SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

Wednesday seminar

SPRU Wednesday seminars take place weekly during term time in Jubilee G32 from 1-2pm (unless otherwise specified). Please find a list of seminars for the current term below. The location of the seminar may change over the course of the term so please check this site for updates. Click on the seminar title for more information about each seminar and the speaker(s).

Upcoming seminars

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Past Seminars

Autumn Term 2019
25 September  
Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre
Josh Siepel, Roberto Camerani, Monica Masucci, Martha Bloom

Abstract

Innovation & Project Mgt Mobilising group hosting seminar on Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre

Bio

Bio unavailable 

2 October 
Developing practice theory to analyse innovation processes in highly complex and precarious contexts: sanitation in Nairobi’s informal settlements
Helene Ahlborg

Abstract

A persistent conundrum for practitioners and researchers in the development context is that, often, newly provided and improved basic services are not maintained by users despite seemingly superior functionality and user convenience. We argue that one major reason for this is an insufficient understanding of the context in which users have to manage their daily lives. We therefore propose an approach to analysing the embedding of basic services that focuses on the users’ daily practices. We do so by borrowing insights from ‘socio-technical transitions’ and ‘practice theory’ in developing our concept of oscillating domestic spaces. The concept reflects the need for people to constantly respond to quickly changing and precarious circumstances by rearranging their daily practices in time and space and developing a multiplicity of alternative options and partial solutions. We illustrate the analytical approach in a case study of sanitation access in informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya. The analysis shows how the introduction of a container-based toilet resulted in partial embedding. The innovation anchored to only a part of the oscillating domestic spaces and was in disarray with the needs of users most of the time. The conceptual approach contributes to the understanding about how users take part in sustainability transitions as well as the added value of the time-space dimension in analysing practices in highly complex contexts. We conclude by reflecting on the potential applicability of the analytical approach to transition cases in the Global North.

Bio

Helene Ahlborg works as Assistant Professor at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and is affiliated as research fellow at SPRU during 2019. Her research is about energy transitions in the East African region and she studies the co-development of technology and society and how provision of electricity services, based on small-scale renewable energy resources, impacts on people's lives and transforms rural communities. Her work on energy revolves around power relations and politics of electrification processes, strategies for sustainable and equitable service delivery in institutionally difficult contexts, pathways to future configurations of electricity architectures, and system designs to promote inclusive energy entrepreneurship in rural communities. She is also working on socio-technical-ecological system approaches, and innovation processes in highly complex and uncertain urban environments. The seminar will focus on recent work carried out with Dr. Pauline Cherunya, Kenya and Prof. Bernhard Truffer, Eawag, Switzerland.

16 October 
The Effects of Product and Process Innovation across the Value Chain on Different Type of Employment: An Empirical Case of Spanish Manufacturing Firms
Guillermo Arenas

Abstract

This paper analyzes the inter- and intra-sectoral employment effects of the introduction of product and process innovation by the providers, clients and competitors (PCC) on the focal firm. The paper offers an extension of the model proposed by Harrison et al. (2014). Their basic model includes the employment effects of the introduction of product and process innovation by the focal firms. However, labor effects of innovation that take place through the value chain are not captured in this basic model. Therefore, the extended model proposed in this paper analyzes the effect of innovation on employment through the value chain. The measurement of this kind of sectoral indirect employment effects is based on the combination –for the case of Spain- of firm-level data with some information of the input-output tables. The results of the paper show that the product innovation by competitors and, specially, by clients reduce employment in the focal firm while product innovation by providers increases focal firm employment.

Bio

The author is currently a PhD student of the Complutense University of Madrid in the PhD program of Economics. The author realized his undergraduate and master studies (in Economics) at National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City. He worked as research assistant at Institute of Economics Research and at the faculty of Economics of the UNAM. Moreover, He was university lecturer teaching courses in econometrics and macroeconomics at the same faculty.

23 October 
Structural proportions and functional income distribution in Global Value Chains
Ariel Wirkierman

Abstract

Distributive effects of integration into global value chains (GVCs) have been analysed from, at least, three different perspectives: inter-country wage inequality, relative intensity of inter-industry labour demand and functional income distribution. The aim of this paper is to explore this latter perspective by refining the measurement of functional income distribution (and its components) in a GVC context. In particular, we aim to quantify the differences in the distributive profile associated to local vis-à-vis international specialisation. And focusing on selected Latin American countries, we uncover key determinants of such differences and how these compare to selected (South) East Asian economies.

Bio

Ariel L. Wirkierman is a Lecturer in Economics at the IMS, Goldsmiths, University of London. His research focuses on the historical roots, theory advancement and applied analysis of structural interdependence within processes of economic and social change. Before joining Goldsmiths, he was a Research Fellow at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU, University of Sussex) working on the European Commission ISIGrowth project. Previously, as a post-doc researcher at the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Mathematical Finance and Econometrics (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Italy), he designed and implemented algorithms and metrics to study Input-Output networks. Throughout his PhD he worked under the guidance of Professor Luigi L. Pasinetti, developing a framework to analyse technical progress rooted in Classical political economy and the Cambridge Keynesian tradition. Before his doctoral studies he was as an economic officer at the Ministry of Economy and Production of Argentina, focusing on Regional Input-Output Analysis. He holds a Licentiate in Economics (University of Buenos Aires, Argentina), MSc. in Economics (National University of La Plata, Argentina) and PhD in Economics (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Italy).

30 October 
Engaging with Policy, Practice and Publics: an exploration of Intersectionality and Impact
Ralitsa Hiteva

Abstract

This seminar is inspired by an edited volume of shorts I am co-editing with Dr Sarah Marie Hall (University of Manchester) which will be published by Policy Press in early 2020. The book offers 8 personal and critical perspectives on research engagement and impact, engaging with notions of social difference, power and inequality. The collection aims to provide critical reflexivity to understandings and applications of research engagement and impact strategies, within academia and with other stakeholders, namely policymakers, industry and civil society. The presentation will introduce the book's core ideas on intersectionality and encounter spaces in research on infrastructure and will argue for changes necessary to create new spaces for negotiating across difference, open to all types of experts and levels of expertise. Engaging with encounter spaces at institutional level, can also provide opportunities to take into consideration the impact of diversity and on diversity within interactions between different actors. Unless we recognise that diversity is an integral part of the solutions needed for societal challenges such as climate change and wellbeing, there is a danger that infrastructure research agendas miss opportunities for new research directions, different voices and ways of engagement. Ultimately, pursuing such questions could lead to understanding how we can turn encounter spaces between academia, industry, policy makers and society into sites of destabilization and transformation of stereotypes of gender, age, nationality and discipline (among many) in infrastructure research and practice.

Bio

Dr Ralitsa Hiteva is a Research Fellow at SPRU working on infrastructure governance, business models and innovation. Ralitsa is currently part of the Digital Society theme of CREDS carrying out research on digital energy services and sharing platforms. Energy geographer by training, Ralitsa is interested in using interdisciplinary research methods in complementary ways and in research engagement with policy, industry and civil society. Ralitsa recently completed working on the ESRC funded project ‘Resilience and vulnerability at the urban Nexus of food, water, energy and the environment (ResNexus)’, where she examined the intersecting practices of urban gardening, zimnina making and energy and heat provisioning in Sofia, Bulgaria. Ralitsa also led the SHAPE ENERGY project, comparing the use of agent-based modelling, technocratic modelling and ethnographic approaches in thinking about energy demand and consumption.

