SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

Friday seminar

SPRU Friday seminars take place every Friday during term time at 1pm in Jubilee Building room 144, unless specified otherwise. 

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.


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.

Past seminars

For details of past events from the current and previous terms, view past seminars in our series archive

Upcoming seminars

Please find a list of seminars for the current term below - you can view abstracts and speaker biographies for upcoming events by clicking on seminar titles. 

Tools, Rules and Joules: Negotiating the co-evolution of technology, policy and future electricity systems

Friday 28 October from 13:00 until 15:00
Jubilee 144
SPRU Friday Seminars
Elizabeth Wilson (Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota)

Followed by a panel discussion. Abstract, bio and papers available. Please click the seminar title for further information.

Ecosystem service governance: innovating for, or with, practice

Friday 4 November from 13:00 until 15:00
Jubilee 144
SPRU Friday Seminars
Eeva Primmer (SYKE, Finnish Environment Institute)

Followed by a panel discussion. Abstract, bio and paper available. Please click the seminar title for further information.

A typology of upscaling in the sharing economy: socio-technical enablers and constraints

Friday 11 November from 13:00 until 15:00
Jubilee 144
SPRU Friday Seminars
Vadim Grinevich (University of Southampton)

Followed by a panel discussion. Abstract and bio to be confirmed.

What participatory action-research can say to the socio-technical transition framework?

Friday 18 November from 13:00 until 15:00
Jubilee 144
SPRU Friday Seminars
Alejandra Boni (INGENIO, UPV)

Followed by a panel discussion. Abstract and bio available. Please click the seminar title for further information.

Industrial Development and Policy in South Africa: Why is There Not More Success?

Friday 25 November from 13:00 until 15:00
Jubilee 144
SPRU Friday Seminars
Sam Ashman (University of Johannesburg / SOAS)

Followed by a panel discussion. Abstract and bio to be confirmed.

Standardising the City: Constructing a Universal Platform

Friday 2 December from 13:00 until 15:00
Jubilee 144
SPRU Friday Seminars
Simon Marvin (Durham University)

Followed by a panel discussion. Abstract available. Bio to be confirmed. Please click the seminar title for further information.

The ARPA-E Model for Energy Innovation

Friday 9 December from 13:00 until 15:00
Jubilee 144
SPRU Friday Seminars
Laura Diaz Anadon (University of Cambridge and Harvard University)

Followed by a discussion panel. Abstract and bio to be confirmed.

Friday seminar series archive


Autumn 2016
30th September
Science, the state, and the city
Michael Hopkins & Sir Geoffrey Owen (SPRU & LSE)


The book examines the evolution of one of the most important technologies that has emerged in the last fifty years: biotechnology - the use of living organisms, or parts thereof to create useful products and services. The most important application of biotechnology has been in medicine, in the development of new drugs. The central purpose of the book is to explain how firms based in the US took the lead in commercialising the technology, and why it has been so difficult for firms in other countries to match what the leading American companies have achieved. The book looks at the institutions and policies which have underpinned US success in biotechnology. This is the US innovation "ecosystem," and it is made up of several interlocking elements which constitute a powerful competitive advantage for US biotechnology firms. These include, a higher education system which has close links with industry, massive support from the Federal government for biomedical research, and a financial system which is well equipped to support young entrepreneurial firms in a science-based industry. In the light of US experience the book examines in detail the performance of UK biotechnology firms over the past forty years, starting with the creation of the UK's first dedicated biotech firm, Celltech, in 1980. The book shows how the UK made a promising start in the 1980s and 1990s but failed to build on it. Several leading firms failed, and after an initial burst of enthusiasm investors lost confidence in the British biotech sector. It is only the last few years that the sector has staged a revival, attracting fresh investment from the US as well from the UK. The story told in this book, based on extensive interviews with industry participants, investors, and policy makers in the UK, Continental Europe, and the US, sheds new light on one of the central issues facing governments in the advanced industrial countries - how to create and sustain new science-based industries.


Sir Geoffrey Owen was educated at Rugby and Balliol College, Oxford, and spent most of his career at the Financial Times, serving as industrial editor, US correspondent based in New York, deputy editor (1973-1980) editor (1980-1990) - also spent two years with the Industrial Reorganisation Corporation and three with British Leyland. He joined the LSE in 1990, served as visiting fellow in the Department of Management until 2013, teaching in the field of corporate strategy and international competition. Books include From Empire to Europe: the decline and revival of British industry since the Second Word War (HarperCollins 1999).) The rise and fall of great companies: Courtaulds and the reshaping of the man-made fibres industry (OUP 2010).

Dr. Michael Hopkins is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Research for the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex. After studying Biology at Sussex, he worked in the biotechnology industry as a sales and marketing manager, selling reagents for research. He joined SPRU as a research assistant in 1997, later completing his doctoral training in Science and Technology Policy Studies. His research focuses on policies and strategies for biomedical innovation.



Followed by a discussion panel

Featuring: Fredderique Lang, Josh Siepel and Josh Hutton 

7 October 2016
People first PPPs for UN SDGs
Geoffrey Hamilton (UNECE)


The new 2030 Agenda agreed in 2015 and to be implemented up until 2030 is extremely ambitious and is nothing less than a manifesto for the future of the planet. The preferred implementation vehicle to achieve the goals is set out in SDG 17 entitled the ‘Revitalisation of the Partnership for Sustainable Development’. And People-first Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) ensures that out of all stakeholders, ‘people’ are on the top. People-first Public-Private Partnerships must be evaluated according to a new set of criteria which can be perceived and actually are “quality investments”. Such criteria are tentatively defined as: “accessibility”; “equity”; “efficiency”; and “replicability”.


Geoffrey Hamilton is Chief, of the Cooperation and Partnerships Section of the Economic Cooperation and Integration Division with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in Geneva. His current responsibility is promoting public-private partnerships for infrastructure development where he leads the UNECE International PPP Centre of Excellence and a programme on building the capacity of governments to undertake successful projects. His other interests include Good governance, FDI issues, the economic aspects to peace building and security, property rights for the poor and the protection of intellectual property for innovation. Before joining the UNECE he has worked in several international organizations including the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, International Labour Office, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Institute for Research on Multinational Enterprises. He holds a PhD and a Masters from the University of Glasgow, Scotland.

Followed by a discussion panel

Featuring: Paul Nightingale, Jenny Lieu and Chantal Naidoo

14 October
The New Production of Users: Changing involvement strategies and innovation collectives
Sampsa Hyysalo (Aalto University)


Behind the steady stream of new products, technologies, systems and services in our modern societies there is a prolonged and complicated battle around the role of users. How should designers get to know the users’ interests and needs? Who should speak for the users? How may designers collaborate with users and in what ways may users take innovation into their own hands?
User involvement has changed significantly since early 2000s when it rose to prominence in academic and policy arenas. The presentation discusses the emerging involvement strategies and innovation collectives that amount to “new production of users” in business and citizen contexts. It is based on a recent book edited by Hyysalo, Jensen and Oudshoorn, which analyses the challenges in the practical collaborations between designers and users and investigates a number of cases, where groups of users collectively took charge of innovation. It further links these to the history of designer-user relations from the era of mass production to the present days.
The key messages of the book are fourfold. First it has become a ‘fact of life’ that users have significant productive capabilities, and these are exercised widely in society. Second, user involvement has become a key object of industrial strategizing: there are increasing efforts to produce productive users. Third, active users, designers and managers all operate in a landscape where the methods and resources for user involvement are widely available. Fourth, empowerment through user involvement can still happen, but not by default.


Sampsa Hyysalo is associate professor in CoDesign, Aalto School of ARTS, Finland. His research focuses on role of users in sociotechnical change, in the recent years particularly in the context of sustainability transition and renewable energy technologies. Sampsa’s work combines science & technology studies, innovation studies and design research. He received his phd in behavioural sciences in Univ. Helsinki in 2004, and has published about 50 articles and book chapters. He has also authored several books, the most important ones being “Health Technology Development and Use: From practice-bound Imagination to evolving Impacts (Routledge, 2010) and “The new production of users: Changing innovation communities and involvement strategies” (with Elgaard Jensen and Oudshoorn, Routledge, 2016), which won the EASST 2016 Freeman award for advancing interaction between S&TS and innovation studies. Sampsa has been the chief/coordinating editor to EASST official journal “Science & Technology Studies” since 2007 and was awarded the Academy of Finland price for social impact of research in 2010.


(PASSWORD PROTECTED FOR UOS ONLY): https://www.dropbox.com/s/dsp4ay8ww355ivh/Hyysalo_The%20New%20Production%20of%20Users_Ch1.pdf?dl=0

Spring and summer terms 2016
5 February
Innovation and energy governance: lessons to be learned from New York State? 
Catherine Mitchell (Exeter University)


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?  


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

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


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.


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).




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


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. 


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)


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.


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.


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


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.


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)


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)


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.


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.


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)


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. 


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


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. 


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.


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)


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.


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)


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.


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.


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)




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)


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.


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]


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


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.


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.


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)


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.


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)


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.


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)


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. 


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)


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.


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


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.


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.

Autumn term 2015
2 October
Business model innovation in infrastructure industries
Paul Nightingale (SPRU)




Paul Nightingale was originally trained as a chemist and worked in industry as in analytical environmental toxicology in the R&D labs of a major blue chip firm. His PhD was on the changing technology of technical change and looked at the use of computer simulations in the pharmaceutical, aerospace, chemical and chemical engineering industries. It also involved a pilot study of the LEP detector at CERN.
After his PhD, Paul worked for 10 years in the Complex Product Systems Innovation Centre, jointly run between SPRU and CENTRIM. While there he did a lot of work on bioinformatics systems and risk management technology in investment banks.
Paul has done a substantial amount of policy work on innovation policy in the UK and led NESTA’s Innovation Gap research project, working closely with Virgina Acha who was the brains behind the final report. The Innovation Gap report integrated a lot of the research findings from the CoPS innovation centre’s work, as well as similar work that had been undertaken at our partner innovation centre CRIC at the University of Manchester. The main concern of the report was that many traditional indicators of innovation now fail to capture the complexity of technical change in the UK economy. As a result, public policy has become increasingly disconnected from practice. The report also highlighted the large amount of 'hidden innovation' ongoing in the economy, building on the original work on Hidden Innovation that had been undertaken by my PhD student at the time Michael Hopkins.
Paul’s main areas of work now relate to financial innovation, and its impact on the economy. Paul is PI of a large three year research project that will be exploring venture capital policy, the funding and management of high impact ‘gazelle’ firms, and innovation in investment banking.

9 October
What do firms know? What do they produce? A new look at the relationship between patenting profiles and patterns of product diversification
Marco Grazzi (University of Bologna & University of Cambridge)


 In this work we analyze the relationship between the patterns of firm diversification, if any, across product lines and across bodies of innovative knowledge, proxied by the patent classes where the firm is present. Putting it more emphatically we investigate the relationship between ""what a firm doe"" and ""what a firm knows"". Using a newly developed dataset matching information on patents and products at the firm level, we provide evidence concerning firms' technological and product scope, their relationships, the size-scaling and coherence properties of versification itself. Our analysis shows that typically firms are much more diversified in terms of products than in terms of technologies, with their main products more related to the exploitation of their innovative knowledge. The scaling properties show that the number of products and technologies increase log-linearly as firms grow. And the directions of diversification themselves display coherence between neighbouring activities also at relatively high degrees of diversification. These findings are well in tune with a capability-based theory of the firm.


Marco Grazzi is assistant professor at the University of Bologna, Department of Economics and he is now visiting the Center for Business Research at the University of Cambridge. He earned his PhD at the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa and he has published his works in several journals (refer to the website for an up to date list). His research focuses on the role of firms in shaping aggregate industry and country dynamics. To this end, his works embrace a number of fields ranging from international trade, firm growth and its relation to innovation, to the analysis of production, both from a theoretical and empirical point of view.


What do firms know? What do they produce? A new look at the relationship between patenting profiles and patterns of product diversification

16 October
Global, endogenous, unique, evolutionary: Sleuthing the Industrial Revolution
Gerald Silverberg (UNU-MERIT / IIASA)


Global, endogenous, unique, evolutionary: Sleuthing the Industrial Revolution


Gerald Silverberg studied physics and mathematics at Cornell and Harvard Universities in the USA. He worked as a science journalist in New York before moving to Europe and studying economics and economic history as well as mathematical systems theory. He was a Research Associate at the University of Stuttgart from 1983 to 1987 with primary responsibility for a research project on technical change and the theory of self-organisation, sponsored by the German Research Council (DFG). In 1987, he was employed by the International Federation of Institutes for Advanced Study (IFIAS), and in 1995/96 was a Senior Research Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). He has been a Senior Research Fellow at UNU-MERIT (Maastricht, NL) since January 1988 and a Visiting Research Scholar at IIASA (Laxenburg, A) since 2006.


