to technology and to policy. So the presentation may have wider relevance.

Bio

Barbara Harriss-White drove to India in 1969 and has been researching India’s rural development through field-work and teaching it ever since. She is Emeritus Professor of Development Studies at Oxford University, former director of Queen Elizabeth House and former founder-director of Oxford’s Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme. She has supervised 41 PhDs, (co) authored/edited over 40 books and research reports and published nearly 250 journal papers /book chapters. In 2009 she won the Edgar Graham prize for originality in Development Studies with her book ‘Rural Commercial Capital’. 2015 has been unusual for books: Indian Capitalism in Development (Routledge, (ed) with Judith Heyer)); Mapping India’s Capitalism: old and new regions (Palgrave, (ed) with Elizabetta Basile and Christine Lutringer); and Middle India and Urban-Rural Development: four decades of change (Springer).

Paper

DISCRIMINATION IN THE WASTE ECONOMY

Slides

19 February
Lancaster without electricity and practices without power: reflections on disruption, dependencies and demand
Gordon Walker (Lancaster University)

Abstract

On 5th December 2015 Storm Desmond swept across the North West of England, its rainfall streaming into already swollen rivers and into roads, homes and businesses across the region. In Lancaster the River Lune broke the record for the highest flow of water ever recorded in the UK, overtopping flood defences and flowing into, amongst much else, the main electricity sub-station for the City. Grid-bound electricity disappeared at 10.30pm on Saturday evening, remained absent for 30 hours, returned at 6.00am on Monday as over 60 generators were connected up to local substations, failed again over much of the City late afternoon, and eventually returned in a more permanent but fragile condition on Tuesday. The phalanx of generators stayed in place for about a week until full national grid supply was restored. This was an extended event, a ‘blackout’, a crisis, rarely experienced on a City scale in the UK.
In this paper I provide some preliminary analysis of what can be learnt from the absence of normal electricity due to this instance of big technological system and infrastructural failure, drawing on my own reflections but also of colleagues in the DEMAND Centre and other parts of Lancaster University (which itself experienced a difficult case of crisis management). David Nye (2010) argues that ‘blackouts’ are carved out of the normal flow of time, a social experience creating ‘a new kind of social space’. They are revealing not just of normally hidden infrastructures (cables, substations, security systems, communication systems) but also of the creeping panoply of electrical dependencies, the ‘latent dysfunctionalities’ of the contemporary city and of the exercise of power through power.
I will explore some of these ideas and particularly focus on what ‘blackouts’, and the Lancaster case in particular, can tell us about the constitution and patterning of energy demand. Starting from a conceptualisation of energy as a material ‘ingredient’ of everyday social practice (Shove and Walker 2014), I consider what happens when this ingredient is missing - when expected energy is not there in order to power technologies which are integral to doing things in particular ways, in particular places, times, sequences and synchronisations? How vital an ingredient is electricity for enabling which practices and for which practitioners, and what, now, are the key fragilities of systemic dysfunctionality? Where are the dependencies, adaptabilities, substitutabilities and vulnerabilities which differentiate the experience of disruption? And when the electricity grid as an ongoing technical achievement becomes unstable, what cannot be sustained and what becomes most important to secure? In starting to work through these questions I will also reflect on the nature of demand itself, which never went away during the blackout and returned strikingly intact in its aftermath as social order, social routines and normally followed space-time pathways were reinstated. 

Bio

Professor Gordon Walker is Co-Director of the DEMAND Centre (Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand) at Lancaster University, funded by the RCUK Energy Programme. He has expertise on the social and spatial dimensions of sustainable energy technologies, sustainability transitions, sustainable social practices and cross cutting issues and theories of energy and environmental justice. He has led a series of multi-partner projects funded by UK research councils and government departments focused on the dynamics of energy demand, community energy, fuel and energy poverty, zero carbon housing, energy use in care settings, fuel poverty, renewable energy and public engagement and flooding and resilience. His books include ‘Environmental Justice: concepts, evidence and politics’ (Routledge, 2012) and as co-editor ‘Energy Justice in a Changing Climate: social equity and low carbon energy’ (Zed 2013).