Spring Term 2019
6 February  
Mapping the Technological Frontier
Sergio Petralia

Abstract

What does it make a technology valuable? Are there specific attributes that make technologies, and firms that produce them, more valuable? This article seeks to understand where is that the value of technologies reside, to understand which are the features that make them valuable. Using patent data, I propose a way of identifying the technological frontier based on three distinctive characteristics of technologies, the rate at which they improve, the variety of other type of technologies that complement with it, and the pervasiveness of its use. It is shown that technologies with these attributes are related to higher market values. Moreover, firms producing frontier technologies are related to higher market values and higher operating revenues.

Bio

"Sergio Petralia is a postdoctoral researcher at the London School of Economics and an affiliated associate of the Center for International Development's Growth Lab at Harvard University. Sergio is currently working on issues related to technological change and innovation. Most recent research projects study the emergence and spatial concentration of new technologies using historical data on patent activity, the identification of the challenges and opportunities for technological development in developing economies, and the impact of disruptive technological change on income and wages. Sergio holds a Bachelors in Economics from the University of Buenos Aires, a Masters in Economics from the University of San Andres in Buenos Aires, and Msc in Economics from Pennsylvania State University in the U.S. He finished his Ph.D. at Utrecht University in 2017. "

13 February 
Deep Learning, Explainability and Representation
Beatrice Fazi

Abstract

In this presentation, I will address some of the theoretical implications of a computer program being no longer constrained by the limits of human knowledge. I will understand this freedom from human knowledge as an exemption from human abstraction. My case study will be contemporary artificial intelligence research in deep learning. Because of their promising results, deep learning techniques are today very popular. These techniques, however, operate in computational ways that are opaque and often illegible. Such a black-box character of deep learning, I will argue, is a technical condition that asks us to reconsider the abstractive nature of these technologies. In this presentation I will do so by entering debates about explainability in artificial intelligence, and thus considering the current development of computational procedures for which there are not adequate human representations. I will then mobilise the notion of ‘incommensurability’ (originally developed within debates in philosophy of science) in order to engage with the discrepancy between the abstractive choices of humans and those of computing machines.

Bio

Dr M. Beatrice Fazi is Research Fellow at the Sussex Humanities Lab (University of Sussex). Her primary areas of expertise are the philosophy of computation, the philosophy of technology and the emerging field of media philosophy. She is the author of Contingent Computation: Abstraction, Experience, and Indeterminacy in Computational Aesthetics (Rowman & Littlefield International, 2018).

20 February 
Drivers of international research collaboration in Africa
Hugo Confraria

Abstract

It is commonly accepted that international research collaboration improves scientists’ abilities and performance. In this chapter we investigate the question: what are the characteristics of African researchers who collaborate more often with international partners? Data are taken from Web of Science and a survey that collected detailed information about the individual characteristics of 2954 African researchers in 42 African countries. We use descriptive statistics and an econometric model to discern the characteristics that are associated with higher levels of collaboration with researchers outside Africa. Overall our results suggest that, on average, researchers who did their doctoral studies outside of Africa, had the opportunity to move abroad (over the past three years) and received a higher share of international funding (over the past three years), are more likely to collaborate more frequently with researchers outside of Africa. In our conclusions we discuss that beyond increasing the availability of mobility scholarships and the amount of research funding for African scientists, policy makers and international organizations should also think in incentives to keep long-term research interactions and try to avoid unequal partnerships.

Bio

Hugo Confraria is a Research fellow at SPRU since September 2018. He holds a bachelor degree in Economics (University of Coimbra), a master degree in Economics and Management of Science, Technology and Innovation (University of Lisbon) and he is completing his PhD at UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University, which aims to provide insights to create and manage policies that improve the scientific performance in lower income countries. Hugo's main research interests are related to science, technology and innovation policy, economics of innovation and scientometrics, and his work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, such as Research Policy, Research Evaluation, Scientometrics and the Journal of Technology Transfer.

6 March
How Laissez –faire Ideology Continues to Distort the Behaviour of Society and Damage Innovation
Peter Senker

Abstract

It is suggested that laissez-faire ideology continues to stimulate economic growth and mass commodity production and consumption which continue to cause immense damage: brief examples of effects on the direction of innovation are reviewed. Democracy has included mass movements such as trade unions which have succeeded to some extent in restricting the damage to human beings resulting largely from excessive commodity production and consumption; but the struggle to restrict the damage laissez-faire causes to planet earth in the shape of environmental damage has not so far had much success. Since ancient times, there have been numerous ideologies and religions which have exerted strong influences on the societies which they have dominated. For several centuries prior to the enclosures starting in the 16th century, English society was strongly influenced by Christianity. Towards the end of the 18th century , the industrial revolution began in England. Classical economics began at about the same time, subsequently developing into neo-classical economics. Its analyses continually promote the ideology of laissez-faire; and have exerted growing influence on policy-making throughout the world which still continues. .This ideology has influenced most of the world’s most powerful policy makers to adopt economic goals-in particular economic growth- and is still causing immeasurable damage to people and planet earth. The ideology of democracy, which had originated nearly 2000 years previously, gained greatly increasing attention at about the same time as the industrial revolution began, but so far has had much less influence on policy worldwide than laissez-faire.

Key references:
Karl Polanyi, 2001, The Great Transformation, Beacon Press second paperback edition, Paul.S. Adler,2015, Book Review Essay: The Environmental Crisis and Its Capitalist Roots: Reading Naomi Klein with Karl Polanyi, Administrative Science Quarterly,60 (2) Guy Routh,1989, The Origin of Economic Ideas,second edition, Macmillan, London , Adam Smith,1910, The Wealth of Nations,Volume 1,J.M.Dent & Sons, London, (First published in 1776 as An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations). Peter Senker ,2015, The triumph of neoliberalism and the world dominance of capitalism, Prometheus: critical studies in innovation 33(2), pp97-112 

Bio

After working in industry and consultancy as an economist and industrial market researcher –mainly in Philips – Peter was awarded a one year IBM Fellowship at the Manchester Business School in 1971. Between 1972 and 1995, he led research projects in SPRU on implications of technological change for employment skills and training in engineering and other industries. Between 1995 and 2018, as a Visiting Professor at the University of East London, he contributed to books and papers on relationships between technology, inequality and the world economy including Technology, Society and Inequality published in 2013.