 Global, endogenous,unique, evolutionary: Sleuthing the Industrial Revolution 

23 October
Innovation bureaucracy: Entrepreneurial state and organizational variety
Rainer Kattel (University of Tartu / Columbia University)


Current research on how to organize the role of government in innovation – both how governments support innovation in markets and how governments achieve innovations within public organizations – converges around a rather simplified single-organization explanations: innovations are driven by either (Weberian) elite expert organizations or (Schumpeterian) fluid peripheral organizations. We show that looking at history of innovation bureaucracy, a more complex picture emerges: historically we find a rich organizational variety for implementing diverse innovation policy goals. We show that historically the organizational variety is, first, driven by highly diverse public-private relationships; and second, the variety itself is an important factor in success and failure of innovation policies. Combining analytical lenses created by Weber and Mintzberg we build analytical framework based on routines and capacities to analyze organizational variety in innovation bureaucracy. We show how different kinds of public organizations are successful at delivering different kinds of innovation policy goals. Particularly important is the distinction between organizations capable of innovations in policies vs organizations supporting innovations in private sector. We finish with discussing the importance of organizational variety for the concept of entrepreneurial state.


Rainer Kattel is professor and chair of innovation policy and technology governance at the Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance at Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia; and visiting scholar at Earth Institute, Columbia University, USA. Since 2012, he has co-directed Estonia’s Science and Innovation Policy Monitoring Program. His main research area is industrial and innovation policies in catching-up economies, especially Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America. He has published extensively on innovation policy and development economics. His recent books include Ragnar Nurkse: Trade and Development, co-edited with Jan A. Kregel and Erik S. Reinert, Anthem, 2009; Knowledge Governance: Reasserting the Public Interest co-edited with Leonardo Burlamaqui and Ana Celia Castro, Anthem, 2012; and Public Procurement for Innovation Policy: International Perspectives co-edited with Tarmo Kalvet and Veiko Lember, Springer, 2013. In 2012, he was awarded the Estonian National Science Prize in Social Sciences.


Innovation Bureaucracy:Does the organization of government matter when promoting innovation?

30 October
The dynamics of the world economy, neoliberalism and technological change
Peter Senker (University of East London)


The profit seeking behaviour of corporations, technological change and marketing should all be at the centre of multi-disciplinary analyses of the forces driving economic change since 1900. Neoliberals believe that the state should be confined to safeguarding individual and commercial liberty and strong property rights. But in practice, corporations’ dependence on state support has been pervasive for at least a hundred years. Corporations lobby International Organizations as well as states, both to create conditions more favourable to their own individual interests, and also to increase the proportion of economies in which private corporations are allowed to operate: This applies, for example, to privatization of health and education services which is not generally in the public interest. Economies can be perceived as complex networks of interlocking systems. On this basis, the paper outlines examples of interactions between corporations, technological change, marketing and lobbying, state support and International Organizations. These include huge state support for road construction which facilitated the domination of cars over land transport; roles of marketing and technological change in the food and agricultural industries; state support for scientific and technological change in semiconductors and the Internet, and for the development of biotechnology. For the last thirty years, neoliberalism has dominated policy makers’ economic analysis, but it was obsolescent when it was invented seventy years ago.


Peter worked in industry and consultancy for fifteen years, including ten years in economic analysis and market research in the Philips Group. In 1971, he took up a one year IBM Fellowship at the Manchester Business School. .The following year, he joined SPRU, where for more than twenty years he led research teams studying the implications of technological change for skills and training in British manufacturing and construction industries. After retirement, he was appointed as a Visiting Professor at the University of East London, where he co-edited and contributed chapters to three books written by multi-disciplinary groups, which reported on the findings of a research programme on technology and inequality which he had initiated. The most recent book - “Technology, Society and Inequality: New Horizons and Contested Futures” - was published by Peter Lang in 2013.


The dynamics of the world economy, neoliberalism and technological change

6 November
Europe’s Infrastructure Transition: Economy, War, Nature
Erik van Vleuten (School of Innovation Sciences, Eindhoven University of Technology)


The seminar discusses the new book Europe’s Infrastructure Transition: Economy, War, Nature, which is Volume 3 of the series Making Europe. A New European History.

From the back cover:
Europe's infrastructure both united and divided peoples and places via economic systems, crises, and wars. Some used transport, communication, and energy infrastructure to supply food, power, industrial products, credit, and unprecedented wealth; others mobilized infrastructure capacities for waging war on scales hitherto unknown. Europe's natural world was fundamentally transformed; its landscapes, waterscapes, and airscapes turned into infrastructure themselves. Europe's Infrastructure Transition reframes the conflicted story of modern European history by taking material networks as its point of departure. The book traces the priorities set and the choices made in constructing transnational infrastructure connections - within and beyond the continent. Moreover, this study introduces an alternative set of historically-key individuals, organizations, and companies in the making of modern Europe and analyzes roads both taken and ignored.


Erik van der Vleuten is Professor of History of Technology at the Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands, and scientific director of the Foundation for the History of Technology SHT. In 2013-2015 he chaired the Pan-European research network Tensions of Europe. Technology and the Making of Europe. Erik studies the mutual shaping of infrastructure, societal, and environmental changes, and edited (with Högselius, Hommels, and Kaijser) The making of Europe’s Critical Infrastructure: Common Connections and Shared Vulnerabilities (2013).


13 November
Research Data: The Small Data Problem
Daniel Hook (Digital Science)


From recordings and transcripts in social sciences and humanities to climate data in ecological and earth sciences, the amount of data being produced across all fields of research is growing at an ever-increasing rate. For the last decade we've heard a lot about big data and its challenges, problems and opportunities. However, the big new problem for researchers and those involved in capturing, curating and sharing data is "small data" or the long tail problem. In today's talk I will talk generally around the issues in this space and highlight some of the key problems.


Daniel is Managing Director at Digital Science. Daniel has held many positions within Digital Science since joining the business four years ago as co-founder of Symplectic, one of Digital Science’s first portfolio companies. Most recently, he has served as Director of Research Metrics, whilst also acting as interim COO of portfolio company, Figshare. Daniel was a PhD student in Theoretical Physics at Imperial College London before he joined Digital Science.
In his free time Daniel continues to play an active role in theoretical physics research, holding a visiting professorship at Washington University in St Louis. His interests include PT-Symmetric quantum theory, quantum statistical mechanics and complex network theory.


Referencing: The reuse factor

20 November
The ethos of scientific advice
Arthur Petersen (STEaPP, UCL)


There are many theories that can inform analysis of how science advice is done or should be done. Here I define “science advice” as “practices involving individuals, organisations and structures that mobilise natural and social scientific and engineering knowledge into public decision-making”. In this seminar, I will demonstrate that although some theories are well elaborated, empirical proof for the described changes, roles and processes in scientific advice is limited. After reviewing literature and outstanding questions on roles of scientific advisors at local, national and international levels, I will offer a pragmatist analysis of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Subsequently, I will assess capacity-building needs in science advice across a range of cultural and political contexts, and governance scales: What skills do future science advisors and recipients of science advice need to deal responsibly with their tasks? I will conclude with presenting elements of an ethos of scientific advice, which are based on experiences with implementing post-normal science at the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.


Professor Arthur C Petersen (DPA PhD MA MSc) joined UCL STEaPP fulltime in September 2014 after more than 13 years’ work as scientific adviser on environment and infrastructure policy within the Dutch Government. Most recently he served as Chief Scientist of the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (2011–2014).
Arthur is also Adjunct Professor of Science and Environmental Public Policy at the VU University Amsterdam (since 2011) and Research Affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (since 2009), and has been Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science (2009–2014) and at UCL STEaPP (January–August 2014).
Arthur studied physics and philosophy, obtained doctorate degrees in atmospheric sciences (Doctor of Philosophy – PhD, Utrecht University, 1999) and philosophy of science (Doctor of Public Administration – DPA, VU University Amsterdam, 2006), and now also finds disciplinary homes in anthropology and political science. Most of his research is about managing uncertainty. 


Post-Normal Science in Practice at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency

Roles of scientists as policy advisers on complex issues: A literature review

27 November
Long run welfare effects of energy services and technologies (1800-2010)
Roger Fouquet (Grantham Research Institute, LSE)


This paper investigates the welfare effects of energy services and technologies, and how they have changed in the long run. Using data on consumer expenditure and price elasticities of demand for domestic heating, transport and lighting over the last three hundred years, it provides estimates of how consumer surplus associated with these energy services changed with economic and technological development. It also compares them with estimates of the external costs of energy services to indicate the net welfare effects. Although crude, they suggest that only transport has always provided large net welfare benefits. In particular, the damage associated with accidental fires in the eighteenth century and coal smoke in the nineteenth century may have outweighed the benefits from heating and lighting consumption. This long run perspective can offer insights about the net benefits of future energy services and technologies, of particular relevance to R&D investment in energy technologies and strategies for low carbon pathways.


Roger Fouquet is Associate Professorial Research Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics. Over the last twenty years, he has been investigating the long run relationship between economic development, energy use and its environmental impacts, using evidence from economic history. His most recent article, with Steve Broadberry in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, offers a new and more detailed picture of European economic development since the medieval era, highlighting the dynamism of European economies prior to the Industrial Revolution. In 2006, his joint article on very long run trends in lighting prices and consumption was chosen for the annual Campbell Watkins Award for Best Paper in The Energy Journal. In 2010, his book, 'Heat, Power and Light: revolutions in energy services', was selected by Choice Magazine as one of its Outstanding Academic Titles. In 2013, he edited the Handbook on Energy and Climate Change, which included many of the leading authorities on the economic analysis of energy and climate change. He is an associate editor of the New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics.

4 December
Reducing UK emissions to 2030 – the fifth carbon budget advice
Adrian Gault Committee on Climate Change (Chief Economist)


The Committee on Climate Change has just provided advice to the Government that the level of the fifth carbon budget (the limit on UK emissions over the years 2028-32) should be set at a level which is a 57% reduction on 1990. This would represent a continuation of progress on track to a reduction of at least 80% by 2050.
The timetable for the Committee’s advice is set by the Climate Change Act, and it is coincidence that this comes at the same time as the Paris meeting for COP21. The Committee’s assessment, however, is that the scientific evidence confirms that without action to limit warming to the globally agreed level of 2°C, climate change will pose serious risks to the UK and around the world. The UK’s contribution – as set by the 2050 target – is in keeping with, and helps to promote, wider international climate action.
In this presentation, Adrian Gault, Chief Economist at the Committee, will describe the approach to developing its advice, which is intended to represent the lowest-cost path to meeting the UK’s legal commitments to reduce emissions by 2050. He will cover how the advice balances a range of statutory duties required by the Climate Change Act, which include ensuring that carbon budgets are affordable, do not adversely affect the UK’s competitiveness, are consistent with energy policy, particularly security of supply, and ensure that potential impacts on fuel poverty are manageable.
To keep within the emissions limits set by the fourth and fifth carbon budgets, and to stay on track to 2050, a number of new policies and clear long-term signals to investors will be required. Doubtless, discussion will move on to these requirements.


Adrian joined the secretariat of the Committee on Climate Change in May 2009, where he is responsible for analytical work looking at UK greenhouse gas emission reduction potential and costs. Currently, the Committee is taking forward work to inform its advice to the Government, due by the end of the year, on the level of the 5th carbon budget, covering UK emissions 2028-32. Prior to joining the CCC secretariat, Adrian has substantial experience of energy and environmental issues – as an economist in Department for Transport, the Energy Group at DTI (now part of DECC) and in the Treasury tax team.