Background info:

Reflections on the Lancaster power cuts of December 2015

26 February
Grand Challenges in US Science Policy Attempt Policy Innovation
Diana Hicks(School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology)

Abstract

This paper investigates the historical development of the Grand Challenges concept in US science policy. The concept originated in advocacy for funding for high performance computing by Kenneth G. Wilson, a physics Nobel laureate, and was enshrined in the High Performance Computing Act of 1991. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges in Global Health program marked a second milestone in the application of the concept to US science funding. The National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges in Engineering followed in 2008. Most recently the White House has pursued programs under the Grand Challenges rubric. The history of these varied initiatives spanning 40 years is examined here to identify core elements and continuity as well as to explore the relationship between innovation and tradition in U.S. science policy.

Bio

Dr. Diana Hicks is Professor in the School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA specializing in metrics for science and technology policy. She was the first author on the Leiden Manifesto for research metrics published in Nature which has been translated into eight languages, see www.leidenmanifesto.org. Her work has been supported by and has informed policy makers in the U.S., Europe and Japan. She has advised the OECD and the governments of Flanders, the Czech Republic and Sweden on national research evaluation systems. She chaired the School of Public Policy for 10 years from 2003. She co-chairs the international Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy and is an editor of Research Evaluation. As Senior Policy Analyst at CHI Research between 1998 and 2003 she conducted policy analyses for Federal research agencies using patent and paper databases. Prof. Hicks has also taught at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley; SPRU, University of Sussex, and worked at the National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP) in Tokyo. Dr. Hicks earned her D.Phil and M.Sc. from SPRU, University of Sussex.

Paper

4 March
Knowledge Creation and Intellectual Property Management for Development and the Public Interest
Leonardo Burlamaqui Cunha (State University of Rio de Janeiro)

Abstract

The core point of this paper is the hypothesis that in the field of knowledge creation and intellectual property protection, the last four decades witnessed a big change. The boundaries of private (or corporate) interests have been hyper-expanded while the public domain has significantly contracted. It tries to show that this is detrimental to innovation diffusion and productivity growth. The paper develops the argument theoretically, fleshes it out with some empirical evidence and provides a few policy recommendations on how to redesign the frontiers between public and private spaces in order to produce a more democratic and development-oriented institutional landscape. The proposed analytical perspective developed here, “Knowledge Governance”, aims to provide a framework within which, in the field of knowledge creation and diffusion, the dividing line between private interests and the public domain ought to be redrawn. The paper’s key goal is to provide reasoning for a set of rules, regulatory redesign and institutional coordination that would favor the commitment to distribute (disseminate) over the right to exclude.

Bio

Leonardo Burlamaqui is an Associate Professor at the Department of Economic Evolution, State University of Rio de Janeiro, a Research Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute – Bard College (New York), an Adjunct Professor at Graduate Program in Public Policies and Development Strategies at the Federal University at Rio de Janeiro and a member of the International Joseph Schumpeter Society. Previously (2006-14) he was a Senior Program Officer at The Ford Foundation in New York, directing the Reforming Global Financial Governance initiative. He has a PhD in Economics, awarded by the Federal University at Rio de Janeiro.
His books include The Present and the Future of Development Financial Institutions : Theory and History, ( MINDS/BNDES 2015, co-edited with Rogerio Sobreira and Matheus Vianna); Financial Stability and Growth – Perspectives on Financial Regulation and New Developmentalism; ( Routledge, 2014, co-edited with Luis Carlos Bresser Pereira and Jan Kregel) ); Politicas Macroecnòmicas y Regulación Financera en America Latina: Un Estudio Comparado ( CEDES, 2014, co-editado con Roberto Frenkel,Mario Damill y Edoardo Corso); Knowledge Governance- Reasserting the Public Interest (Anthem Press, 2012, co-edited with Ana Célia Castro and Rainer Kattel); Institutions and the Role of State (E. Elgar, 2000, co-edited with Ana Célia Castro and Ha-Joon Chang, and Organized Capitalism in Japan (IPEA/CEPAL, 1991, co-authored with Maria da Conceição Tavares and Ernani Torres).
His papers include the include the chapter “Global Finance and Chinese Financial Governance” in China in Transformation (Ministry of Planning IPEA- BR, Brazil ,2015, the paper “Finance, Development and the Chinese Entrepreneurial State: A Schumpeter- Keynes – Minsky Approach” in Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, October , 2015; the chapter “Development Theory: Convergence, Catch-up or Leapfrogging (co-authored with Rainer Kattel) in Papadimitriou, D, ed: Contributions to Economic Theory Policy, Development and Finance. Essays in honor of J A Kregel (Palgrave, 2014); the chapter “Industrial Policy and IPRs: A Knowledge Governance Approach” (co-authored with Mario Cimoli) in J Stiglitz et Alii eds: Intellectual Property Rights: Legal and Economic Challenges for Development (Oxford University Press, 2014); “ Knowledge Governance, Innovation and Development” in the Brazilian Journal of Political Economy (Fall 2010); “ Governing Finance and Knowledge , in Homo Oeconomicos special number: “ Schumpeter for Our Time” ( Sping,2010), the chapter “Innovation, Competition Policies and Intellectual Property -An Evolutionary Perspective and its Policy Implications” in The Development Agenda; Global Intellectual Property and Developing Countries , edited by Neil Netanel and published by Oxford University Press (2009).
His forthcoming publications include the papers “Assessing Divergent Development Trajectories: Schumpeterian Competition, Finance and Financial Governance” (co-authored with Rainer Kattel) in Revista Brasileira de Inovação, January-July 2016; “Development as Leapfrogging, Not Convergence, Not Catch-up” (co-authored with Rainer Kattel), in Review of Political Economy, spring 2016; and the books Financial Institutions for Innovation and Development – A cross country study (Edited with William Lazonick, 2016) and Schumpeter’s Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy: A Twenty First Century Update ( Edited with Rainer Kattel, Routledge , 2017)