20 March
Biographies of Antibiotics in Bangladesh: Perspectives of Qualified and ‘Unqualified’ rural and Urban Practitioners
Papreen Nahari

Abstract

Medicines need to be understood with its social uses and consequences than with their chemical structure and biological effects. In the context of global emerging crisis of AMR Bangladesh is particularly vulnerable due to unregulated and ‘irrational’ use of drugs in the country within in the large informal health sector. There are more than ten thousand unlicensed retail drug shops involved in selling drugs over-the-counter in the country, this number is more than authorised listed licensed drug shop. The current study explored understanding of antibiotic provision among ‘qualified and unqualified’ drug sellers in rural and urban areas in Bangladesh. An ethnographic approach has been taken to conduct the study. Participants included verities of actors including pharmaceutical managers, prescribers and drug dispensers, medical representatives. This presentation is based on prescribers and drug dispensers’ data. The preliminary analysis shows, although the knowledge varies greatly between qualified and unqualified drug dispensers in terms of understanding of antibiotics, a few cases the formal and informal providers are involved in similar practices. Perspectives about antibiotics also varies among the unqualified drug sellers ranging from gross ignorance about antibiotics and irrational use to relatively correct knowledge and practice. Study also revealed that the drug sellers have developed certain local vocabularies about antibiotics, such as ‘half-antibiotic’, ‘full-antibiotics’, ‘medicines of power’, ‘disease remover’. Significantly, the majority understood drug resistance as a ‘side effect’ of antibiotics. Some providers overlaps between formal and informal sectors. Using the theory of ‘Social Lives of Medicines’ this paper argues that both the formal and informal health sectors have significant role in the formation of biographies of antibiotics in Bangladesh, and the providers misunderstanding about antibiotics therefore be able to contribute to the rise of AMR. The study findings will be used to develop communication materials to improve the rational dispensing of antibiotics within the informal sector.

3 April
The Sublime of Climate Change.
Nick Gallie

Abstract

My talk is based on extended interviews carried out during my doctoral research. I spoke to some of the world's leading climate scientists and climate change policy advisors about their very personal inner feelings and intuitions about climate change. Anthropogenic climate change is revealed as a product of human alienation and as an existential crisis for humanity just as much as it is an accidental bi product of fossil fuel driven growth economies. As such, climate change presents inner challenges that are under recognised in the technologically dominated official discourses on climate change.

Bio

Dr. Nick Gallie is a Research Associate at SPRU and SRJRC. In addition to his PhD he holds Masters degrees in Economics, Human Rights and Science and Technology Policy Studies. He is a former Campaigns and Communications Director of Greenpeace UK and a strategy consultant to OXFAM and World Animal Protection.

10 April
Unravelling the Patterns of Niche Construction for Sustainability Transition
Keija Yang

Abstract

The concept of 'niche' has been taken up widely in sustainability transition literature. However, many ambiguities and open questions remain. The paper asks the question: what are the enabling factors for niche construction, and why are niches constructed differently in different places? To investigate the above questions, the paper revisits the process of ‘shielding’. The analysis is based on the examination of two longitudinal cases of wind power development in Inner Mongolia and Jiangsu provinces of China, with divergent low-carbon transition pathways. It concludes that niche protection largely depends on the regime actors, who are powerful actors holding the resources, attracted by the legitimised visions of niches. The niche construction is an inherently dynamic process, which co-evolves with expectation of actors inside and outside the niche. With changing expectations, actors who support early niche development may become barriers for further niche diffusion. The paper makes a case for the necessity of a nuanced examination of protective space, and its constructive elements in particular, and how it evolves with the stability of the regime. The discussion also examines the relationships between shielding, nurturing and empowerment of niches development.

Bio

Kejia Yang is currently a PhD student at SPRU and a research assistant for the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) project. Her doctoral research focuses on the interaction between new entrants and incumbents in the transformative process towards low carbon and green within the Chinese electricity system with two specific provinces, Inner Mongolia, and Jiangsu province. Previously, she worked as a research assistant at Institutes of Science and Development, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

1 May 
Reviving Manual Repair in a Digital World: Insights from Classic Car Restoration Trainees
Ödül Bozkurt

Abstract

Rapidly amplified recent calls for a transition from a "linear" to a "circular" economic model, whereby manufactured objects are kept in use longer, remind us how scarce repair work and repair workers have become in advanced capitalist economies. This is when we are presumably on the cusp, if not already in the maelstrom, of the newest great transformation, the 4th Industrial Revolution, where we expect more and more labour and work to imminently become digital. This presentation will ask, then, what it is that may be (still) attractive about manual repair work. Drawing on a study of trainees in a classic car restoration course in a Further Education college in Northern England, the potential for repair to be seen as "good work" is linked to craft skills on the one hand, and feelings of love, on the other. The presentation will also introduce ongoing research that follows up from this study, to look at the case of a new, collaborative, highly specialist apprenticeship programme in heritage vehicle restoration. Initial findings and thoughts will be shared for valuable feedback from the audience, for example on the notion of the significance of a "relational web" involving young learners, families, peers, employers, communities of enthusiasm and sector bodies in reviving manual repair in a digital world.

Bio

Ödül Bozkurt is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Management and the Director of the Future of Work Research Hub at the University of Sussex Business School. As a sociologist of work she has long been interested in global and transnational contexts and experiences of work, notably high skilled work in multinational firms. As a corollary to this continuing interest in the "cosmopolitans" of contemporary work, she has become increasingly interested in the "locals" of work, the low-skilled, poorly-rewarded workers in mundane, precarious jobs such as in retail. She is currently chipping away at a project that looks at the manual, creative, financial and volunteer work in the classic motoring sector, to see how these different forms of work and groups of workers enact the "collective labour" of a field through market and community relationships.

8 May 
Support from supervisors and faculty members helps to improve well-being and promote helping behaviours amongst PhD students
Patricio Saavedra Morales

Abstract

This project was commissioned to identify the factors that are associated with the avoidance of burnout and the promotion of engagement among PhD students in the UK, and to recommend ways of improving their well-being. Our results demonstrated that supervisors play a key role in promoting students’ engagement with their PhD programs by providing them support, but also by being a positive role model. The latter also encourages PhD students to help colleagues in need. Moreover, we found that the support received from faculty members and the clarity about what needs to be done for their doctoral programs also play a key role in promoting cooperation amongst PhD students through the creation of an academic community. Therefore, we think is important for universities to consider tactics that allow supervisors and other faculty members ways to provide their students with continuous support and clear rules that encourage students to feel more confident about their own skills and knowledge, since this can facilitate a sense of community and belonging. However, this should only be done to the extent that it is balanced out with a healthy workload and will not end up imposing further strains to supervisors or professional services staff.

Autumn Term 2018
26 September 
Framing and Re-Framing Socio Ecological Systems: The Role of Place-Based Social Movements and The Science and Technology System in the Defence of the Bogota Wetlands in Bogotá
Matias Ramirez

Abstract

Social movements can be an important expression for civil society in areas that are relevant to the science, technology and innovation system (STI). They are  pivotal for pushing forward what Hess has described as “undone” science i.e that science which tends be overlooked by the mainstream, is not supported by large firms and would otherwise not be heard or left incomplete (Frickel et al., 2010; Hess, 2015). In this talk we focus the discussion on the dynamics of place-based social movements and the collaboration with the science and technology system. Through a discussion of an iconic case study of the social movement in defence of the Bogota wetlands, we show that place-based social movements can be pivotal in crafting new policy frames, facilitate policy experimentation and, because of their intimate knowledge of local conditions, provide a basis for appropriate technology and monitoring. Two key concepts are used and combined to frame the discussion. Firstly, the concept of conflict is used to distinguish social movements from other forms of civil society collective action which is linked to the development of agency in policy framing. Secondly, the concept of bricolage has been used to explain how heterogeneous networks of actors reach alignment of aims with limited resources to establish new socio technical configurations. We draw insights from analysis of social movement and R&D investment from local databases. The latter is a novel technique to represent changes in the evolution of the agendas of social movements, STI policy priorities and the relationship between the two.