11 December
S&T indicators in the peripheries: biases and effects
Ismael Rafols / Jordi Molas (SPRU)


This paper aims to explore the problems that emerge when S&T indicators are used in peripheral contexts, that is, in geographical or social spaces that are somehow marginal to (or marginalised by) the centres of scientific activity. In these situations evaluators and decision-makers are likely to use indicators that were designed to reflect variables relevant in the dominant social and geographical contexts --i.e. in the hegemonic countries, languages, gender, disciplines, etc.--, but that are usually not adequate in peripheral contexts.
We will examine various dimensions of periphery. First, the geographical: e.g. global south vs. global north, regions vs. metropolises (Aguado et al. 2014). Second, the social group dimension: women, the disenfranchised, the poor, or perhaps the elderly have social needs that are different from those of richer or more powerful groups --and the problems affecting the former tend be less researched than those of the later (Stirling, 2014). Third, the cognitive dimension: areas of research, such as epidemiology or surgery, that capture less attention in terms of publications or citations (and resources) than the more prestigious disciplines, such as molecular biology (van Eck et al, 2013).
This study investigates the mechanisms by which performance indicators tend to be biased against peripheral spaces. This would include for example, bias in language (van Leeuwen et al. 2011), or disciplinary/topic coverage in conventional databases (Martin et al., 2010). An interesting issue to consider is how the overlap across peripheries, i.e. how bias in language coverage has an effect on bias in disciplines or topics covered (Archambault et al., 2006; Piñeiro and Hicks, 2015).
We discuss how these biases may have a tendency to suppress scientific diversity and shift research towards a higher degree of homogeneity (Rafols et al., 2012). We discuss how the "objectification" of excellence by means of indicators may support the diffusion of mainstream modes of research at the expense of critical or unorthodox modes.


Roger Fouquet is Associate Professorial Research Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics. Over the last twenty years, he has been investigating the long run relationship between economic development, energy use and its environmental impacts, using evidence from economic history. His most recent article, with Steve Broadberry in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, offers a new and more detailed picture of European economic development since the medieval era, highlighting the dynamism of European economies prior to the Industrial Revolution. In 2006, his joint article on very long run trends in lighting prices and consumption was chosen for the annual Campbell Watkins Award for Best Paper in The Energy Journal. In 2010, his book, 'Heat, Power and Light: revolutions in energy services', was selected by Choice Magazine as one of its Outstanding Academic Titles. In 2013, he edited the Handbook on Energy and Climate Change, which included many of the leading authorities on the economic analysis of energy and climate change. He is an associate editor of the New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics.

Summer term 2015
15 May 
The transition to prepaid electricity and the taming of uncertain livelihoods in urban Africa
Idalina Baptista (University of Oxford)


"This presentation engages ongoing debates about energy transitions, the politics of socio-technical urban networks, and of contemporary urbanism in the global South to reflect on how prepaid technology relates to the uncertainty pervading urban livelihoods in Africa.
Discussions about prepayment of utility services, such as electricity and water, tend to engage arguments around the politics of nonpayment, especially among low-income populations. There is also an increasing interest in scrutinizing how prepayment and prepaid meters – as a technology and technical devices – come to mediate forms of politics, sociability and social ordering that go beyond economical transactions. While these debates fruitfully mobilize concepts of morality, subjectivity and citizenship to conceptualize the politics of prepayment in relation to energy security, sustainability and justice, there has been less attention paid to the relationship between the transition to prepayment and the specificities of the urban condition in cities of the global South.

Focusing on Africa, the historical failure of the ‘modern infrastructure ideal’ to deliver a legible, if contingently stabilized, productive urban environment is visible in ‘slum urbanism’ as the dominant way of life. Despite the best efforts of the international development community, urban livelihoods in Africa continue to be characterized by a high degree of uncertainty and provisionality, especially in what concerns access to housing and basic urban services. Urban dwellers themselves are actively involved (sometimes even transgressively) in the everyday governance of socio-technical urban networks – such water, electricity and waste – since these have never fully materialized or universalized across the urban landscape. If urban networks play a fundamental role in the organization of social life, both by structuring lived space and by being essential components of social practice, then what intersections can we posit between prepaid electricity and slum urbanism? To what extent does prepayment reflect and/or produce the uncertain urban livelihoods and urban environments of urban Africa where it is being rolled out?

Drawing on the case study of the transition to prepaid electricity in Maputo, Mozambique, this presentation examines how prepayment normalizes three dimensions of uncertainty inherent to the city’s urban condition: (1) the insecurity of electricity supply, in face of Mozambique’s paradoxical electricity scarcity amidst a booming energy sector; (2) the ambiguities inherent in the relationship between the utility provider and the ‘disorderly’ places of consumption in informal settlements; and (3) the contingent everyday practices of electricity consumption among low-income urban dwellers. It will be argued that prepayment embeds these three dimensions in the city’s urban fabric while it also facilitates the taming of uncertain urban livelihoods. By examining these dimensions of uncertainty and how they are produced, experienced and embedded in the transition to prepayment, the presentation provides insights into how socio-technical transitions in Africa are affected by the specificities of everyday practices and the urban condition."


Idalina Baptista is an Associate Professor in Urban Anthropology in the Department for Continuing Education, University of Oxford, associated with the DPhil, MSc and Short Courses in Sustainable Urban Development. She is an Associate Fellow of the Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities, a member of the Consultative Committee of the African Studies Centre, and a Fellow of Kellogg College. Idalina has taught on diverse themes relating to urban planning and environmental management at the University of California, Berkeley, the New University of Lisbon, Universidade Aberta, and Universidade Atlântica, in Portugal. She held a visiting position at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon and collaborated with colleagues at the New University of Lisbon on projects and initiatives involving public participation in urban and environmental planning and policymaking. Her teaching and research is informed by past experience as an environmental planning consultant and as a volunteer to NGOs in the environmental sector. Idalina holds a PhD in City and Regional Planning (2009) and a Master in Landscape Architecture (Environmental Planning concentration) (1999) from the University of California, Berkeley, USA, and a BEng in Environmental Engineering (1996) from the New University of Lisbon, Portugal.
Idalina’s current research focuses on the colonial and post-colonial geographies of urban energy infrastructure and urbanization in African cities, with a special focus on Maputo, Mozambique. Through her research, Idalina seeks to contribute to theorizations of African urbanization and the challenges of governing urban infrastructures in Africa. In particular, she is interested in examining how different forms of infrastructure governance emerge and the patterns of urbanization, citizenship and urban livelihoods these engender. Idalina has been exploring these themes in her latest research project, Electric Urbanism: the Governance of Electricity in Urban Africa, examining innovative energy practices adopted in rapidly urbanizing areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. She recently concluded a research project focused on notions of urban flexibility in governing cities undergoing processes of reconstruction after a disaster and/or coping with situations of endemic crisis in Africa and the Caribbean. In the past, she examined the use of regimes of exception as alternative forms of governance to deliver large-scale urban rehabilitation projects in Portugal. Idalina has published her work in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Urban Studies, Urban Geography, City & Society, and in edited collections.

22 May
Measuring the Earth: the Anthropocene and the politics of the geosciences
Andrew Barry (UCL)


In a short article, published in the newsletter of the International Geosphere-Biosphere program in 2000, the geochemist Paul Crutzen and the biologist Eugene Stoermer proposed that the Earth had entered a new epoch, which they termed the Anthropocene. This period, they argued, was associated with a series of phenomena, including species extinction, the depletion of fossil fuel resources, and the release of sulphur and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere, as well as the impact of greenhouse gases. Since 2000 the term has been taken up not just by geoscientists, but also by a growing number of writers in human and environmental geography, history, political theology, social anthropology, science and technology studies and the ‘ecological humanities’, as well as artists and curators. Yet despite the burgeoning enthusiasm for the idea of the Anthropocene, the meaning and utility of the term remains disputed, not least among geoscientists. In this paper, I discuss some of the key questions raised by the idea of the Anthropocene, focusing on the lack of agreement amongst geoscientists about when the Anthropocene actually began. The debate about the timing of the Anthropocene, I argue, is both a controversy about the science and politics of climate change, and a controversy about how geo and social scientists conceive of the relation between the geologic and human history.


Andrew Barry is Professor and Chair of Human Geography, University College London. Andrew completed his DPhil at SPRU and subsequently held posts at Brunel University and Goldsmiths College, and the School of Geography and Environment, Oxford University, before joining UCL in 2013. His most recent books are Interdisciplinarity: Reconfigurations of the Social and Natural Sciences (co-edited with Georgina Born, 2013) and Material Politics: Disputes along the Pipeline (2013). He is currently developing a series of new research projects on the political geography of the geosciences.

29 May
Employment Protection Legislation and Firm Growth: Evidence from a Natural Experiment
Sven-Olov Daunfeldt and Anders Bornhall (HUI Research and Dalarna University)



A natural experiment is used to identify the causal relationship between employment protection legislation and firm growth in Sweden. A reform of the last-in-first-out principle increased employment growth with over 4,000 additional jobs per year in firms with less than eleven employees. Firms with ten employees became 3.4 percentage points less likely to increase their workforce, indicating that an introduced threshold kept them from growing. Thus, employment protection legislation seems to act as a growth barrier for small firms.


TSven-Olov Daunfeldt is Research Director at HUI Research in Stockholm, and Professor of Economics at Dalarna University. Sven-Olov received his Ph.D from Umeå University in 2001, and has since then worked in a number of different research fields such as labour economics, public finance, political economy, and industrial organization. His research is nowadays primarily focused on firm dynamics, with a special emphasize on high-growth firms and the institutional conditions for firm growth. Sven-Olov has published his research in well-renowned journals such as the Journal of Population Economics, Oxford Economic Papers, Industrial and Corporate Change, and Small Business Economics.

5 June 
The emerging public and private ‘market’ for Green technologies. Who is doing what and why it matters
Mariana Mazzucato and Gregor Semieniuk (SPRU)


It is often argued that to push the world away from the brink of catastrophic climate change and other planetary boundaries (Rockstroem et al. 2009), a green technology revolution is necessary (Stern, 2006). Indeed, making the sea change to “green technology” requires not only profit-making companies that build renewable power-plants and their equipment on scales never seen before—and develop improve fuel cell efficiency at rates faster than in the IT chip revolution—it also requires the finance that takes on the risk of yet unproven or unprofitable technologies and processes, to enable this production in the first place.

Renewables continue to have a minor share in the energy mix (IEA 2014) and it is estimated that financing of renewables would need to be three times as much as it is currently in order to come close to enabling renewable energy capacities for emission reductions deemed apt to steer away from dangerous temperature rises (CPI 2014, IPCC 2014). Clearly, without finance, no “green revolution” (Aghion, Veugelers & Serre 2009; Mazzucato, 2014; Spratt, 2015). But also, without profit opportunities, no finance, at least not by risk-averse private actors.

The paper seeks to shed light on the evolving ‘market’ for green technologies by understanding who is financing what in different parts of the renewable energy market, and how this differs across the risk landscape (measured by different degrees of capital intensity, and market and technological risk), and over time. We focus on different types of public and private actors.

There is much to learn about the patterns of public and private actors in the innovation cycle, by looking at previous revolutions. Block and Keller (2011) find that public actors played the leading role in allowing technological revolutions in biotechnology, nanotechnology, and IT. For example, in biotechnology, the NIH funded both basic and applied research for decades before the private venture capitalists were willing to invest (Lazonick and Tulum, 2011). And as argued in Mazzucato (2013) it has been especially the high risk/uncertainty areas, across the entire innovation chain of these sectors (not only the ‘public good’ areas), that ‘entrepreneurial’ state institutions have had to lead on. Who is leading today the green tech revolution? What do we know about different actors across the risk landscape and over time? These questions are today urgent because the unlike previous revolutions, this one has a deadline (Schmitz 2015). Even with a carbon price or other demand-side incentives, there are still radical supply-side interventions required in the renewable market if we are to battle climate change in time.

This study will look at who is doing what in renewable energy finance. We use the Bloomberg New Energy Finance database to build insights on the relationship between public and private actors in the emerging green finance landscape. We look at their actions in different parts of the risk landscape (measured by capital intensity and technological and market risk), and over time. We first look at aggregates (the public sector vs. the private sector), and then at heterogeneity within these aggregates (public banks versus public R&D agencies), and at still a greater level of disaggregation (a public bank in China versus a public bank in Germany). We do the same for private finance (private finance as a whole; then venture capital vs. investment banks; and then different types of venture capital and so on).