Paper

Knowledge Creation and Intellectual Property Management for Development and the Public Interest

11 March
Sustainable energy for all: innovation, technology and pro-poor green transformations
David Ockwell and Rob Byrne (Global studies and SPRU, UoS)

Abstract

Despite decades of effort and billions of dollars spent, two thirds of the people in sub-Saharan Africa still lack access to electricity, a vital pre-cursor to economic development and poverty reduction. Ambitious international policy commitments seek to address this, but scholarship has failed to keep pace with policy ambitions, lacking both the empirical basis and the theoretical perspective to inform such transformative policy aims.
In this presentation, we elaborate our claim that scholarship is failing policy. But, going beyond this critique, we identify ways in which a new theoretical perspective based on socio-technical innovation system building could redress this failure. We offer potential elements of this new perspective and, drawing on historical analysis of the Kenyan solar PV market, show how it could be operationalised for policy and practice. Finally, we outline an agenda for research, and for policy and practice, that arises from this new perspective.
Although our argument is articulated in detail in a book to be published by Routledge in June 2016, we recognise that the work is only a beginning. In this regard, then, the seminar provides an opportunity for us to offer these ideas for critical review, and hope that others will engage with us in an endeavour to develop a useful academic contribution to the challenge of realising pro-poor pathways of sustainable energy access.

Bio

David Ockwell is Senior Lecturer in Geography at the University of Sussex. He is also Deputy Director (Research) of the ESRC STEPS Centre, a Senior Fellow in the Sussex Energy Group at SPRU (Science and Technology Policy Research) and a Fellow of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. David's teaching, doctoral supervision and applied policy work focuses on climate and energy policy with a particular emphasis on low carbon technology transfer and development, and on public engagement with climate change. Through this work he has provided policy advice to various inter-governmental organisations (including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat, African Development Bank, Commonwealth Secretariat and OECD Environment Directorate) and governmental departments in developed and developing countries (including the UK, India and Chile).

Rob Byrne is a Lecturer in SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit) at the University of Sussex. With David Ockwell, Rob co-convenes the Energy and Climate Research Domain of the ESRC STEPS Centre. He is also a Research Fellow in the Sussex Energy Group and a Fellow of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Rob sits on the board of the Low Carbon Energy for Development Network and is a member of Climate Strategies. His research is focussed on sustainable energy access and poverty reduction, especially in East African contexts. Rob is also engaged in policy advice, including consulting with various bilateral and multilateral agencies and institutions such as DFID, DECC, the World Bank, the UNFCCC Secretariat and Technology Mechanism, and African Development Bank, amongst others.

Paper

Sustainable energy for all: innovation, technology and pro-poor green transformations [PDF 657.72KB]

18 March
Like a rolling stone: a choice experiment to model location decisions of technological entrepreneurs
Frank J. van Rijnsoever (Utrecht University)