17 October 
Negotiating Citizenship in Smart City Experiments
Sören Becker

Abstract

Commonly, academic accounts of citizenship in the smart city criticise the limited inclusion and representation of citizens in smart city projects. More detailed studies follow a typology-based approach to assess the depth, extent and impact of citizen-involvement. This work, however, is at risk of creating a too static understanding of citizenship, while overlooking the dynamic and contested nature of citizenship claims. Focussing on the knowledge politics around the notion of smart citizenship, this paper will develop a more dynamic perspective focussing on the emergence, negotiation and condensation and change of notions of citizenship in a variety of smart city projects in the UK and Germany. It will be argued that citizenship is not just there, but is enacted by different actors with potentially contrasting notions of citizenship, resulting in negotiations around the legitimation of roles and responsibilities within smart projects. Opening this process-based perspective of citizenship in Smart City projects, this paper seeks to contribute to a better understanding of citizen involvement in the smart city, and to develop the notion of active smart citizenship as an important element of the knowledge politics research agenda.

Bio

Sören Becker is a Human Geographer interested in the co-development of technical, social and spatial change. After gaining his PhD with studies on public and cooperative ownership in urban energy systems from the University of Hamburg, he is currently working as a Lecturer in Social and Economic Geography at University of Bonn, and as a postdoctoral researcher in the European project “Knowledge Politics in Smart Urbanism” (KNOWING) at Humboldt-University Berlin. In the latter project he collaborates with Adrian Smith; and it is in the framework of this project that he is visiting SPRU from 15 to 18 October.
Sören has published on various issues of conflicts and new forms of organization in European energy transitions, involving work on community energy, social entrepreneurship, energy democracy and urban governance in remunicipalisation processes. Now his core interest lies in the knowledge politics behind the development and implementation of smart strategies by different stakeholders.

24 October 
Stability of Zero-Growth  Economics Analysed with a Minskyan Model 
Adam Barrett

Abstract


As humanity is becoming increasingly confronted by Earth's finite biophysical limits, there is increasing interest in questions about the stability and equitability of a zero-growth capitalist economy, most notably: if one maintains a positive interest rate for loans, can a zero-growth economy be stable? This question has been explored on a few different macroeconomic models, and both `yes' and `no' answers have been obtained. The question is typically settled by the existence, or not, of a single equilibrium point with economically desirable characteristics, namely positive profit and wage rates, and low unemployment.

In this paper, drawing from the fact that even a fast-growing economy is unstable and rarely in equilibrium, I approach the question from a complex systems dynamics perspective. Employing a model that draws from Keen’s model of the Minsky financial instability hypothesis, I compare the relative stability of positive productivity growth scenarios to ones with zero productivity growth. Stable scenarios are characterised by fluctuations that do not grow in severity, whilst unstable scenarios exhibit run-away explosive behaviour.

I find that the model can be stable, with or without growth. Moreover, there exist parameters for which a no-growth scenario is stable, but for which a 2% productivity growth scenario is unstable. In general, the faster firms try to change their level of debt, and the more sensitive target debt levels are to the current state of the economy, the less likely the model is to be stable. There is generally no loss of stability during a transition to a post-growth scenario, from a previously stable growth scenario. Further, the model implies no increase in inequality; on the contrary, a higher wages share of output is observed post-growth, albeit with more frequent substantial drops in employment.

These results are encouraging for ecological economists. However, the apparent decreased profit share in a zero-growth scenario does have implications for finance and capital investment, especially in an open-border world. I discuss how future work in this area ought to focus beyond the basic credit-with-interest component, onto broader aspects of the modern financial system.

31 October 
Running through fields and stuffing jars: understanding vulnerability in Sofia, Bulgaria
Ralitsa Hiteva

Abstract

This seminar is dedicated to sharing experiences and findings from investigating the urban nexus of food, water, energy and the environment in Sofia for the ResNexus project (Resilience and vulnerability at the urban Nexus of food, water, energy and the environment). The study focused on examining the intersecting practises of urban gardening, making zimnina and provisioning of heat and energy, and employed an ecology of practices approach which was developed building on Stengers’ work on obligations and requirements. Using a lot of photographs and quotes I will share some lessons from running in fields and stuffing jars.

7 November 
Public organizations struggling with sustainability transitions: insights from the fishing industry in Yucatan (Mexico)
Sandro Giachi

Abstract

"The fishing resource is crucial for the economy and society of the Yucatan region of Mexico. It is also a sensitive area due to the need of protecting biodiversity and its vulnerability to climate change. The dominant socio-technical practices in the fishing industry base on traditional fishing gears, simple processing and marketing processes, and a system of mass production and distribution. These practices do not seem sustainable from neither the environmental (overexploitation) nor the socio-economic point of view, as they generate inequality, local conflicts, dynamics of ‘tragedy of the commons’ and a dependence on the foreign market. On the one hand, since resource extraction began on an industrial scale more than 40 years ago, this system has remained almost unchanged, apart from some reforms in regulation, the stipulation of trade agreements and the introduction of ICTs which, however, have not substantially modified technological trajectories and socio-technical practices. On the other hand, innovation and development policies in the sector have increasingly moved from regulation, police control and funding of basic research, towards R&D and innovation projects, more democratic forms of governance and socio-technical experimentation outside the laboratory. Although a transition to sustainability in Yucatan fishing remains a distant objective, public policies and R&D centers have begun to open spaces for participation, discussion and criticism that include companies, fishermen and other civil society actors. This has allowed the emergence of an alternative socio-technical narrative about differentiated, ecological and resilient patterns of octopus production and consumption, especially in the octopus fishing. "

14 November 
Export Markets and Firms' Innovation Strategies
Sara Amoroso

Bio

JRC European Commission Sevilla

21 November 
Innovation, Inequality and the Environment: To What Extent Is Sustainable Development Compatible with Capitalism?
Peter Senker

Abstract

In 2015, the United Nations adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and protect our planet. For many centuries, individuals and small firms had made and distributed basic commodities such as food and clothing. They accumulated profits by keeping whatever remained after they had paid for their expenses. In the nineteenth century, starting with rail transport powered by steam engines, successive new technologies for more rapid and ever cheaper transport and for faster cheaper communication were innovated. This helped to make it profitable for companies to produce, market and distribute ever-increasing ranges of new products and services to ever-widening markets. In contrast, meeting poor people’s basic needs for clean water, nutritious food and health services became relatively less profitable, and accordingly, was neglected. Moreover, in the last fifty years, the influence of large corporations has restricted the willingness of governments to give priority to reduction of environmental damage resulting from industrial activity. Conventional economic analyses are inadequate for understanding these issues because they fail to take sufficient account of implications of continual changes in the nature and availability of new products and services for sustainability. The paper concludes by suggesting that a world economy dominated by capitalism is likely to make slow progress in achieving SDGs.