For each actor we ask:
(1) what parts of the risk/uncertainty landscape are being invested in by different public and private actors, both aggregate and disaggregate (public vs. private; different types of public and private);
(2) how much heterogeneity is there within categories, and what does it reveal in terms of investment (e.g. within category; are some public banks more strategic market creating than others?);
(3) are returns higher for the actors in the high risk areas;
(4) are there greater tails for those actors that are more dispersed in terms of type of technologies they are investing in (e.g. does a bank that invests in both dirty and clean have more tails);
(5) do we see an evolution of actors over time depending on how risk changes, (e.g. a falling role of public banks in solar as solar becomes less uncertain?);

After building a forest view of the evolving landscapes, we look at the degree to which the patterns confirm one particular view (hypothesis) of private and public investments, compared to another. In particular we compare the market failure view to a more market shaping/crating view (Mazzucato, 2015). In a framework in which the public role is simply to fix market failures, is the kind of investment we are seeing by public banks too much, ie are they perhaps ‘crowding out’ private banks (Smallridge et al. 2013; Mazzucato and Penna, 2015)? Equally, do we see too much overlap between private and public, suggesting that perhaps the public actors are not being active enough in pushing the frontier of the renewable energy market? In order to make such judgments we must know what the private and public actors are actually actually investing in. The paper makes a contribution to answering this question.


Mariana Mazzucato

Welcome, I’m a Professor in the Economics of Innovation at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) of the University of Sussex. My work is focused on the economics of innovation; finance and economic growth; and the role of the State in modern capitalism. I advise policy makers around the world on how to achieve economic growth that is both 'smart' - innovation led - and also more inclusive.My recent book, The Entrepreneurial State: debunking private vs. public sector myths, challenges the image of the lethargic, regulating state versus the dynamic business sector—using historical examples to show how some of the most high risk and courageous investments that led to revolutions in IT, biotechnology and nanotechnology, were sparked by public sector institutions. It offers a new way of thinking about political economy in the 21st century. My research is currently funded by the Ford Foundation, the European Commission and the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

Gregor Semieniuk

Web Profile available here

12 June
Figures not Numbers: Accounting, legitimacy and the making of ‘socie-ties’
Paolo Quattrone (University of Edinburgh)

• Paper(Restricted to UoS Users)


‘Legitimacy’ is a key concept in explaining individual and collective behaviour. Research on legitimacy has taken various routes in understating what makes social action morally acceptable: these range from the active role of agents in gaining social support and recognition, to the importance of taken for granted values, norms and beliefs in defining what counts as legitimate social action. More recently, research has shifted to practices and highlighted that ‘how’ actions are undertaken is as important as ‘what’ actions are undertaken. This paper aims to contribute to this literature by looking at how the material and visual dimension of the practice constitutes and important source of legitimacy for both social actors and the practice per se. Drawing on a survey of accounting practices in three paradigmatic eras in the history of accounting (i.e. Roman times, the Renaissance, and Modern accounting), we provide insights on how accounting, due to its material and visual symmetry, plays a role in the constitution and maintenance of proportioned links amongst members of a community. The visual and material arrangements of the account offer an instrument to constantly question and reinvent what means to have a proportionate and balanced social relationship. Accounts and their visual symmetry thus tie together members of a community, making ‘socie-ties’ sustainable.


Paolo Quattrone is Professor and Chair of Accounting, Governance and Social innovation at the University of Edinburgh Business School. Before joining Edinburgh, he was Professor of Accounting and Management Control at IE Business School, Madrid and Reader in Accounting at the Saïd Business School, and Official Student (i.e. Fellow) of Christ Church. A truly international scholar, he has conducted research and taught at the Universities of Catania, Kyoto, Madrid Carlos III, Manchester, Oxford, Palermo, Siena, Stanford and Luigi Bocconi of Milan. His work addresses questions related to the emergence and diffusion of accounting and managerial practices in historical and contemporary settings. He is particularly interested in researching the relationships between material accounting visualizations and decision making, strategizing, and governance.
Paolo Quattrone has published widely on the interface between management control and information technologies (especially ERPs), the history of accounting and management practices and thinking, and the managerialisation of higher education institutions and his works have appeared in he has published in journals such as Accounting, Organizations and Society, Contemporary Accounting Research and Administrative Science Quarterly. His research on the Jesuit administrative and accounting practices has recently been featured in the Financial Times.
As Fulbright New Century Scholar at the University of Stanford, he conducted research on changes in business models and education. Professor Quattrone also served on the Standing Scientific Committee of the European Accounting Association for several years, and is the associate editor of The British Accounting Review, and of Critical Perspectives of Accounting. He sits on the editorial boards of major academic journals such as Accounting Organizations and Society, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, the Accounting Historians Journal and Organization.
More recently, he teaches, consults, and researches in the area of Major Programme Management, where he is developing a series of case studies on reporting, governance and leadership practices to address issues of risk and uncertainty in complex organizations for the courses that he teaches for the MSc in Major Programme management at the Saïd Business School, Oxford, where he is currently an Associate Fellow, and for the Major Programme Leadership Academy of the UK Cabinet. His research on Major Programmes has received funding from the Chartered Institute of Management Accounting (CIMA).

Spring term 2015
23 January 
Actors and advocacy coalitions in the energy transition
Jochen Markard (ETH Zurich)

• Paper
• Slides


The background of this talk is that transitions research has been criticized for not paying sufficient attention to the diverging interests of the broad range of actors and the underlying power struggles of sustainability transitions. In recent years though, more and more scholars have studied system building activities, niche creation, network formation or defensive strategies of incumbent players. Moreover, transition researchers have started to work with, and integrate concepts from related fields such as management or political sciences. The ongoing energy transition is certainly a case of high relevance - for transition scholars as well as for policy makers and managers: new technologies and services are expanding rapidly (renewables, smart grids, e-mobility, demand management), new business models emerge and market liberalization is continuously changing longstanding organizational and regulatory structures of the sector. In this talk, I briefly discuss key issues of past and current energy transitions and then present findings from a study on advocacy coalitions in Swiss energy policy, where we investigated what coalitions exist and how they have changed over time. Our results show that advocacy coalitions have largely remained stable over the past 12 years. However, in 20, a clear majority of key actors supported fundamental policy changes in favor of an energy transition. These findings will be explained by the interaction and mutual transformation of the policy system and the socio-technical system. I conclude with some more general points for discussion on the role of actors in sustainability transitions.


Jochen Markard works as a Senior researcher and Lecturer at the Group for Sustainability and Technology within the Department of Management, Technology, and Economics of ETH Zurich. In his research, Jochen studies the interaction of technology, actor strategies, politics, society and culture. A focus is on the emergence of new technological fields, which have a potential to contribute to larger societal transformation and sustainability transition. Jochen works with a range of different theoretical perspectives in search for theory development and complementary explanations of complex phenomena. He applies concepts from innovation and transition studies, management studies, science and technology studies, and political sciences.

30 January
Measuring the Earth: the Anthropocene and the politics of the geosciences
Andrew Barry (UCL)


In a short article, published in the newsletter of the International Geosphere-Biosphere program in 2000, the geochemist Paul Crutzen and the biologist Eugene Stoermer proposed that the Earth had entered a new epoch, which they termed the Anthropocene. This period, they argued, was associated with a series of phenomena, including species extinction, the depletion of fossil fuel resources, and the release of sulphur and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere, as well as the impact of greenhouse gases. Since 2000 the term has been taken up not just by geoscientists, but also by a growing number of writers in human and environmental geography, history, political theology, social anthropology, science and technology studies and the ‘ecological humanities’, as well as artists and curators. Yet despite the burgeoning enthusiasm for the idea of the Anthropocene, the meaning and utility of the term remains disputed, not least among geoscientists. In this paper, I discuss some of the key questions raised by the idea of the Anthropocene, focusing on the lack of agreement amongst geoscientists about when the Anthropocene actually began. The debate about the timing of the Anthropocene, I argue, is both a controversy about the science and politics of climate change, and a controversy about how geo and social scientists conceive of the relation between the geologic and human history.


Andrew Barry is Professor and Chair of Human Geography, University College London. Andrew completed his DPhil at SPRU and subsequently held posts at Brunel University and Goldsmiths College, and the School of Geography and Environment, Oxford University, before joining UCL in 2013. His most recent books are Interdisciplinarity: Reconfigurations of the Social and Natural Sciences (co-edited with Georgina Born, 2013) and Material Politics: Disputes along the Pipeline (2013). He is currently developing a series of new research projects on the political geography of the geosciences.

6 February 
Commodity chains, creative destruction and global inequality: a class analysis
Ben Selwyn (University of Sussex)



The majority of global commodity chain analysis is concerned with producer firm upgrading, because it is held to engender local-level development. This represents a myopic comprehension of the interaction of firms under capitalism. This article argues, in contrast, that lead firm chain governance and supplier firm upgrading attempts constitute strategies and practices that reproduce global poverty and inequality. Schumpeter’s concept of creative destruction represents a starting point in undertaking this endeavour. However, his formulation of capitalist competition ignores class and global economic relations. A Marxian conception of creative destruction, in contrast, rests upon an understanding of globally constituted class relations, which provides a novel perspective in comprehending and investigating processes that re-produce global poverty and inequality. The article substantiates these claims by examining cases of buyer-driven global commodity chains, and lead firm strategies of increasing labour exploitation throughout these chains.



13 February 
New Metrics for Economic Complexity: Measuring the Intangible Growth Potential of Countries
Luciano Pietronero (Institute of Complex Systems, ISC-CNR, and University of Rome Sapienza)



Economic Complexity refers to a new line of research which portrays economic growth as a process of evolution of ecosystems of technologies and industrial capabilities. Complex systems analysis, simulation, systems science methods, and big data capabilities offer new opportunities to empirically map technology and capability ecosystems of countries and industrial sectors, analyse their structure, understand their dynamics and measure economic complexity. This approach provides a new vision of a data driven fundamental economics in a strongly connected, globalised

In particular here we discuss the COMTRADE dataset which provides the matrix of countries and their exported products. According to the standard economic theory the specialization of countries towards certain specific products should be optimal. The observed data show that this is not the case and that diversification is actually more important. Specialization may be the leading effect in a static situation but the strongly dynamical globalized world market suggests instead that flexibility and adaptability are essential elements of competitiveness as in bio-systems. The situation is different for individual companies or sectors which seem instead to specialize only on few products. The crucial challenge is then how to turn these qualitative observations into quantitative variables. We have introduced a new metrics for the Fitness of countries and the Complexity of products which corresponds to the fixed point of the iteration of two nonlinear coupled equations and is a sort of economic version of the Google Page rank approach. However, in this case, the nonlinearity is crucial because it represents the fact that the upper bound on the Complexity of a product is given by the less developed country that can produce it. The information provided by the new metrics can be used in various ways. The direct comparison of the Fitness with the country GDP gives an assessment of the non-expressed potential of the country. This can be used as a predictor of GDP evolution or stock index and sectors perfomances. These results are also useful for risk analysis, planning of industrial development and strategies to exit from the “poverty trap”. The global economic dynamics shows a large degree of heterogeneity which implies that countries which are in a certain zone of the parameter space evolve in a predictable way while others show a chaotic behaviour. This heterogeneous dynamics is also outside the usual economic concepts. When dealing with heterogeneous systems, in fact, the usual tools of linear regressions become of inappropriate. Recently we have developed a specific strategy to control and forecast the evolution of the entire Product Space Network. This allows us to perform a more detailed analysis of the evolution focused on the individual industrial sectors.


Luciano Pietronero studied physics in Rome and was a research scientist at Xerox Webster and Brown Boveri until 1983. He then moved to Groningen, where he was professor in condensed matter theory (1983-87). Since 1987 he is professor of physics at the University of Rome "Sapienza”. Founder and director of the Institute for Complex Systems of CNR (2004-2014). Broad international experience in academic and industrial enviroments. In 2008 he received the Fermi Prize (highest award of the Italian Physical Society).
Research interests  Condensed Matter Theory; High-temperature superconductivity; Statistical Physics; Fractal Growth; Self-Organized-Criticality; Complex Systems and its interdisciplinary applications. Recent activity in Economic Complexity

20 February
Entrepreneurship - individual factors in context
Uwe Cantner (Friedrich Schiller University Jena)

• Paper (1) (Restricted to UoS Users)
Paper (2)
Paper (3)


The presentaiton will be based on three papers. In order of relevance:

1. "Innovation, personality traits and entrepreneurial failure" Studies on moderators of the innovation performance relationship in entrepreneurship research are scarce. Thus in this paper we use a dataset consisting of 416 entrepreneurs from the German federal state of Thuringia in order to examine the moderating effect of the Big Five personality traits extraversion, openness and conscientiousness on the relationship between entrepreneurial innovation and exit by failure in highly innovative industries. Correspondingly, we identify exit by failure with the help of bankruptcy information and self reports. In order to account for self selection into innovative entrepreneurship, stratification on the propensity score is utilized to overcome self selection bias. After accounting for self- selection into innovation, we find that personality moderates the innovation failure relationship. Extraversion strengthens the negative effect of innovation on exit by failure. In contrast, openness and conscientiousness weaken the negative effect of innovation on entrepreneurial failure.