Abstract

Innovation is inherently connected to novelty and uncertainty. This makes it difficult to forecast the behavior of actors in the innovation process. Studies commonly rely on data about observed behavior in the past or on survey data about intended behavior in the future. Yet, both methods have drawbacks. For example, it is unknown to what extent the context of behavior observed in the past is applicable to the current situation. Survey data about intended behavior often relies on rating an ranking scales, which commonly lack realism.
For this reason methods like conjoint analysis and discrete choice experiments (DCEs) are becoming more popular in innovation studies. DCEs originate from marketing and transportation studies, and are often used to elicit consumer preferences. They can also help to better understand the drivers of strategic choices and hence to forecast behavior of actors in the innovation process like firms, entrepreneurs or scientists.
In a DCE, respondents receive a series of hypothetical choice tasks with systematically varying attributes from which they can choose a preferred alternative. A big advantage of using DCEs is that the choice tasks can be framed to represent real decisions. Moreover, the level of the independent variables is given by the experimental design, which greatly reduces the risk of common method bias. Third, since each respondent receives multiple choice tasks, DCEs allow the identification of latent classes of respondents with similar choice patterns. Thereby they help to understand the heterogeneity in preferences among deciding agents.
I present the location decision of early stage entrepreneurs as an example application of a DCE. Studies that consider location preferences of start-up firms have modelled heterogeneity in preferences for locations using observed characteristics of the firm (age, size, industry, etc.), the entrepreneur (demographics, personality, etc.), and the region (population, proximity to universities, tolerance). I explore the heterogeneity inferred from the choice behavior of entrepreneurs using a latent class model.
The data comes from a unique sample of 935 entrepreneurs with early stage technology based start-ups from Western Europe and North America. The attributes in the DCE attributes represent characteristics of hypothetical locations where the entrepreneur can move its startup to. The analyses reveal that three classes of entrepreneurs can be differentiated with regard to their preferences for startup locations. One class focusses mostly on regional economic attributes (funding, markets), while the other two classes incorporate more personal elements in their choice (distance to loved ones, quality of living). Next, I describe these classes in terms of observed variables.
I discuss the implications of this result for regions that try to attract entrepreneurs. Moreover, I reflect on the use of DCEs in the context of innovation studies. 

Bio

Frank van Rijnsoever is assistent professor at Utrecht University. His research focusses primarily on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Knowledge Utilization. He has published in journals like Research Policy, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, The Journal of Technology Transfer and Science & Public Policy. Frank serves as academic editor for PLOS ONE and is program leader of the research master ‘Innovation Sciences’ at Utrecht University. See http://www.uu.nl/staff/FJvanRijnsoever/0

8 April
Incumbents and institutions in sustainability transitions
Marko Hekkert (Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University

Abstract

When policy makers strive for societal transformation they need to deal with incumbents. Incumbents are defined as organisations that have participated in the previous generation of technologies. According to many authors incumbents are not fit to develop and respond to radical technologies required for societal transformation processes. Others contest this view and point at the important share of radical innovations that are actually developed by incumbents. Even though the factual role of incumbents may be contested, the literature agrees on the fact that incumbents are well connected to policy spheres posses large political influence. This influence can either be used to slow down or to accelerate transition processes. In this presentation Marko Hekkert discusses different roles that incumbents play in transition processes based on a number of recent PhD projects at Utrecht University by Magda Smink, Joeri Wesseling and Piret Kukk. He will highlight defensive strategies that are used and how these defensive strategies change of time. Also he will show how well incumbents play the institutional game when they aim for radical change. The talk will end with some first proposals for policy makers on how to actually deal with incumbents in times of transition. 

Bio

Prof. Marko Hekkert (1971) is director of the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development and head of Innovation Studies at Utrecht University. He studies the dynamics of emerging technological fields. Most of his studies focus on technological fields that contribute to a more sustainable society like renewable energy technologies. Theoretically he aims to contribute to the innovation systems perspective by improving our knowledge how emerging innovation systems develop and what type of micro mechanisms (power, lobby, research, strategy, expectations, resources) determine the dynamics of innovation systems.

Papers

Exploring car manufacturers’ responses to technology-forcing regulation: The case of California's ZEV mandate [PDF 847.17KB]

The complexities in system building strategies — The case of personalized cancer medicines in England [PDF 591.18KB]

15 April
Low Carbon Innovation in China: Prospects, Politics and Practices
Adrian Ely and Sam Geall (SPRU)

Abstract

China is the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, with per capita emissions now on a par with those in Europe. At the same time, the growing capabilities within China’s dynamic innovation system have drawn significant interest from innovation scholars, with many pointing to China’s increasing role in pioneering low carbon (or sustainability-oriented) innovation. Whilst these studies are informative, they tend to downplay questions about the politics of socio-technical change in China and the importance of user perceptions and practices. Drawing from a recent ESRC-funded research study that involved six institutions from the UK and China, this seminar begins to address these gaps. Focussing on two phenomena in the agrifood system (public resistance to GMOs and civil-society initiatives around sustainable food), it asks how these are influencing dominant pathways of change, and whether these are indicative of wider shifts in the country’s approach to innovation governance.