Bio

After working as an economist and industrial market researcher –including several years in Philips -Peter led research projects in SPRU between 1972 and 1995 on implications of technological change for employment skills and training in engineering and other industries. Between 1995 and 2018, as Visiting Professor at the University of East London, he contributed to books and papers on relationships between technology, inequality and the world economy. He summarised some key findings of this research in “The triumph of neoliberalism and the world dominance of capitalism”, Prometheus, 2015, Vol 33, No2, pp 97-111.

28 November 
Technological Innovation and Local Labour Markets: A Complex System Analysis
Angelica Sbardella (University of Rome Tor Vergata)

Abstract

By employing complex network techniques and highly disaggregated local data, we propose a novel quantitative framework to study the exposure of local labour markets to technological innovations. In particular, this paper focuses on the effect of new technologies on US local labour markets by applying the empirical strategy proposed by Pugliese et al. (2017) for the study of country-level knowledge spillovers between fields of science, technology, and industry. Such technique is rooted in the recent stream of literature on Economic Complexity, which, contrary to traditional empirical approaches in economics, does not average out the system’s complexity but instead includes it explicitly by drawing upon the heterogeneity of individual actors, activities, and interactions. We proxy US local labour markets with counties and states, and technological innovation with data on the US patenting activity from 1980 to 2011 contained in PATSTAT, while sectoral data about wages and employment for the period 2001-2016 is taken from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages data-set of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. We combine these two domains, that interact in the same geographical areas, to determine which industrial sectors will lose or win in a county in year y+y (with y  0) after a technology is developed and patented in that same county in year y. To this aim, we define an empirical algorithm that maps the co-occurrences in the same county of above average sectoral wage or employment levels and the patenting activity in a technological field. Next, through random network techniques, we assess the statistical significance of the correlations between the technological classes and the industrial sectors that co-occur in the same county. Finally, to control for different factors that could influence the relations of interest -such as social variables, trade exposure, business cycle and regional capabilities- we complement and integrate the study with an econometric analysis. For each NAICS sector, we propose a panel data model for the wage and employment levels that breaks down the impact of all the technological classes that are deemed significant by our network methodology.

Bio

Angelica Sbardella is a PhD candidate in Economics at Tor Vergata University in Rome and is currently visiting scholar at SOAS in London. Her current research integrates traditional economics methodologies with complex system theory and focuses on the impact of technological innovation on local labour markets. Angelica holds a MSc in theoretical physics, and after her graduation she was awarded with a research grant from the Institute of Complex Systems in Rome. During that period she focused on the relationship between economic complexity and wage inequality.

05 December 
What Policies can Encourage the Development and Use of Diagnostics to Combat Antibiotic Resistance? A Multicriteria Mapping Study of Six European Countries
Josie Coburn and Frédérique Bone

Abstract

Resistance of infectious agents against antibiotics (i.e. Antimicrobial resistance or AMR) is an emerging global problem posing a serious threat to modern medicine. AMR is mainly caused by the overuse and misuse of antibiotics, and diagnostic tests can help to reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics, and in turn, help to combat AMR. The presentation reports on an empirical study that prospectively appraises key policy instruments that aim to stimulate the development and use of diagnostic tests that can help to guide the more careful use of antibiotics. The study used the multicriteria mapping (MCM) approach to appraise these policy instruments in order to understand their potential performance while also considering uncertainties about this performance. Interviews were conducted 47 individuals representing a variety of stakeholder groups (primary care physicians, pharmacists, hospital physicians, microbiologists, healthcare payors, and policymakers) in six European countries (UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Greece and Spain). The results compare and contrast the views of interviewees to explore policy preferences in different national contexts and from a range of perspectives. Findings focus on the identification of a set of policy instruments that were clearly favoured over other options (despite some differences in rankings of options between countries and stakeholder groups). Importantly, the consensus from interviewees appears to differ from the current policy discourse in certain respects. The presentation will also discuss a novel way to analyse and visualise MCM data to derive merit orders for policy options based on pairwise preferences. 

12 December 
Energy Systems Intergration - Looking beyond the technological perspective 
Claire Copeland

Abstract

Energy Systems Integration (ESI) is being pitched as a way of achieving energy efficiency targets as well as a low-cost transition to a decarbonised energy system. This idea is evident both at national and international levels in policy‐making and energy expert circles. ESI appears to be seen as predominantly a technological, and economic, offering with little attention given so far to the consequences of ESI from a more actor-centric perspective. As well as a lack of consensus on a definition for ESI, there is therefore very little understanding about how this increasingly integrated system will realise efficiency gains, and who benefits (or loses) in the dynamics of a potentially profoundly different energy system. This presentation, based on a forthcoming working paper, will explore these wider issues and is organised under 4 themes: vertical and horizontal integration, trilemma, control and an integrated market. This is a result of research by the authors and discussions held at a Centre for Energy System Integration (CESI) workshop on ESI attended by engineers, energy modellers, mathematics, anthropologists and social scientists. This work is a result of collaborative research between CESI researchers at University of Sussex and Durham University.

Bio

Claire Copeland is a SPRU Research Fellow on Energy Futures for the Centre for Energy System Integration (CESI). CESI is a collaboration between Newcastle, Durham, Edinburgh, Heriot Watt and Sussex universities in partnership with a number of industrial organisations including Siemens. 

Spring Term 2018
7 February 
Fossil fuel consumption and climate policy in historical perspective, 1950-2017
Simon Pirani

Abstract

The drivers of fossil fuel consumption growth are very strong, producing growth rates at odds with ever-more-insistent claims that we are moving to a post-fossil-fuel era. The presentation will put this in historical perspective, focusing on the period since 1950 that is characterised as the “Anthropocene”.

The post-war boom, the 1970s oil price shocks, the acceleration of consumption growth in developing countries, and the failure to curb consumption since the discovery in the 1980s of the global warming effect, all played their part.

An interpretation will be offered emphasising that fossil fuels are consumed by and through social, economic and technological systems. Analysis needs to reflect the way these systems work, integrating flow analysis and distinguishing discretionary from non-discretionary consumption.

Bio

Simon Pirani is author of a global history of fossil fuel consumption since 1950, to be published by Pluto Press in early 2018. He is Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, where he has worked since 2007, mainly researching natural gas markets in the former Soviet countries. He is the author of books on Russian history and has written about energy and economics as a journalist.

14 February
The UK Industrial Strategy: Can it achieve its aims? - Panel Discussion
Tim Foxon (Chair)

Abstract

A discussion on the UK Industrial Strategy published in November 2017. Focused on what the Strategy aims to deliver, the new approaches that it proposes and how the UK institutional context compares to that in other countries, drawing on recent strands of research.

Panel

Tim Foxon (Chair), Paul Nightingale, Paula Kivimaa and Phil Johnstone.

21 February
Examining the Relationship between Leadership and Megascience Projects – Evidence from the Tevatron and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)
David Eggleton

Abstract

Background

A development within the last century in scientific research has been the need for very large apparatus to explore new experimental fields, notably within high-energy physics. These ‘megascience projects’, a subcategory of megaprojects which have a minimum budget of one billion US dollars, are generally undertaken as cooperative ventures by countries seeking to pursue scientific experimental opportunities.

Such projects are characterised by high levels of technological uncertainty, because success will likely depend on the development of new, highly-advanced technologies. However, there is a notable lack of research into the leadership of megascience projects.