2. "Schumpeter’s Entrepreneur: Psychological, Sociological and Economic Dimensions". In this paper we investigate Schumpeter’s description of an entrepreneur as an actor deviating from the mainstream along psychological, sociological and economic dimensions. We integrate basic psychological characteristics described by the Five-Factor model of per- sonality as well as motivational and contextual predictors of entrepreneurial intentions pro- posed by the theory of planned behavior, social identity theory, and self-categorization theory into a framework explaining the individual scientist’s intentions to become an entrepreneur. Our analysis finds that a rather low, but non-negligible share of scientists show intentions which are based on a rather Schumpeterian attitude whereas the majority follows the peers. The finding that these intentions rather determined by cognitive and social dimensions than by basic psychological traits leaves room for policy intervention.

3. "Regional characteristics, opportunity perception and entrepreneurial activities". This article seeks to better understand the link between regional characteristics and individual entrepreneurship. We combine individual-level Global Entrepreneurship Monitor data for Western Germany with regional-level data, using multilevel analysis to test our hypotheses. We find no direct link between regional knowledge creation, the economic context and an entrepreneurial culture on the one side and individual business start-up intentions and start-up activity on the other side. However, our findings point to the importance of an indirect effect of regional characteristics as knowledge creation, the economic context and an entrepreneurial culture have an effect on the individual perception of founding opportunities, which in turn predicted start-up intentions and activity.


Uwe Cantner is full Professor of economics, Chair of microeconomics, and Vice-President of the University of Jena. He is the director of “The Jena Graduate School Human Behaviour in Social and Economic Change", and the spokesman of DFG Graduate College “The Economics of Innovative Change". He was president of the International Joseph A. Schumpeter Society from 2012 to 2014. Since 2002 he is editor of the Journal of Evolutionary Economics. His main fields of research are economics of innovation, evolutionary economics, industrial economics, and productivity and efficiency measurement, on which he has extensively published.

27 February
The challenge of global food security and why it matters to UK consumers – early reflections as the chief scientific adviser for the FSA
Guy Poppy (University of Southampton)

• Background Material (1)
• Background Material (2)




Professor Guy Poppy took up his role as the FSA’s Chief Scientific Adviser in August 2014. He will also continue with his research in global food security at the University of Southampton, where he is Professor of Ecology and the Director of Interdisciplinary Research.

Professor Poppy has significant research experience in food systems and food security and has advised governments around the world on these issues. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers including a number of highly cited articles on risk assessment, risk analysis and risk communication. He is currently a member of the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) panel assessing the quality of agriculture, food and veterinary science in the UK.

A graduate of Imperial College and Oxford University, Professor Poppy previously worked at Rothamsted Research, becoming Principal Scientific Officer. He left in 2001 to join the University of Southampton where he has been Head of Biodiversity and Ecology and, more recently, Head of Biological Sciences.

As the FSA’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Poppy will provide expert scientific advice to the UK government and play a critical role in helping to understand how scientific developments will shape the work of the FSA as well as the strategic implications of any possible changes.

6 March
User-driven innovation, transitions and reinvention in the Long Twentieth Century
Ruth Oldenziel (Eindhoven University of Technology)

• Paper


The notion that users matter in the making of innovations has become a truism. Yet, there is a tendency to downplay the power relations, everyday practices, and social movements as a potential locus of innovation. During the long twentieth century, user-based movements have been important in shaping innovations and innovations. The question is not only what makes them effective, but how historical context matters for user-driven movements to gain momentum and succeed.


Ruth Oldenziel is professor at Eindhoven University of Technology and a Visiting Fellow at the LMU Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Munich, 2013-2015. She received her PhD from Yale University in American History (1992). Her historically-based publications include books and articles in the area of American, gender, and technology studies, among them Cycling and Recycling (Berghahn 2015) edited with Helmuth Trischler; Hacking Europe, edited with Gerard Alberts (Springer 2014); “Recycle and Reuse,” edited with Heike Weber (special issue of European Contemporary History 2013); Cold War Kitchen, edited with Karin Zachmann (MIT 2009); Gender and Technology, edited with Arwen Mohun and Nina Lerman (Hopkins 2003). Her most recent book with Mikael Hård, is entitled Consumers, Users, Rebels: the People who Shaped Europe (Palgrave 2013) with Mikael Hard. She is currently working on a monograph “Global Cycling: Paths towards Sustainability.

13 March
Women do not play their aces - Shying away leads to distorted ability perceptions
Mirjam van Praag (Copenhagen Business School)


Laboratory experiments have demonstrated a gender gap in attitudes towards risk and competition. This gender gap is often cited as a reason why women are missing from the top of hierarchies. Testing this explanation in real life situations is challenging due to confounding factors. We exploit a large dataset from an online card game community to test this explanation in a stylized environment with important real life features: self-selection into a competitive, risky and male-dominated environment; strategic interaction between players; repetition and feedback; intrinsically motivated participants. We indeed demonstrate gender differences in playing behavior: female players are less likely to initiate games, play ‘solo’ or increase the stakes. At the same time, female players have substantially lower cumulative scores than male players. This gender score gap is not a reflection of ability differences: given their choices, women are as likely as men to win the games they play. We explain the relatively low scores of women with their more passive, “defensive” attitude towards risky and competitive situations. Our study thus demonstrates a negative consequence of “shying away”: it makes female players appear less competent than men, despite no gender difference in on-task performance.


Prof Dr C.Mirjam van Praag is Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller Professor of Entrepreneurship at Copenhagen Business School, Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics. Besides she holds an unpaid position as a Professor of Entrepreneurship and Organization in the Amsterdam Business School of the University of Amsterdam. She is also a Crown Member of the Socioeconomic Council (SER) of the Dutch government.
Van Praag’s research, that is widely published in international academic journals, studies Economics of Entrepreneurship (e.g., Human Capital, Teams, Entrepreneurship and the Household) often using (field or natural) experiments. Besides entrepreneurship, she is also an active researcher in the field of Personnel Economics (performance measurement and rewards) and Behavorial Economics.

In the past, Mirjam was employed as a consultant with The Boston Consulting Group, as a financial analyst with Procter & Gamble and as a research consultant with GFK Intomart. She has served as a non-executive member on various boards, both in the public and the private sector. Mirjam was the founding director of the Amsterdam Center for Entrepreneurship. Mirjam van Praag is an econometrician (MSc and Phd UvA) and she has a daughter (Sarah, 1998) and a son (Boaz, 1999).

20 March
Transformations towards sustainability: Reflections on action, knowledge, innovation and governance
Sybille van den Hove  (Autonomous University of Barcelona)

 Background Material
  Paper (1)
• Paper (2)


An impressionist journey around the theme of transformations for sustainability, including explorations and reflections on policy action, precaution, knowledge, science-policy interfaces, innovation, and governance, flavoured with some digressions on myths and asymmetries.


Dr Sybille van den Hove is Director of Median, a small research, teaching and consulting company in Barcelona and Visiting Professor at the Institute for Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) of the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Her background is in physics and ecological economics. Her research interests all focus on sustainability transformation. They include sustainability governance; decision-making and policy formation under conditions of complexity; science-policy interfaces; integration of natural and social sciences research; environmental research strategies; and environmental strategies of corporations. Currently she works on biodiversity governance (including in particular deep-sea issues); precaution and innovation; and business transformations towards sustainability. She is the chair of the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency.

27 March
Medusa at the Hairdresser : Untangling the Anthropocene through Digital Methods
Tommaso Venturini (Science Po, Medialab)


In the last few years, our societies have been confronted to a new kind of problems. Our planet – once so vast and unexplored – seems to have shrunk around us constraining our actions with its multiple ecological and economical fragilities. Welcome to the anthropocene! After centuries spent in trying to rule the world, we suddenly realize how tiny is our kingdom and, as the air fill with CO2, how suffocating is its atmosphere. What’s worse, we find ourselves utterly unprepared to deal with the situation we have created. The more we strive to force the knots we tied, the more they seem to tighten around us.

The knots that hold us cannot be slashed, but (and it’s our only hope) they might be untied. The fabric of our natural and social interdependencies is complex, but not impenetrable. And this is where social sciences may help, by hijacking one of the strongest forces of modernization (the proliferation of digital inscriptions) and turning it into a source of understanding. Turning inscriptions into traces, and following them as threads through the maze of collective life, we can try to unfold the complexity of our small world and learn to live with it.


Tommaso Venturini is associate professor and research coordinator at the Sciences Po médialab. He is the leading scientist of the projects EMAPS and MEDEA and his research activities focus on digital methods, Controversy Mapping, Social Modernization. He teaches Controversy Mapping, Digital Methods, Data Journalism and STS at graduate and undergraduate level. He has been trained in sociology and media studies at the University of Bologna, completed a PhD in Society of Information at the University of Milano Bicocca and a post-doc in Sociology of Modernity at the Department of Philosophy and Communication of the University of Bologna. He has been visiting student at UCLA and visiting researcher at the CETCOPRA of Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne.


10 April
Engineering life: policies and promises
Jane Calvert (University of Edinburgh)


In this presentation I will discuss my new research project: ‘Engineering Life’, which examines the emerging field of synthetic biology. I will focus on ‘policies and promises’, which is one of the three strands of the project. Work in this strand will attempt to situate synthetic biology in its broader policy context, and will explore the promises made about the field’s contribution to economic growth, and the pressures on it to deliver job creation and industrialisation. Such pressures are clearly not new, but they take on interesting nuances in synthetic biology. For example, the field models itself on engineering and aspires to develop standardised interchangeable biological parts. This research agenda does not necessarily lend itself to rapid commercialisation.

Synthetic biology is also a field that is perceived to be ‘contentious’, which means that social scientists have been involved from the outset, initially as part of programmes on ‘Ethical Legal and Social Issues/Aspects’, but more recently under the heading of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). I will ask in what senses the large-scale involvement of social scientists can be understood as a form of governance of this emerging biotechnology. I will end by asking whether RRI might help connect science and technology studies and innovation studies. This relates to my longstanding interest in the relationship between these two fields (particularly in respect to normativity, reflexivity and critique).


Jane Calvert is a Reader in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies at the University of Edinburgh. She spent many happy years at the University of Sussex, first as an undergraduate in Human Sciences and then as a PhD student in SPRU. Her current research, funded by a European Research Council Consolidator grant, focuses on attempts to engineer living things in the emerging field of synthetic biology, which raises intriguing questions about design, evolution and ‘life’. She is also interested the governance of emerging technologies, intellectual property and open source, and interdisciplinary collaborations of all sorts. She is a co-author of the book Synthetic Aesthetics: Investigating Synthetic Biology’s Designs on Nature, published by MIT Press in 2014.

17 April
Too fast to live? Effects of growth on survival across the growth distribution
Alex Coad with J. S. Frankish, R. G. Roberts, D. J. Storey (SPRU)


here are several theoretical reasons to suppose that excessive fast growth may harm survival: ‘Penrose effects’ operating through limits to managerial attention, cash flow problems, ‘time compression diseconomies’ and convex adjustment costs that make costs exceed revenues, and difficulties in quickly finding good matches on labour markets. We explore survival across the growth rate distribution using a rich dataset of a cohort of 6247 new ventures, using customer records data from a major UK bank. We measure non-survival though termination of the business account (as opposed to continuation or switching the account to a rival bank). Although growth enhances survival on average, the highest decile of the growth distribution never has the highest survival, and there are significant non-linearities (specification tests prefer a seventh-order polynomial). Our findings have implications for the current policy interest in high growth firms.


Alex Coad has been a research fellow at SPRU since October 2010 (Senior Research Fellow as from October 2011), and is Associate Editor at Research Policy. He has published almost 50 articles in international peer-reviewed journals, such as Research Policy, Journal of Business Venturing, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Industrial and Corporate Change, and Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. His research interests are mainly focused on firm performance, entrepreneurship, economics of innovation, and happiness economics. Alex's prize-winning research has received over 2000 citations on google-scholar, with an H-index of 22.