Bio

Dr Adrian Ely is a senior lecturer at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex and Deputy Director/ Head of Impact and Engagement at the ESRC STEPS Centre. He is leading the efforts to establish a STEPS Centre hub in China. He is interested in innovation for sustainability, but his research focuses in particular on international, trans-disciplinary studies of the regulation and governance of emerging biotechnologies, for example co-authoring the book ‘Regulating Technology: International harmonisation and local realities’ in 2010. Adrian is involved in ongoing research projects focussing on grassroots innovation for sustainability (Argentina, India), low-carbon innovation (China) and collaborative research in the life sciences (Europe-Asia).
Dr Sam Geall is Research Fellow at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at University of Sussex, Executive Editor of chinadialogue.net and an Associate Fellow at Chatham House. His research focuses on environmental governance, media and civil society in China. His writing on Chinese affairs has appeared in many publications, including The Guardian, The New Statesman, Foreign Policy and Index on Censorship. He is on the board of the EU-China NGO Twinning Exchange and has worked as an International Coordinator for the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED). He also edited the book China and the Environment: The Green Revolution (Zed Books, 2013).

22 April
Credibility of policy commitments and incentives for innovation
Gregory Nemet (University of Wisconsin–Madison)

Abstract

A combination of characteristics of the climate change problem make the credibility of future commitments crucial for climate
policy. The century-long lifetimes of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and of energy infrastructure require a long term perspective. Decarbonizing the global economy depends on the incentives for investment in innovation. Persistent uncertainty— both about the problem and potential solutions—necessitate adapting to new information. Thus, even in a first best world, climate policy design needs to navigate a tradeoff between making commitments that are sufficiently credible to stimulate innovation and retaining flexibility to adjust. The first part of this talk addresses the fragility of demand pull incentives for low-carbon innovation. We look at how other policy areas (monetary, fiscal, and trade) have addressed a similar dilemma and develop a taxonomy of potential remedies for climate policy. The second part of this talk addresses credibility issues involved in moving radical innovations from the laboratory to full commercial scale. Heuristics from the literature present policy makers with the challenge of needing to address a market failure while acknowledging a government failure, i.e. incentives for private investments in demonstrations are weak (the Valley of Death) but the track record of governance in large demonstration projects is poor (The Technology Pork Barrel). We analyze the decisions at stake in this dilemma using cases of large scale technology demonstration programs.

Bio

Gregory Nemet is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the La Follette School of Public Affairs and the Nelson Institute's Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment. He is also chair of the Energy Analysis and Policy (EAP) certificate program. He teaches courses in international policy analysis, energy systems analysis, and environmental governance. His research focuses on understanding the process of technological change and the ways in which public policy can affect it. He has been a contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Global Energy Assessment. He received his doctorate in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley. His A.B. is in geography and economics from Dartmouth College.

Background

Addressing policy credibility problems for low carbon investment [PDF 281.58KB]

29 April
The Value of Everything (a presentation on the forthcoming book by Mazzucato, Penguin 2016)
Mariana Mazzucato (SPRU)

Abstract

TBC

Bio

Professor Mariana Mazzucato (PhD) holds the RM Phillips chair in the Economics of Innovation at SPRU in the University of Sussex. She has held academic positions at the University of Denver, London Business School, Open University, and Bocconi University. Her book The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths (Anthem, 2013) was on the 2013 Books of the Year list of the Financial Times She is winner of the 2014 New Statesman SPERI Prize in Political Economy, the 2015 Hans-Matthöfer-Preis and in 2013 the New Republic called her one of the '3 most important thinkers about innovation'. She is an economic advisor for the Scottish Government, the Labour Party, and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s commission for the Economics of Innovation. Her current research is funded by the European Commission, the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), the Ford Foundation, NASA, and the Brazilian Ministry for Science and Technology.  