Method

The projects investigated were the Tevatron at Fermilab near Chicago in the United States, and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN on the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva. This research uses a combination of archival and interview-based research to answer three research questions:

(1) What are the characteristics of those who lead megascience projects?

(2) Where were their leadership skills developed?

(3) How were their leadership skills developed?

Results

The most important finding is the tailoring of senior leadership selection according to the needs of specific phases of the project. I identify four phases which are initiation, approval, construction, and exploitation. As the project progresses these senior leader characteristics changes from a transformational autocrat to an increasingly laissez-faire style.

The characteristics of successful leaders of megascience projects at all organisational levels include:

1) the primacy of technical competence

2) strong management ability

3) the importance of trustworthiness

4) team empowerment.

The experiential nature of leadership training within megascience projects is also critical for success, with formal leadership training programmes acting in a support role at most. This work also has implications for the next generation of megascience projects which I address as a conclusion.

Bio

PhD researcher at SPRU

21 March
S&T Indicators in the Wild
Ismael Rafols

Abstract

Most current S&T indicators have been developed using databases that aim to be ‘comprehensive’ and assume a ‘universal’ relationship between an indicator’s measure and the property it purports to characterise. However, this model of S&T indicator development, based on data and calculations secluded from the ‘world’, has proved problematic, since it leads to misrepresentation of many contexts.

Following Callon’s notion of ‘research in the wild’, I propose that S&T indicators for policy purposes should be developed and interpreted ‘in the wild’, i.e. together with and in deliberation between stakeholders. I argue that this is particularly the case, under situations that involve high uncertainties and ambiguities, as well as lack of value consensus.

Based on the September 2017 lecture in S&T Indicators Conference, Paris.

Bio

PhD researcher at SPRU.

28 March
Harnessing hydroelectricity surplus to trigger a socio-economic transformation in South America – Prospects for the revision of the Itaipu treaty in 2023
Cecilia Llamosas (National University of Asuncion, Paraguay)

Abstract

Paraguay is notable for boosting a power system based wholly on renewable sources. Despite its substantial production of hydroelectricity, a large proportion of its total energy consumption is sourced from imported fossil fuels and unsustainably sourced biomass (82%). This makes Paraguay one of the largest exporters of hydroelectricity per capita, exporting close to 75% of its generated output to neighbours Brazil and Argentina. The main source of surplus is the Itaipu Dam, co-owned with Brazil. It produces about 90,000 GWh/year. Since Paraguay only consumes about 10% of its share, it has massive surplus. The Itaipu Treaty grants exclusive right of purchase over the surplus to Brazil and limits the chance to sell the energy to third-parties. Therefore, Paraguay cedes its surplus to Brazil in exchange for a fixed compensation as established in the Treaty, which is due to be revised in 2023.

The significant participation of unsustainable biomass could be reverted by increasing the use of hydroelectricity (currently 18% of consumption mix). Researchers at GISE conducted analysis to answer the question How should Paraguay use its surplus to support a sustainable development pathway? Our findings suggest that, a policy oriented promoting a sector-wide energy transition in the industrial sector and leveraging the development of new industrial clusters is the best option. Our findings are significant for the on-going policy debate on the “surplus question”.

Fostering this change entails encouraging a transition from other less sustainable energy sources and an increased use of modern energy sources, such as electricity as opposed to unsustainable biomass and imported fossil fuels. This is critical as firewood and charcoal —largely unsustainable due to the haphazard management of forest resources— are extensively used in the industrial and residential sector. Moreover, encouraging increased electricity consumption could be detrimental for local and regional powerful stakeholders who benefit from the status quo.

Our conclusions raise as many questions as they answer. Understanding mechanisms to encourage increased participation of electricity in the industrial sector remains under researched as do the socio-political barriers and power implications of a future energy transition Moreover, reviewed literature addressing transition in Paraguayan energy governance specifies neither which policy mixes could be put in place to support the innovation developments in the industrial clusters to run on clean hydropower.

In this presentation, key questions and lessons learned will be discussed. Also, some of the projects developed to address them will be presented. Furthermore, cooperation possibilities will be explored.

Bio

Energy Policy Lab Coordinator, National University of Asuncion, Paraguay

18 April
Changing Demand Composition and Economic Growth in China - a Tale of Two Cities
Alexandre De Podestá Gom (University of London)

Abstract

This research seeks to understand how the post-2008 crisis economic environment – the changing composition of aggregate demand, namely - has impacted different localities in China. It sets a comparison between two cities
located in the Yangtze River Delta – Nanjing and Suzhou.

While the latter features an industrial base traditionally dominated by foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) and geared towards the external markets, Nanjing, on the other hand, has an industrial base dominated by State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and is less reliant on exports.

Analysing local economic data, especially regarding total, industrial and manufacturing output, as well as labour productivity growth, we observe that in the years before the 2008 crisis Suzhou clearly outperformed Nanjing, notably in the industrial sector, but after 2009 the scenario is reversed, with Nanjing taking the lead.

The research aims to explain these divergent patterns of economic growth and performance, illuminating how particular institutional-structural forms at the local level may match (or not) distinct compositions of the aggregate
demand at the macro level. It is the coherence (or lack of it) between institutional-structural forms at the local level and the macro composition of demand which will render localities relatively faster (or slower) growth rates.

The theoretical backbone of the research is the Kaldorian cumulative causation growth tradition, but it also borrows concepts from the French “regulation school”, in particular on the characterization of institutional forms. As the main concern of the research is economic growth at the local level, the paper also dialogues with other (mainstream) theories, notably the New Economic Geography and Urban Economics.

Bio

Economics PhD Candidate, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

25 April
Framing Electromobility – A topic modeling approach to analyse newspaper coverage in Germany and the UK
Christoph Rogge

Abstract

Over the course of the past three decades, electromobility has gone through repeated patterns of hype and excitement followed by failure and disappointment. In the early 1990s, electric vehicles received considerable media attention when major car manufacturers unveiled prototypes of electric vehicles and large showcase projects were launched in several European countries.

This first hype around electric vehicles faded by the end of the 1990s and media attention almost completely died out until the second hype started in the mid-2000s. Today, electric vehicles are perceived to be the winner in the low carbon vehicle innovation race. However, the diffusion of electric vehicles is still minuscule.

The slow uptake of electric vehicles cannot be explained simply by their technological inferiority to internal combustion engine vehicles in terms of conventional features like range and speed. Technical artefacts are strongly interwoven with political interests and cultural dynamics. The strong cultural bond of the car with the modern promises of national progress, individualism and equal access makes the electrification of transportation much more than a technical step.

It is not just a mere substitution of the internal combustion engine with an electric powertrain, or a sustainability transition to reduce CO2-emissions. It is essentially about a rearticulation of collective beliefs, desires and habits. I therefore draw on the theoretical concepts of frames and imaginaries to examine these relationships and argue that revealing the imaginations and framings around mobility and transportation is key for understanding the lacking success of electric vehicles and for identifying possible points of departure for new narratives around the electrification of transport.