Autumn term 2014
3 October
How poor farmers can participate in choosing technology development options
Erik Millstone (SPRU)


Erik Millstone is a professor of science policy at the University of Sussex. Since 1974 he has been researching into the causes, consequences and regulation of technological change in the food and chemical industries. Since 1988 he has been researching the role of scientific experts, evidence and advice in public policymaking. Since the mid-1980s he has actively engaged with public policymakers in the UK, in other countries and in international organisations with a view to influencing policy developments

10 October
Services, needs, vulnerability: New ways of conceptualizing and addressing domestic energy deprivation
Stefan Bouzarovski (University of Manchester)


This paper charts the emergent body of new approaches towards the research, analysis and amelioration of energy deprivation in the home. It starts from the premise that all forms of energy and fuel poverty - in developed and developing countries alike - are underpinned by a common condition: The inability to attain a socially- and materially-necessitated level of domestic energy services. Emphasizing the functionings and capabilities provided by energy use in the residential domain has led us to question binary divisions between the fields of 'fuel poverty' and 'energy poverty' within, respectively, the global North and South. In order to move towards an integrated understanding of energy service poverty, we highlight the multiple socio-technical pathways that prevent the effective fulfilment of household energy needs. Based on such thinking, the paper identifies the main components and implications of 'energy vulnerability' frameworks, whereby the driving forces of domestic energy deprivation are seen through a dynamic approach that emphasizes issues of resilience and risk. Using a case study of urban households living in transitory household arrangements in two European cities, this paradigm serves as a basis for emphasizing the predicament faced by groups who fall outside mainstream policy and scientific agendas.


Stefan Bouzarovski is Professor of Geography and Director of the Centre for Urban Resilience and Energy at the University of Manchester. He undertakes academic and policy-based research on issues of urban fuel poverty and sustainability transitions more generally. He has authored more than 60 publications (including several books) and led approximately 30 international research projects on such topics, having held full time and visiting posts at 10 universities in the UK and overseas. Stefan's academic research has influenced the work of UK local authorities, the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and the UK Parliament. He has also worked together with the European Commission and Parliament, the World Bank, the World Health Organization and the International Energy Agency.

17 October
Fashions in science and innovation policy, past and present
Arie Rip (University of Twente)


A number of important issues in science and innovation policy, like 'Big Science' (from late 1950s onwards), 'Key Technologies' and now 'Grand Challenges' and 'Responsible Research and Innovation', have also the trappings of a fashion, including the use of a few words to capture the thrust and allowing it to travel. An important further question is what remains, after the fashion has passed: fashions leave traces, also in terms of institutional arrangements. I will analyse a few cases, and on that basis offer an understanding of de facto science and innovation policy.​


Arie Rip is Professor of Philosophy of Science and Technology in the School of Management and Governance of the University of Twente. He is a key figure in the Centre for Studies of Science, Technology and Society. The Centre comprises studies of new technology and users, long-term developments of technology and the consumer society, technology assessment, in particular constructive technology assessment of nanotechnology, foresight as a science and technology policy instrument, national systems of research and innovation and their evolution. Arie Rip is involved in evaluation studies, as of the Norwegian Research Council, and the research management of Flemish Universities, and international comparative science policy studies. He was a member of the EU High-Level Expert Group on Foresighting the New Technology Wave, and is actively promoting international collaboration in issues of nanotechnology and society. He is also Visiting Professor at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Arie Rip studied chemistry and philosophy at the University of Leiden, did research in physical chemistry, and switched to Chemistry and Society teaching and research, and Science, Technology and Society studies more generally. He was guest professor of science dynamics at the University of Amsterdam (1984-1987), and then moved to his present position at the University of Twente. He was President of the international Society for Social Studies of Science (1988-1989). His work in science dynamics, technology dynamics, and constructive technology assessment is widely acclaimed.

24 October
Governance Innovation for Sustainable Global Value Creation
Christos Pitelis (University of Bath)


The aim of this article is to discuss the nature and conditions for constructing alternative, more accountable supranational governance for world-wide economic sustainability. We approximate world-wide economic sustainability with the sustainability of global economic value creation and discuss the impact of value appropriation-capture by powerful economic agents, such as multinational enterprises (MNEs) and nation states, on the sustainability of global value creation. We suggest that corporate governance should be aligned with public and supra-national governance, in a way that addresses a number of hierarchically layered ‘agencies’, not merely the almost exclusively discussed ‘agency’ between owners and managers (Klein et al., 2012). We propose that the diagnosis of a complex set of hierarchically layered “agencies” is a major prerequisite for constructing supra-national governance for world-wide economic sustainability. Doing so is critical given one of the biggest systemic failures of capitalism, and the failure of mainstream economics to anticipate and regulate it. We submit that such anticipation and regulation, requires recognition of the importance of institutional and organizational innovations, which help challenge concentrated and embedded power structures that prejudice economic sustainability.

31 October
Blade Runner economics: Will innovation lead us out of crisis?
Daniele Archibugi (Italian National Research Council and University of London, Birkbeck College)


Schumpeterian economics has for long associated phases of economic expansion to the introduction in the economic and social fabric of successful innovations. On the contrary, economic depressions have often been explained as the inability, or the lack of availability, of innovations. Can the economic crisis started in 2008 be explained as an inability to introduce innovations in the economic system? And, conversely, will a new stream of innovation be lead an economic recovery?

These issues are not new: after the economic crisis of the 1970s, it was repeatedly asked which innovations could lead a new development phase. In the early 1980s, contrasting views where discussed at the Science Policy Research Unit of the Sussex University: Christopher Freeman was leading those who believed that only revolutionary changes in the economic structure could lead to a long-term recovery, while Keith Pavitt stressed the importance of accumulated skills and competences to sustain economic life.

These hypotheses were tested against some of the emerging technologies of the period: nuclear energy, bio-technology and ICTs were scrutinised to assess their potential impact in terms of employment generation. After thirty years, it can be said that nuclear energy and bio-technology have not delivered (yet?) their promises, while ICTs have become much more important than expected. In particular, they have managed, as predicted by Freeman, not only to generate a successful new industry, but also to change the operation of all other industries.
These predictions were the result of an explicit model about when and how new technologies can become the driving force of economic and social development. What can does the model tell about the reality of the XXI century?

The paper presents an attempt to identify what could be the driving technologies of the next economic wave on the ground of: 1) Cost reductions in a wide range of products and services; 2) Improvement of the technical characteristics of products and services; 3) Social and political acceptability; 4) Environmental acceptability; 5) Pervasiveness in the overall economic system; 6) Emergence of new companies, often also with a distinctive managerial organization.


Daniele Archibugi is a Research Director at the Italian National Research Council (CNR-IRPPS) in Rome, and Professor of Innovation, Governance and Public Policy at the University of London, Birkbeck College. He works on the economics and policy of science, technology and innovation and on the political theory of international relations.

He has chaired the European Commission's Expert Group on "A Wide Opening of the European Research Area to the World" and he has been a member of the Expert Group of the European Commission "Global Europe 2030/2050".

In the field of innovation studies, he co-authored The Technological Specialization of Advanced Countries, prefaced by the then EC President Jacques Delors  (Kluwer, 1992) and co-edited with Bengt-Aake Lundval, The Globalizing Learning Economy (Oxford University Press, 2001). His latest co-authored book is Innovation and Economic Crisis. Lessons and Prospects from the Economic Downturn (Routledge, 2011). He is now co-editing, with Andrea Filippetti, The Handbook of Global Science, Technology and Innovation (Wiley, 2015)

7 November
Innovation in the energy sector: paradigm-busting or paradigm-reinforcing
Jim Skea (Imperial College London)


The energy sector is well known for the relatively modest level of resource that it devotes to research and development (R&D). However, the incremental pace of energy innovation has speeded up in the last decade as measured by public sector R&D budgets, deployment of alternative technologies and novel institutional arrangements. While much of this effort has been targeted at technologies that promise to reduce carbon emissions, there have also been major innovations that extend the fossil fuel resource base and reduce the cost of extraction. The last decade’s developments can be seen in terms of a challenge to the existing energy paradigm being met by a renewed innovative response focused on conventional fuels and technologies, echoing major, decades-long shifts that have occurred in the past.

The talk aims to articulate more clearly the overall pattern of developments drawing on empirical evidence relating to the public sector R&D portfolio, private sector activity and evolving institutional arrangements in a number of jurisdictions. It will also draw attention to the growing level of activity in energy innovation, as measured by level of activity and deployment of new technologies, this being driven by the ‘pull’ from public policies and market opportunities and a ‘push’ from scientific advances in ICT, materials science and the biosciences. It will also highlight the changing shape of energy R&D portfolios and the balance between public and private sector activities.

A central conclusion is that there is a tension between the drive, on the part of public bodies, to transform energy systems, mainly motivated by the need to combat global climate change, and more self-motivated private sector activity which serves to reinforce and extend existing patterns of energy provision. The paper addresses, but not answer definitively, the key question as to whether technological change is enabling or frustrating ambitious carbon goals, and on what timescales.


Jim Skea has research interests in energy, climate change and technological innovation. He has been RCUK Energy Strategy Fellow since April 2012 and a Professor of Sustainable Energy at Imperial College since 2009. He was Research Director of the UK Energy Research Centre 2004-12 and Director of the Policy Studies Institute 1998-2004.

He has operated at the interface between research, policy-making and business throughout his career. He is a member of the UK Committee on Climate Change and a Vice-Chair of IPCC Working Group III. He acted as Launch Director for the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership. He was awarded a CBE for services to sustainable energy in 2013 and an OBE for services to sustainable transport in 2004.

14 November
The Impact of Institutional Reforms on Scientific Change: Changing conditions for developing four intellectual innovations in four European countries
Richard Whitley (University of Manchester)


Recent institutional reforms to the funding and governance of universities and public research institutes in many OECD countries are altering the distribution of authority over scientists' research strategies and careers. These shifts can be expected to affect researchers' ability and commitment to work on long term projects with highly uncertain outcomes through changing the level of protected space afforded to them and the flexibility of standards governing the allocation of resources and reputations in different disciplines and science systems. Variations in the extent of protected space and flexibility encourage and support research on different kinds of problems as can be seen in the development of four innovations in the physical, biological and human sciences, which varied in their resource requirements and challenge to dominant priorities and approaches. The levels of protected space and flexibility that supported these developments were provided in different ways and to different extents in four European countries that have implemented institutional reforms to varying degrees. These differences, and their consequences, suggest how changes to the funding and governance of academic research can be expected to affect the level and distribution of protected space and flexibility provided to different groups of scientists, and so their capabilities for, and commitment to, developing different kinds of intellectual innovations.


Richard Whitley is Emeritus Professor of Organizational Sociology at Manchester Business School, University of Manchester. Recent authored and edited books include: Capitalisms and Capitalism in the Twenty First Century (2012); Reconfiguring Knowledge Production (2010); Business Systems and Organizational Capabilities (2007); Changing Capitalisms? (2005); The Multinational Firm (2001); Divergent Capitalisms (1999) (all published by Oxford University Press), and The Changing Governance of the Sciences (2007) (Springer); Competing Capitalisms (2002) (Edward Elgar).

In 1998-99 he served as the Chair of the European Group for Organizational Studies and in 1999-2000 was the President of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-economics. In 2007 he was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities. Current research interests include the study of how changing institutional regimes are affecting business systems in East Asia, how the changing governance of public science systems and universities is affecting scientific innovations in different countries and how different kinds of artistic innovations are supported by different kinds of art worlds.

21 November
“We need people who can dream of things that never were”: the Defiant Islands of Marine Renewable Energy
Laura Watts (IT University of Copenhagen)


When you arrive as a visitor to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in the islands of Orkney this is what you read, painted over the entrance: “The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need people who can dream of things that never were”.

Perhaps you are part of a BBC film crew, or a delegation from Silicon Valley, or a Science and Technology Studies (STS) ethnographer like myself, come to these remote islands off the northeast coast of Scotland. But you are here because this is a world centre for testing marine energy devices, that is, making electricity from the waves and tides. Estimates are that UK wave and tide power could generate 30-50 GW,1
which is 20% of the UK’s current electricity demand. 25% of Europe’s entire tidal energy resource is in Scotland, and much of that is in Orkney.

The quote is from John F. Kennedy, the president who “chose to go to the Moon in this decade”. The sheer social, technical, infrastructural, and environmental complexity of marine energy has been likened, by the Director of EMEC, to the Space Age, or to going from the Wright Brother’s first flight to an entire airline industry. This is a new energy industry, almost unlike any industry that has gone before. Yet, this industry is being made, largely, in this northern archipelago of islands that is closer to the Arctic circle than to London and its sites of energy policy-making. This once periphery is now becoming more central. Yet, it is at the geographic periphery of the UK, and at the periphery of the National Grid, and this has substantial social and technical effects. So, this paper will tell the story of the making of marine energy at the edge, and how these islands stand defiant in the face of centralised energy policy and decision-making.