6 May
Between altmetrics and webometrics: Estimating non-academic research impacts with indicators derived from the web
Mike Thelwall (School of Mathematics and Computing, University of Wolverhampton)

Abstract

Although indicators based on traditional citation counts are widely used to estimate the impact of researchers’ outputs, it is widely recognised that there are many types of outputs that are not well reflected by academic citations. Examples include discoveries with major commercial, education or policy applications. If important, these may well attract some citations but their citations might substantially underestimate their real impact. If quantitative indicators are used to help inform research assessments then a reliance on citations from journal articles can therefore undermine the value of researchers that successfully produce work with non-academic impacts. This talk will discuss the potential to use the web to get evidence of different types of impacts for standard and non-standard research outputs. Amongst the promising metrics are web-based patent metrics to reflect commercial impact, online course syllabus mentions to reflect education impact, Google Books citation counts and library holdings to reflect cultural and societal impacts, and general web mentions as a catch-all indicator. In addition, Mendeley reader counts are a particularly promising early impact indicator but probably reflect a type of academic impact similar to citation counts.

Bio

Professor Mike Thelwall leads the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group at the University of Wolverhampton, UK. He evaluates metrics derived from the web and has developed free software and methods for systematically gathering and analysing web and social web data, including for altmetrics, webometrics, and sentiment analysis for Mendeley, Twitter, YouTube, Google Books, blogs and the general web. He also conducts evaluation exercises for large organisations using web data, including for various divisions within the United Nations and European Commission. He has co-authored hundreds of refereed journal articles and has written three books, including “Introduction to webometrics: Quantitative web research for the social sciences” and is a co-author of the 2015 report “The Metric Tide: Report of the Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment and Management”

Background material

Substance without Citation [PDF 200.61KB]

WEB INDICATORS FOR RESEARCH EVALUATION. PART 3: BOOKS AND NONSTANDARD OUTPUTS [PDF 1.76MB]

13 May
The Triple Challenge for Europe: The Economy, Climate Change and Governance
Ben Martin (SPRU)

Abstract

Europe is confronted by an intimidating triple challenge – economic stagnation, climate change, and a governance crisis. This paper demonstrates how the three challenges are closely inter-related, and discusses how they can be dealt with more effectively in order to arrive at a more economically secure, environmentally sustainable and well governed Europe. In particular, a return to economic growth cannot come at the expense of greater risk of irreversible climate change. Instead, what is required is a fundamental transformation of the economy to a new ‘green’ trajectory based on rapidly diminishing emission of greenhouse gases. This entails much greater emphasis on innovation in all its forms (not just technological). Following this path would mean turning Europe into a veritable laboratory for sustainable growth, environmentally as well as socially. The paper is based on a forthcoming book: Fagerberg, J., S. Laestadius and B. R. Martin eds. (2015) The Triple Challenge for Europe: Economic Development, Climate Change and Governance, Oxford University Press.

Bio

Ben Martin is Professor of Science and Technology Policy Studies at SPRU, where he served as Director from 1997 to 2004. He is also an Associate Fellow at the Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP), and a Research Associate at the Centre for Business Research, Judge Business School, both at the University of Cambridge. He has carried out research for over 30 years in the field of science policy. He helped to establish techniques for evaluating scientific laboratories, research programmes and national scientific performance. He also pioneered the notion of ‘technology foresight’. More recently, he has carried out research on the benefits from government funding of basic research, the changing nature and role of the university, the impact of the Research Assessment Exercise, and the evolution of the field of science policy and innovation studies. Since 2004, he has been Editor of Research Policy, and he is also the 1997 winner of the de Solla Price Medal for Science Studies.

Paper

The Triple Challenge for Europe: The Economy, Climate Change and Governance [PDF 573.49KB]