Methodologically, I deploy a topic modeling approach to analyse newspaper coverage of electromobility in Germany and the UK between 1990 and 2017 to trace and compare the changing relevance and varying salience of certain topics over time in the two countries. In this presentation I will also discuss the affinities between topic modeling and frame-analytic approaches and highlight challenges connected to this unsupervised machine learning technique.

 

Bio

Visiting SPRU

2 May
Title unavailable
Josh Hutton

Abstract

Abstract unavailable.

Bio

Bio unavailable.

9 May
Seminar Falling Forward - Equality and diversity
Jo Chataway, Ben Martin, Benjamin Sovacool

Abstract

Abstract unavailable.

16 May
Money for nothing? Examining the moral economy of scholarly production
Suzanne Moon (University of Oklahoma)

Abstract

Abstract unavailable.

Bio

Bio unavailable.

23 May
The political economy of Brexit: the example of the food sector
Erik Millstone (SPRU)

Abstract

Abstract unavailable.

Bio

Bio unavailable.

30 May
Title unavailable
Jarno Hoekman (Utrecht University)

Abstract

Abstract unavailable.

Bio

Bio unavailable.

Autumn Term 2017
27 September
Incumbents’ strategies to address disruptive energy system changes: the case of the big four in Germany
Jan Ossenbrink

Abstract

Research has shown that incumbent firms may respond to discontinuities in their environment by shifting their organizational learning focus from exploiting their established business towards exploring emerging opportunities. However, the simultaneous pursuit of the two former learning modes imposes significant internal tensions on these organizations, such as the contested debates that may arise from the question of how to allocate financial resources between old and new business units.

While the literature on ambidexterity has revealed that senior managers have at least two options to address the aforementioned concerns – namely structural and contextual approaches – so far we know very little about what induces organizations to focus on either of them, or how they combine the two approaches to maximize organizational learning. To shed light on the antecedents and further elaborate on the characteristics of organizational ambidexterity, we conduct a comparative, longitudinal case study of the four largest electric utility companies in Germany, namely E.ON, RWE, EnBW, and Vattenfall.

Drawing on a comprehensive archival data review and interviews with experts and senior managers, we find that all firms have launched a series of initiatives in response to the fundamental changes in their business environment: a) the growing renewable energy business in the mid-2000s, and b) a significant downstream value shift affecting the German electricity sector from 2010 onwards. Scrutinizing the rationale behind and the setup of each of these initiatives, we show that firms tailor their ambidexterity approaches to changing environment. This analysis reveals that the managerial decision to implement structural or contextual initiatives, or to combine both approaches, can be linked to the perceived distance of new opportunities from the organization’s culture and capabilities, and the perceived number and uncertainty of (potential) environmental opportunities, a finding that challenges the prevailing understanding of contextual and structural ambidexterity as dichotomous categories.

Bio

http://www.sustec.ethz.ch/people/sr/jan-ossenbrink.html

11 October
Ecology and sociotechnical systems research – motivations for theoretical and methodological integration across fields
Helene Ahlborg

Abstract

Currently, we are witnessing a number of global trends that do not promise well for the future. Accelerating climate change, loss of biodiversity, chemical pollution, disappearance of natural forest and degradation of fishing grounds and agricultural lands are just a few of the serious environmental problems that threaten the functional and structural integrity of ecosystems, to an extent that also human societies risk collapse. The scale of human impact is now such that scholars suggest that we live in the Anthropocene. The trends are driven by several linked factors, which are not easily disentangled into manageable specific problems to be solved by specific policies. More than ever, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaborations are needed in order to address these urgent challenges.

The objective of this paper is to argue for the importance of research on socio-technical-ecological systems (STES) rather than social-ecological (SES) and sociotechnical systems (STS) separately. Hence, we address researchers in both the social-ecological and sociotechnical fields. We organize the argument around six reasons why “technology” should be integrated into SES studies. We call these reasons: (1) the interface and mediation aspect, (2) ambivalence, (3) the agency aspect, (4) the question of scale, (5) the question of governance and politics, and (6) the question of epistemology and framing. We also highlight potential conceptual conflicts and mistranslations. Our discussion is primarily a theoretical argument, exemplified with empirical examples.

Among the conceptual challenges, we note that SES scholars, if they consider technology in their analyses, generally treat it as an exogenous factor or as a passive background element. Similarly, STS scholars tend to neglect ecological dynamics and refer to the ecological domain mainly in terms of inputs and outputs, e.g. natural resources, environmental and health problems caused by human activities. In light of the discussion, we conclude that the importance of collaborating across the two fields goes beyond each field adding pieces together. We argue that integration and translation across these domains will lead to qualitative change in the theoretical and methodological approaches of both fields; and that technology, society and ecology should be given symmetric analytical attention.

Bio

http://www.chalmers.se/en/staff/Pages/helene-ahlborg.aspx

18 October
The Relation between Research Priorities and Societal Demands: The Case of Rice
Tommaso Ciarli

Abstract

To which extent is the scientific research leading to technological change related to societal needs? To answer this crucial question systematically we need to define measures of research priorities and societal needs that are comparable. We combine quantitative methods that allow to explore the relation between research priorities on the supply side and societal demands on the demand side. We focus on rice research and technology between 1983 and 2012. We employ new bibliometric data, methods, and indicators to identify countries' main topics of rice research (priorities) from research output in terms publications. We employ data on the national accounts of rice use and on rice related needs of farmers and consumers to identify the societal demands.

We then estimate for a panel of countries the relation between the revealed research priorities and the revealed demands. We find that, across countries and time, priorities for rice research explain to a limited extent a country's trajectory in rice technology. Research priorities which are partly explained by societal demands are catalogued as expected results, corroborating our analysis. However, we find a relevant number of misalignments between the focus of rice research and revealed demands, crucially on human consumption and nutrition. We discuss some implications for research policy and the stability of research frameworks.

Bio

http://www.sussex.ac.uk/profiles/129520

25 October
The Usable Past? : Energy Consumption in the Mass Observation Archive
Rebecca Wright

Abstract

Understanding how people lived with energy in the past allows us to grasp how people responded to changing energy systems, the malleability of practices, and the potential limitations of future models. Despite lessons learnt from history, however, the past tends to be excluded from policy discussions about energy transitions.

This seminar will explore what can be learnt from the past about energy consumption today. It will draw upon material from the Mass Observation Archive, the largest collection of first person accounts about everyday life in Britain in the twentieth century, to demonstrate how the historical archive allows us to build up knowledge about how people responded to energy transitions. Introducing two humanities approaches to utilizing the archive—one formed through digital methodologies and another through close reading–the seminar will ask what role the historical archive could play in envisioning future energy systems.

Bio

Rebecca is an historian who’s doing a project on how energy has been adapted into everyday life in the twentieth century. She’s working in the School of Media, Film and Music for the rest of the year (2017), using the archives at The Keep.

1 November
Using Public Procurement to Leverage Localisation and Innovation; A Case Study of South Africa's Vaccine Public Private Partnership
David Walwyn

Abstract

Background: Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), widely used as a means of leveraging to mutual advantage the skills, expertise and resources of the private sector, were similarly adopted by South Africa to support public sector delivery. This study has evaluated one such partnership, namely the Biovac Institute, which was established in 2003 to cover vaccine research and development, manufacturing and supply.