Laura Watss is Writer, Poet, Ethnographer, and Associate Professor at IT University of Copenhagen. She is interested in the effect of landscape on how the future is imagined and made in everyday practice. How might the future be made differently in different places? For the last fifteen years she has worked with the telecoms, transport, and renewable energy industries to reconsider how the future gets made in high-tech industry, and how it might be made otherwise.

28 November
Is history of use to development policy? Reflections on the "Green Revolution"
Jonathon Harwood (University of Manchester)


Most members of the development community take for granted that policy should be evidence-based. Accordingly declarations of the need to ‘learn the lessons of history’ are a commonplace in the literature. At the same time there are also indications that this task is not taken very seriously in policy formulation. If one considers attempts since about 1900, in Europe as well as in the global South, to adapt plant breeding technology to the needs of small farmers, it appears that agricultural development programmes since 1945 have learned very little from the success or failure of earlier approaches. The evidence suggests that this neglect has been the result less of ignorance of past experience than of indifference toward it. The talk concludes by considering possible reasons for this.


Jonathan Harwood is emeritus Professor of the History of Science & Technology at the University of Manchester and Visiting Professor at Kings College London. His most recent book is Europe's Green Revolution and Others Since (Routledge 2012)

5 December
Encountering difference, registering dissent: an analysis of Indian biofuel policy-making as 'good politics'
Saurabh Arora (SPRU)


Following its 2003 biodiesel mission, the Indian national government released itsbiofuel policy in December 2009. Focussing on biodiesel aspects of the policy, we evaluate if the making of the policy can be considered as ‘good politics’. To carry out this evaluation, we conceptualize policy as a set of propositions that have been progressively assembled. This assembling process constitutes ‘good politics’ if the propositions were well-articulated in their making. By well-articulated, we do not simply mean that a proposition is clear in its formulation but rather that it has registered the agency of multiple different discursive, material and procedural entities. The process of assembling well-articulated propositions then must have, a) invited and accommodated as many different entities as possible without unifying their actions/voices into a repetitive singularity; b) registered the voices of entities that were hitherto mute; c) allowed the registered entities to successively challenge and recompose the propositions as well as to dispute political (and epistemological) authority; d) produced a set of propositions that are not easily transferrable between different socio-ecological situations. Recording perspectives of a wide range of actors on the policy-making process, we argue that the 2009 policy partially responded to many entities’ recalcitrance. However, the registration of the entities’ dispute to authority was limited to a small part of the policy and did not get extended to the policy as a whole. The policy also failed to register the voices of some crucial entities. Finally, we conclude that our normative evaluation framework needs to discriminate better between more and less crucial voices to register in specific socio-ecological situations.


Saurabh is Sr Lecturer at SPRU, since January 2014. Using theory and methods from Science Technology and Society Studies, and Innovation Studies, his research focuses on the design and implementation of standards and public policies for 'sustainable' food and biofuels, the role of history in the emergence of innovation systems in India and Tanzania, and the consequences of classifications of people and lands in colonial India."

12 December
Learning by failing: An empirical exercise on CIS data
Riccardo Leoncini (University of Bologna)

To access 'Background Paper' you need to sign in using your Sussex credentials. 


Failure to innovate has been only recently recognized as one of the key elements in determining successful firms' innovative performance. However, as this literature focuses only on the determinants of firms' failure, it neglects the role of failure in spurring innovative activity. In this paper, the relationship between innovative performance and failure to innovate is empirically tested, through a two step econometric model, on the 2008 CIS Innovation survey dataset. The main results of the paper are, first, that failure is negatively correlated to the firms' experience (proxies by R&D), and to the acquisition of external knowledge, both directly, through productive links in product and process innovation, and indirectly, through vicarious learning of the results of similar firms (that has a negative impact on failure only for firms engaged in R&D). The second step reveals that failure in turn has a positive impact on the production of new to the market innovation. Finally, an additional test is performed on still ongoing innovation (rather than abandoned), and the results show a minor impact on innovation activity.


Riccardo Leoncini is Full Professor of Economics at Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna, and Research Associate at CERIS-CNR – National Research Council. He is member of the Board of the Department of Economics, and former Co-ordinator of the Doctoral Program in Law & Economics and of the Master Program in Development, Innovation and Change, both at the University of Bologna. His current research interests include the analysis of technological change and innovation, of local systems of production, and the theory of the firm.

Summer term 2014
16 May
Infrastructures, technologies and practices: implications for energy demand
Elizabeth Shove (Lancaster University)

Chair: Johan Schot

Abstract and bio 16 May 2014 [PDF 65.55KB]

Friday seminar series video - Elizabeth Shove

23 May
Where is the toilet please? Or why the sanitation sectoral innovation system failed to perform in Rural India
Shyama Ramani (UNU-MERIT)

May 23 - Shyama Ramani (UNU-MERIT)

Chair: Tommaso Ciarli

23rd May - Abstract and bio [PDF 152.70KB]

23rd May Friday Seminar - Background Material [PDF 556.81KB]

Friday seminar series video - Shyama Ramani 

30 May
What can vaccines teach us about globalization? A Dutch story - to start with
Stuart Blume (University of Amsterdam)

Chair: Ohid Yaqub

30 May - Abstract and bio [PDF 181.90KB]

30 May - Background material [PDF 137.16KB]

6 June
Writing the Rules for Europe. Experts, Cartels and International Organizations
Johan Schot (SPRU)

Chair: Andy Stirling

6th June - Bio [PDF 305.89KB]

6th June - Background material [PDF 199.36KB]

6th June - Background material B [PDF 444.75KB]

Friday seminar series video - Johan Schot

13 June
Is Entrepreneurship Necessarily Good? Lessons for Developed and Developing Countries
Marco Vivarelli (Catholic University of Piazenza)

Chair: Mariana Mazzucato

13 June - Abstract and bio [PDF 175.41KB]

13 June - Background material [PDF 210.50KB]

Friday seminar series video - Marco Vivarelli

Spring term 2014
11 April Frans Berkhout 
(King's College, London)

Technology Policy and Economic Performance

Andy Stirling
4 April Giorgio Sirilli 
(CNR, Italian Research Council)

Science and technology policy and indicators. The OECD Frascati Manual

Ben Martin
28 March Morris Teubal 
(Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Strategic and Adaptive Policy Targeting: Theory and an Example

Andy Stirling
21 March Ken Guy 

Challenges and Future Directions in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy

Parimal Patel

14 March

Silvia Massini 
(University Of Manchester)

Is more always better in alliances? The effect of partner similarity in innovation alliances

Josh Siepel

7 March

Carolina Castaldi 
(Technical University of Eindhoven)

Related variety, unrelated variety and technological breakthroughs: an analysis of US state-level patenting

Carolina Castaldi, 7 March 2014



Maria Savona

28 February

Richard Wooley 
(Ingenio, CSIC-Universidad Poiltècnica de València)

Mobilising knowledge and expertise for Rare Diseases in Europe

Richard Wooley, 28 February 2014

Ismael Rafols

21 February

Ehsan Masood 
(Research Fortnight and Research Europe)

The Story of GDP and the Making and Unmaking of the Modern World

Ehsan Masood, 21 February 2014

James Wilsdon

14 February

Tom Barrent, Oliver Chadwick 
(Department for Transport)

Please note this seminar will be held in the Lecture Theatre AS01, Shawcross Building

How should we incentivise advanced transport fuel technologies?

Tom Barrent/Oliver Chadwick, 14 February 2014

Jenny Lieu

7 February

Koen Frenken 
(Utrecht University)
Gaston Heimeriks

University rankings and its determinants

Koen Frenken, 7 February 2014

Ed Steinmueller

31 January Raphael Kaplinski 
(SPRU and Open University)

Global Value Chains, Where They Came From, Where They Are Going And Why This Is Important

Raphi Kaplinsky, 31 January 2014

Martin Bel

24 January Jonathan Haskel 
(Imperial College London)

The Contribution of Science to UK Economic Growth

Johnathan Haskel, 24 January 2014

Mariana Mazzucato

17 January 

Allam Ahmed 
Mohamed Elhag 

SMART KM MODEL: Integrated knowledge management revolutionary approach for organisational excellence

Allam Ahmed/Mohamed Elhag, 17 January 2014

Matias Ramirez

Autumn term 2013
4 October

Pierre Mohnen (Maastricht University & UNU-Merit)

Revisiting the Porter hypothesis: An empirical analysis of green innovation for the Netherlands

Abstract and bio [PDF 66.73KB] | Paper [PDF 286.41KB] | Presentation [PDF 408.95KB]

Pierre Mohnen, 4 October 2013

11 October  Alex Coad, Marc Cowling, Paul Nightingale, Gabriele Pellegrino, Maria Savona, Josh Siepel (SPRU)

 UK innovation survey: Highly innovative firms and growth

Paul Nightingale, Alex Coad et al, 11 October 2013

18 October

Roberta Rabellotti (Università di Pavia)

The Location Strategies of Emerging Countries Multinationals in the EU Regions

Abstract and bio [PDF] | Paper [PDF 307.98KB] | Presentation [PPTX 1.86MB]

Roberta Rabellotti, 18 October 2013

25 October

Matthew Lockwood (School of Geography, University of Exeter)

Varieties of capitalism and the politics of sustainable energy transitions

Abstract and bio [PDF] | Presentation [PPTX 1.05MB] | Background material [PDF]

Matthew Lockwood, 25 October 2013

1 November

Tilman Altenburg (German Development Institute)

Green innovations: The challenge of shaping technological trajectories through policy

Bio [PDF] | Background material 1 [PDF] | Background material 2 [PDF] | Presentation PPT [4.27MB]


Tilman Altenburg, 1 November 2013

8 November

David Wilkinson (EC Joint Research Centre)

JRC the in-house science service of the European Commission. New directions for Horizon 2020

Bio [PDF] | Presentation  [PPT 4.26MB

David Wilkinson, 8 November 2013

15 November

Sally Brooks (University of York)

Investing in Food security? Philanthrocapitalism, biotechnology and development 

Abstract and bio [PDF] | Background material | Paper [PDF 369.00KB] | Presentation [PDF 4.50MB]

Sally Brooks, 15 November 2013

22 November

Adam Eyre-Walker (University of Sussex)

The assessment of science: the relative merits of subjective post-publication review, the number of citations and the impact factor

Abstract and bio [PDF 7.51KB] | Presentation [PDF] | Background Mate

Adam Eyre-Walker, 22 November 2013

29 November 

Kornelia Konrad (University of Twente)

Governing Fuel Cell Innovation in a Dynamic Network of Expectations 

Abstract and bio [PDF 217.21KB] | Paper [PDF] Background material | Presentati

Kornelia Konrad, 29 November 2013

6 December  Maureen Mackintosh (Open University)

Falling out of the moving window? Interim findings from field research on industrial supplies to the Tanzanian health sector

Abstract and bio [PDF 146.54KB]

Maureen Mackintosh, 6 December 2013

Summer term 2013
14 June Brighton Fuse Team (CENTRIM/SPRU)

Right Here, Right Now: Fusion, innovation and growth in Brighton's Creative-Digital-IT cluster

SPRU Friday seminar, 14 June 2013

7 June Erik Millstone (SPRU)

The aspartame saga: disentangling the science, the economics and the politics

Please note: access to the following document is restricted and requires login with your Sussex username and password.