20 May
Patterns of eco-innovation
Floortje Alkemade (Eindhoven University of Technology)

Abstract

Global sustainable development critically depends on a fundamental transformation of current energy-intensive systems along both socio-economic and environmental dimensions. These two dimensions are closely related as energy is required for economic growth, and poverty often coincides with limited access to energy and a high vulnerability to the effects of climate change (GEA, 2012). Technology that has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (here labelled as cleantech) plays a key role in global scenarios for sustainable development (IPCC, 2011). The cleantech innovation process includes the process of cleantech invention as well as its further development through learning and its diffusion.
There is an uneven geographical distribution of cleantech innovation; the invention of radically new cleantech, its cost reduction through learning, and cleantech diffusion differ greatly among countries and also among different cleantech options (Negro et al., 2012, Junginger et al., 2012; Raven and Geels, 2010). This geographical heterogeneity is not taken into account in the global scenarios for climate change mitigation that assume that individual countries follow the globally optimal pathway using the best available technology (GEA, 2012). Empirically, we observe large differences in the ability of countries to do so: First, success in cleantech innovation is path-dependent; it strongly depends on the history and existing capacities of a country as well as on the local geographical and climate conditions. Second, national policies that influence cleantech development are not only guided by environmental concerns but also by considerations about the economic effects of such policies (Alkemade et al., 2011; Stern, 2008). Given these sources of heterogeneity, it remains unclear what the most promising options for cleantech innovation are for a specific country. This paper addresses this knowledge gap for the specific case of the Netherlands.
Although many actor types are important in sustainability transitions, firm actors are ultimately responsible for bringing cleantech to the market. One of the longstanding questions in innovation literature is which firms contribute the most to innovation, is it incumbents or new entrants, and is one of the dimensions through which different transition pathways can be distinguished (Geels and Schot, 2007). In this paper we therefore investigate the actors that are active in cleantech innovation and investigate their performance. More specifically, we study which firms are active in eco-patenting and in which fields and we link their patenting behavior to two performance measures, patent citations and jobs.
Empirical studies so far offer mixed evidence and the main focus of the most recent studies seems to lie not just on the question whether it pays to be green, but more interestingly on “when or for whom it pays” (Ghisetti and Rennings, 2014, p.108). Key dimensions relate to types of EI, the time horizon of the analysis, the level of development of the underlying technology and the previous EI capabilities of companies.
The new Y02 classification of cleantech by the European Patent Office provides a unique and recent description of the global cleantech knowledge base (Veefkind et al., 2012). Patents are generally considered an indicator of invention rather than of innovation, and offer a good description of the knowledge base of firms, and countries (Archibugi and Pianta, 1996; Jaffe and Trajtenberg, 2002; OECD, 2009). In addition, patenting is the main way to protect invention in the transport and energy domain (EPO, 2010). It has, however, been difficult to link patents to specific sectors or technologies. The Y02 classification scheme makes it possible to, for the first time, explicitly link patents to cleantech innovations and thus provides a rich new dataset on worldwide cleantech knowledge that is directly applied in cleantech innovations. We extract all Dutch Y02 priority patents from the PATSTAT (fall 2014) worldwide patent database. We then link these patents to Dutch firms in the Van Dijk Amadeus and the Chamber of Commerce database, using firm name and address information. Table 1 descibes the different Y02 subclasses.
Results: Dutch eco-patenting follows the worldwide trend and has strongly increased in the last decade. Most eco-patents are applied for by small and medium sized enterprises. Highly cited patents can be found in Carbon Capture and Storage, Energy Efficient lighting and waste and waste water treatment, fields were a strong and specialised prior related knowledge base exists.

Bio

Floortje Alkemade is full professor Economics and Governance of Technological Innovation at Eindhoven University of Technology. She received a VIDI grant (2014) and a VENI grant (2008) from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research for research projects on sustainable technology. Together with her group she seeks to identify the general and the location-specific mechanisms that lead to successful innovations for sustainability.

27 May
Industrial policy conundrums in southern Europe
Ricardo Mamede (Instituto Universitário de Lisboa)

Abstract

Southern European economies have been strongly hit by the euro zone crisis since 2010. Their vulnerability to the financial hurdles of the euro zone is partially related to their specialization profile (which is heavily reliant on relatively low knowledge intensive activities) and their incapacity to significantly upgrade their productive structure in recent decades. In this presentation I will discuss to what extent industrial policy should be a top priority of Southern European national governments and some of the main dilemmas that they have to face in this domain at the present juncture.

Bio

Ricardo Paes Mamede is Assistant Professor of Political Economy at ISCTE – Lisbon University Institute and researcher at Dinâmia’CET since 1999. Between 2008 and 2014 he also coordinated the Research and Evaluation Department at the NSRF Observatory, the government agency responsible for monitoring the use of EU structural funds in Portugal during the period 2007-2013. In 2007 and 2008 he was Head of Unit of Economic Analysis at the Research Bureau of the Portuguese Ministry of the Economy and Innovation. He has a PhD in Economics from Bocconi University (Italy) and a Master’s in Economics and Management of Science and Technology from ISEG/University of Lisbon. His research interests are in the fields of innovation and industry dynamics, structural change, European integration, and public policies. In 2014 he coedited (with Aurora Teixeira and Ester Silva) the book Structural Change, Competitiveness and Industrial Policy: Painful Lessons from the European Periphery (Routledge).

Background Material

Assessment and challenges of industrial policies in Portugal [PDF 333.62KB] 

Mamede - paper Schumpeter 2014.