SPRU Friday seminar, 7 June 2013

31 May John Abraham
King's College London

The Mis-Direction of Pharmaceutical Regulation, Innovation, and Public Health

SPRU Friday seminar, 31 May 2013

24 May Ralph Schroeder (University of Oxford)

Big Data and the Uses and Disadvantages of Scientificity for Social Research

SPRU Friday seminar, 24 May 2013

10 May David Weir and Pierpaolo Andriani (University Campus Suffolk and Euromed School of Management)

Complex System Collapse, Creative Destruction and Exaptive response: British Aviation in the 1930

3 May Caroline Chapain (University of Birmingham)

Innovation in the Creative Industries: the case of the film industry in Soho, London

SPRU Friday seminar, 3 May 2013

26 April Martin Binder (SPRU)

Beware of (behavioural) economists bearing advice! Why Libertarian Paternalism is a dangerous policy tool

SPRU Friday seminar, 26 April 2013

19 April Massimo Riccaboni (IMT)

Networks of innovators within and across borders. Evidence from patent data

SPRU Friday seminar, 19 April 2013

12 April Lionel Nesta and Francesco Vona (OFCE-Sciences Po)

Environmental Policies, Product Market Regulation and Innovation in Renewable Energy

SPRU Friday seminar, 12 April 2013

5 April Paul Nightingale (SPRU)

Science Policy for 'Very Difficult Problems'

SPRU Friday seminar, 5 April 2013

Spring term 2013
22 March
Freeman Centre G24/25
Andy Stirling (SPRU)

The Direction of Progress? Old refrains, topical chimes, new riffs…

Further background:

SPRU Friday seminar, 22 March 2013

15 March
Jubilee 144
Jeremy Frey (University of Southampton)

Science Ajar: How e-Science can help (More) Open Science

Further background:

SPRU Friday seminar, 15 March 2013

8 March
Freeman Centre G24/25
Michael Keenan (OECD)

The OECD-World Bank Innovation Policy Platform: (Re-)Framing Policy Problems and Solutions

SPRU Friday seminar, 8 March 2013

1 March
Jubilee 144
Stuart Hogarth (King's College London)

Molecular monopolies: the corporatisation and commodification of cervical cancer screening innovation

SPRU Friday seminar, 1 March 2013

22 February
Freeman Centre G24/25
Cédric Gossart (Institut Mines-Telecom)

Patterns of Innovation in Green ICT: A Patent-Based Analysis

SPRU Friday seminar, 22 February 2013

15 February
Jubilee 144
Kevin Anderson (University of Manchester)

Real clothes for the Emperor: Facing the challenges of climate change

SPRU Friday Seminar, 15 February 2013

8 February
Freeman Centre G24/25
Harro Van Lente (Department of Innovation and Envrinonmental Sciences, Utrecht University)

Trajectories and expectations: variation and selection of technological promises

SPRU Friday seminar, 8 February 2013

1 February
Jubilee 144
Susan Hill (LSE)

Combining versus transforming knowledge? A comparison of the novelty and volume of ideas in corporate idea generation

SPRU Friday seminar, 1 February 2013

25 January
Freeman Centre G24/25
Michael Hopkins and Josh Siepel (SPRU)

Just how difficult can it be counting up R&D funding for emerging technologies? (and is tech mining with proxy measures any better?)

Please note: access to the following document is restricted and requires login with your Sussex username and password.

SPRU Friday seminar, 25 January 2013

18 January
Jubilee 144
Fulvio Castellacci (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI))

Business Groups, Innovation and Institutional Voids in Latin America

SPRU Friday seminar, 18 January 2013

Autumn term 2012
Date/venue SpeakerSeminar Title

14 December

Jubilee 144

Dr Erik Arnold
Technopolis, Brighton

Second evaluation of RCN: evolving governance for a combined research and innovation funding agency

SPRU Friday seminar, 14 December 2012

7 December

Freeman Centre G24/25

Prof Kevin Anderson
University of Manchester

Please note: this seminar was cancelled due to illness; details of a rescheduled date will follow in due course. 

Real clothes for the Emperor: Facing the challenges of climate change

30 November

Jubilee 144

Prof David Edgerton
Imperial College - Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

England and the aeroplane revisited: reflections on the history of British science and technology policies in the twentieth century

SPRU Friday seminar, 30 November 2012

23 November

Freeman Centre G24/25

Mike Porteous

Opening the black box of policy-making

SPRU Friday seminar, 23 November 2012

16 November

Jubilee 144

Prof Per Mickwitz
Finnish Environment Institute

Greening the economy: the case of Finnish energy

Please note: access to the following document is restricted and requires login with your Sussex username and password.

SPRU Friday seminar, 16 November 2012

9 November

Freeman Centre G24/25

Prof Michael Rowlinson
School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London

Accounting for research quality: research audits and journal rankings

Please note: access to the documents below is restricted and requires login with your Sussex username and password.

SPRU Friday seminar, 9 November 2012

2 November

Jubilee 144

Dr Simcha Jong
University College London - Department of Management Science and Innovation

When publications lead to products: the open science conundrum in new product development

SPRU Friday seminar, 2 November 2012

26 October

Freeman Centre G24/25

Sir Geoffrey Owen
London School of Economics and Political Science - Department of Management

Innovation in man-made fibres: corporate strategy and national institutions

Please note: LSE Companies Act Disclaimer

SPRU Friday seminar, 26 October 2012

19 October

Jubilee 144

Prof Sandro Montresor
Department of Economics, University of Bologna & JRC-IPTS, European Commission

The additionality of innovation policy: dimensions, levels, and results

SPRU Friday seminar, 19 October 2012

12 October

Freeman Centre G24/25

Dr Alex Coad

Two’s company: directional diversity and performance of entrepreneurial pairs

SPRU Friday seminar, 12 October 2012

5 October

Jubilee 144

Dr Rob Doubleday
Department of Geography, University of Cambridge

Prof James Wilsdon

Hail to the chief: future directions for scientific advice in Whitehall

Summer term 2012
DateSpeakerSeminar Title
22 June

Dr Tim Brady and Liz Lee-Kelly

Business as unusual: coping with the 'wicked' problem of planning transport needs for the 2012 Olympics

15 June

Dr Luciana D'Adderio
University of Edinburgh

Performing Modularity: Competing Rules, Materiality And The Diffusion Of Organisational Theories

8 June

Prof Mari Sako and Dr Panos Desyllas
University of Oxford

Profiting from Business Model Innovation: Evidence from Pay-as-You-Drive Auto Insurance

1 June

Professor Aldo Geuna
University of Torino, Italy – Department of Economics

Researchers’ mobility and its impact on scientific productivity

25 May

Dr Donald Hislop
University of Loughborough – School of Business and Economics

The Process of Individual Unlearning
among Managers in the UK National Health Service

18 May

Dr Andrea Mina
University of Cambridge – Centre for Business Research & UK-IRC

The demand and supply of finance for innovation

11 May

Associate Professor Mercedes Teruel
Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain

A life cycle analysis of innovation and firm growth

4 May

Dr Keith Smith
Imperial College London - Business School


27 April

Professor Ben Martin
University of Sussex - SPRU

20 Challenges for Innovation Studies

20 April

Distinguished Professor John Urry
Lancaster University – Department of Sociology

Climate Change and Society

Spring term 2012
DateSpeakerSeminar Title
16 March Dr Miles Parker

On tap or on top? The evolving role of expertise in government policy making

(Abstract and bio)

9 March Dr Roberto Fontana
University of Pavia

LANlords! Heritage and market dominance in the Local Area Networking industry

( Abstract and bio)
2 March Dr Maria Savona

Agglomeration econmies, forward linkages and regional specialisation in business services in the EU

(Abstract and bio)/p>

24 February Professor William Walker
University of St Andrews

Nuclear technology and international order: an evolutionary perspective

(Abstract and bio)

17 February Professor Arnulf Grubler

Portfolio Biases in Energy Technology Innovation Systems

(Abstract and bio)

10 February Professor Peter Pearson
Cardiff University

Past Energy Transitions, General Purpose Technologies and the Low Carbon ‘Revolution’

(Abstract and bio)

3 February

Professor Paul Wouters
Leiden University

Monitoring knowledge flows, new performance indicators, and evaluation cultures in 21st century science, technology and society

(Abstract and bio)

27 January Professor Marcela Miozzo
Manchester Business School

Cross-border acquisitions of science-based firms: their effect on innovation in the acquired firm and the local science and technology system

(Abstract and bio)

20 January Professor Slavo Radosevic
University College London

Entrepreneurial Propensity of Innovation Systems

(Abstract and paper)

13 January

Professor Tom Astebro
HEC Paris

Business Partners, Financing and the Commercialisation of Inventions

(Abstract and bio)

Autumn term 2011
DateSpeakerSeminar Title
9 December Prof Mariana Mazzucato The Entrepreneurial State (Abstract and bio)
2 December Prof Mari Sako, Oxford University TBA
25 November Andrew Simms (Bio)
18 November Prof Guido Buenstorf, University of Kassel System! What System? Tracing the Systemic Character of Innovation in the German Laser Industry, 1960-2005 (Abstract and bio)
11 November Prof Ammon Salter, Imperial College Going Underground: Bootlegging and Individual Innovative Performance (Abstract and bio)
4 November Dr Nick Marshall, CENTRIM Tunnel vision? The history of the Thames Tunnel and narratives of technology (Abstract and bio)
28 October Dr Marco Paiola, University of Padova Relational innovation in Knowledge Intensive Business Services (Abstract and bio)
21 October Prof Fred Steward, Policy Studies Institute at the University of Westminter Learning to love the network model of innovation (Abstract and bio)
14 October Dr Saurabh Arora, Eindhoven University The work of governing: implementation of standards, contracts and certification in a global commodity chain (Abstract and bio)
7 October Prof Jim Skea, UKERC The Role of the UK Committee on Climate Change: The story so far and future challenges (Abstract and bio)
Spring term 2011
DateSpeakerSeminar Title
18 March Deborah Dougherty, Rutgers University Innovation on the 21st Century
4 March Loet Leydesdorff  
25 February Dean Alfred Lloyd, Science and Engineering, University of Brighton  

18 February

Jon Sussex and Jorge Mestre-Ferrandiz, Office of Health Economics Public/private medical research spillovers
11 February Alfred Kleinchnecht, TU Delft  
4 February Andrew Torrance, School of Law, University of Kansas The patent game: Experiments in the cathedral of law
28 January Aashish Velkar, Department of Business and Management, Sussex University Establishing technological standards through strategic alliances (Abstract)
21 January Jeroen de Jong, Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) Erasmus University Rotterdam The openness of user and producer information: A study of Dutch high-tech SMEs (Abstract)
Autumn term 2010
DateSpeakerSeminar Title

11 December

Roger Strange
BMEc, Business and Management

The outsourcing of primary activities: Theoretical analysis and propositions
(Abstract, Paper)

4 December

Frank Geels

Towards a neo-evolutionary framework of industry dynamics and innovation: Enriching evolutionary economics with insights from institutional theory, organisation theory, economic sociology and strategic management
(Abstract & Biography,  Paper)

27 November

David Dyker

Business culture and political culture in Russia
(Abstract, CV)

20 November

Andy Stirling and Adrian Ely

Innovation, Sustainability, Development: A new manifesto
(Abstract, manifesto website)

13 November

Gabriela Dutrenit
and Alex Vera Cruz
Visiting Fellow, CENTRIM

How suitable are the OECD's recommendations for fostering firms' innovation in developing countries? A discussionof the innovation policy framework in the light of the Mexican case
(Abstract & Biographies)

6 November

Alasdair Reed
Director TECHNOPOLIS, Brussels

Stages of economic development, innovation systems and differentiated approaches to innovation policy: evidence from the European TrendChart on Innovation
(Abstract & Biography)

30 October

Markus Reitzig
London Business School

Gaining it by giving it away: How firms capture value from open source software by waiving their intellectual property rights
(Abstract & Biography)

23 October

Andrea Fillipetti and Daniele Archibugi
University of London, Birkbeck College

Disentangling the impact of the economic downturn on firms' innovation behaviour: a micro level analysis
(Abstract, CV )

16 October

Yumiko Okamoto
Donshisha University, Kyoto

A comparative study of biotechnology companies in Sweden and Denmark: Why do they perform differently?
(Abstract & Biography)

9 October 

Howard Rush
Professor, Director of CENTRIM 

Crime on-line: Cybercrime and illegal innovation
(Abstract & Biography)

Spring term 2010
DateSpeakerSeminar Title

19 March

Gordon Murray
Exeter University

Doing Road Works on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams: reflections of an academic navvy

12 March

Raphie Kaplinsky
Open University

What happens in Global value chains when the market shifts from north to south?

5 March

Steve Flowers

Measuring User Innovation in the UK

26 February

Jonathan Linton
Telfer School of
University of Ottowa



19 February



12 February

Andy Davies and
Lars Frederiksen
Imperial College

Design Capabilities: Learning How to Design a City which is Zero Carbon and in China

5 February

Mary Kaldor
Centre for the
Study of Global
Governance, LSE

Human Security

29 January

Steve Sorrell
Sussex Energy Group

Peak Oil: A review of the evidence
(Abstract and biography)

22 January

Luc Soete
Professor of
Economic Relations,
Director of UNU-MERIT,

European Research Policy at a crossroad
(Abstract,  Biography)

15 January

David Gann
Imperial College

Innovation Studies: past, present and future
Abstract & Bio