On the Origin of European Imbalances in the Context of European Integration

An Industrial Policy for Europe

3 June
The Wives of Synthetic Biology: Social Scientist’s Roles in an Emerging Field 
Andrew Balmer (University of Manchester)

Abstract

Based on criticism of the ‘ethical, legal and social implications’ (ELSI) paradigm, researchers in science and technology studies (STS) have begun to create and move into more integrated, collaborative or “post-ELSI” spaces. In this paper, I explore some different roles that I and colleagues have taken, been assumed to take, or have had foisted upon us as we have sought to develop more collaborative practices in the context of synthetic biology. In an attempt to be playful, a strategy I am developing for thinking about and bringing about changes in collaborations, I argue that several of these roles can be thought of using a few different notions of ‘the wife’, each of which has implications for power relations, affective tenor, ethics and opportunities for co-production. 

Bio

Dr Andy Balmer is Lecture in Sociology at the University of Manchester, a member of the Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives and a Co-Investigator in the Manchester Synthetic Biology Research Centre ‘SYNBIOCHEM’. His work mixes STS and other sociological approaches to explore several topics, including synthetic biology, collaboration, lie detection and dementia.

Background material

Five Rules of Thumb for Post-ELSI Interdisciplinary Collaborations [PDF 375.15KB]

Reflections on Working in Post-ELSI Spaces in the UK Synthetic Biology Community [PDF 399.42KB]

10 June
The Financial System We Need’. How to align the financial system with sustainable development
Nick Robins (UNEP)

Abstract

A presentation on the findings of the UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System which argued that the financial system can be shaped to more effectively finance the development of an inclusive, green economy. Emerging policy practices in countries such as Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Kenya, South Africa, the UK and the USA were studied – revealing that there is a slow growing trend in capital markets, banking, insurance and institutional investment which incorporates sustainability factors into the rules that govern the financial system.The presentation will explore how these themes are being taken up, for example, by the G20 as well as some of the outstanding policy dilemmas and research needs.

Bio

Nick Robins is co-director of the UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System. The Inquiry aims to advance policy options that align the financial system with long-term sustainable development and published its first global report, The Financial System We Need, in October 2015.
Nick Robins has over 20 years’ experience in the policy, research and financial dimensions of sustainable development. Before joining UNEP, he was Head of the Climate Change Centre of Excellence at HSBC in London from 2007 to 2014, where he produced investment research on issues such as clean tech growth, climate vulnerability, green stimulus and stranded assets. In the Thomson Extel awards for European investment research, Nick was ranked as #1 analyst for integrated climate change in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Prior to HSBC, Nick was first head of SRI research and then head of SRI funds at Henderson Global Investors. At Henderson, he published the first ever carbon audit of an investment fund and co-designed the Industries of the Future fund. Nick has also worked for the International Institute of Environment and Development, the European Commission’s Environment Directorate and was part of the original Business Council for Sustainable Development.
Nick has authored two books – The Corporation that Changed the World: How the East India Company Shaped the Modern Multinational (2006) and Sustainable Investing: the Art of Long-Term Performance (with Cary Krosinsky, 2008). He has also published numerous reports and has had articles published by the Financial Times, the Guardian, and Huffington Post.
Nick is also an adviser to a number of groups including the Climate Bonds Initiative, the Carbon Tracker Initiative and WHEB Asset Management, and is a trustee of the Resurgence Trust.

Background material

The Financial System We Need [PDF 5.08MB]

17 June
Crafting Articles for Publication and Research Priorities (for the Journal of Product Innovation Management)
Gloria Barczak

Abstract

This presentation has 2 foci. First, it will cover the latest news and updates regarding the Journal of Product Innovation Management and also some guidelines for getting papers through the review process. Second, a number of research priorities for JPIM will be discussed and suggestions of possible research questions will be presented.

Bio

Professor Gloria Barczak (Ph.D., Syracuse University) is Professor of Marketing in the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. She is the current Editor of the Journal of Product Innovation Management. She is the 2010 Robert D. Klein University Lecturer, a Senior Advisor to Creativity and Innovation Management, and a member of the Editorial Board of IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management. She is a current member of the Product Development & Management Association (PDMA) Board and Academic Committee and of the IPDMC Scientific Committee. She recently was a member of the Organizing Committee for the first ISPIM conference (2016 ISPIM Boston Innovation Forum) in the United States. She has published over 35 articles, one book, and several book chapters/edited proceedings. Her current research examines the use and role of information technology tools, including social networking, during the NPD process.