Methods: The research has followed a concurrent mixed methods approach. In an initial quantitative study, data for prices and product volumes were extracted from secondary data sources and used to calculate the economic cost and value-for-money of the PPP. Simultaneously a qualitative study was undertaken in which a number of key stakeholders were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire on their perceptions of the PPP’s value.

Results: The institute earns a premium on the procurement cost of a broad range of vaccines required by the South African National Department of Health for its immunisation programme, the net value of which was $85.7 million over the period 2010 to 2014. These funds were used to finance the institute’s operations, including vaccine research, distribution and quality control. Capital expenditure to support the establishment of facilities for laboratory testing, packaging and labelling, filling, formulation and finally active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacture, about $40 million in total, had to be secured through loans and grants. According to the respondents in the qualitative survey, the principal benefit of the PPP has been the uninterrupted supply of vaccine and the ability to respond quickly to vaccine shortages. The main disadvantages appear to have been a slow and ineffectual establishment of a vaccine manufacturing centre and initially a limited ability to negotiate highly competitive vaccine prices.

Conclusions: Overall it is concluded that a positive value-for-money has been received and the institute has been of significant public benefit. Relationships of this nature can be used to achieve public health goals but need to be realistic about timeframes and costs.

Bio

Unavailable.

8 November
Technological capabilities, value added trade and organisation of international division of labour
Maciej Grodzicki

Abstract

Our research aims to understand the ways in international division of labour (IDL), organized in global value chains (GVCs), connects economies with different levels and types of attained technological capabilities (TCs), as well as how individual economies make use of foreign technological or cost advantages. In particular, we are interested whether emergence of tightly-linked Headquarter and Factory Economies has been related to distinct patterns of accumulation of capabilities in respective countries. We aim to assess quantitatively the role of TCs, vis a vis other factors of export performance and position in IDL, like cost advantages, trade costs, backward and forward linkages.

Technological capabilities have been identified as the key determinant of production structures, export performance of national economies, and formation of global North-South divisions (Bell and Pavitt 1995; Hidalgo and Hausmann 2011; Cimoli and Porcile and Neto 2013; Fagerberg and Srholec 2015). Empirical manifestations of relations between capabilities, export and growth, have changed in time. In particular, international trade has been recently determined by global value chains (GVC), that are the results of increasing international fragmentation of production, with contributions from countries at very different levels of development (Lanz et al. 2011; Timmer et al. 2014).

Growing use of foreign value added allows the producers to benefit from foreign capabilities, in terms of innovative inputs or more efficient and cost-reducing processes. It has been argued that international slicing-up of production processes and functional division of labour has led to the emergence of Headquarter Economies and Factory Economies (Baldwin and Lopez-Gonzalez 2015), where the latter have been able to expand their exports and production thanks to tight relations with technological leaders, without a prior build-up of domestic TC (Baldwin and Lopez-Gonzalez 2015; Lopez-Gonzalez 2016; Kummritz 2016).

Conversely, as shown in the vast qualitative literature on global value chains, it is the attainment of capabilities by domestic companies, together with cost advantages, that remains the crucial factor of growth (Gereffi, Korzeniewicz 1994; Yeung, Coe 2014). It means that foreign capabilities, mediated by GVCs, are beneficial in long-term only as long as they stimulate learning by domestic actors. Excessive reliance on GVCs might, otherwise, lead to a lock-in at a peripheral position in the division of labour (Humphrey and Schmitz 2002; Gereffi et al. 2005; Milberg and Winkler 2013).

Empirical question which arises from this debate, is: how organization of global value chains, and linkages between Headquarter and Factory Economies are related to asymmetries of technological capabilities, inherent for North-South divisions? In order to answer it, firstly, we conduct principal factor analysis, based on multivariate country-level data (incl. patents, skills, infrastructure, ICT) in order to disentangle major dimensions of technological advancement of national economies. Secondly, we analyse international flows of value added, making use of input-output techniques and the OECD ICIO Database (OECD 2016). Thirdly, we combine these two datasets, and describe it with a number of statistical techniques, including cluster analysis and shift-share decomposition techniques.

Bio

Unavailable.

15 November
A roundtable discussion on: " Mental Health in Research Practice” chaired by Joshua Hutton (SPRU)
Rachael Taylor, Sophie Valeix, Jo Chataway, Kathy Hegarty, Joshua Hutton

Abstract

A recent Research Policy paper estimated the prevalence of mental ill health in PhD students at one in two. This revelation is surprising and begs the questions, why is this so? And how can we improve this? From PhD students to Professors, mental ill health and its symptoms (like impostor syndrome) can have a marked effect on success.

This discussion seminar aims to begin a conversation in SPRU. It aims to open up Mental Health issues to reveal their prevalence and the institutional and cultural practices that reinforce them.

Panel

  • Rachael Taylor (SPRU PhD)
  • Sophie Valeix (IDS/SPRU PhD)
  • Jo Chataway (Deputy-Director, SPRU)
  • Kathy Hegarty (Head of University Counselling Service)
  • Joshua Hutton (Chair)
22 November - CANCELLED
Reflections on Five Decades of Research in Technology, Learning and Innovation in Developing Countries
David Walwyn and Martin Bell (University of Pertoria, University of Sussex)

Abstract

Professor Martin Bell has been at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) for nearly 50 years, having joined the organization in 1968. During this period, Professor Bell has become a global expert and leading intellectual in his field, producing and editing many articles, book chapters and books, and supervising or teaching a large number of students in science and technology policy.

In this seminar, David Walwyn will talk to Professor Bell about his work, covering in broad overview the four main topics of his research as follows:

• Knowledge networks and innovation systems
• Technological learning and the accumulation of technological capabilities in firms
• International technology transfer and its role in strengthening capabilities
• Foreign direct investment and its interaction with learning and innovation in host economies.

The discussions will focus particularly on his work in developing countries, and the ongoing challenges in these countries with respect to innovation systems. The seminar will not be presented in the format of a lecture, but will be conducted in an informal manner with the intention being to cover topics as they arise, and as they may appear interesting to the occasion. Time will be allocated for input and questions from the audience.

Bio

Professor Martin Bell is a Emeritus Professor at the Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex.

Professor David Walwyn is a Visiting Fellow at the Science Policy Research Unit, but normally based at the University of Pretoria where he works on science and technology policy.

29 November
Disruptive innovation and the role of policy mixes: the case of e-mobility in three countries
Mark Dijk (University of Maastricht)

Abstract

This seminar addresses the role of policy mixes in disruptive innovation. It discusses a regime evolution framework that elaborates Christensen’s typology of disruptive and sustaining innovation, rooted in industrial analysis, to include changes in the institutional context of production and use, especially consumer perspectives and government regulation.

Subsequently we examine how and to what to extent electric propulsion is disrupting the ICE-regime in car mobility in three countries: Norway, The Netherlands and Denmark. Based on stakeholder interviews, the policies affecting e-mobility in each country are described. Through a comparison of the policy mixes (highlighting interaction effects) we explain the relative FBEV sales levels, and the associated disruption pathway in each of the three countries. Policy implications for transition to e-mobility are discussed.

Bio

PhD Reseacher at the University of Maastricht.

6 December
Sustainability transition in an urban multi-regime context: An Institutional logics perspective
Bipashyee Ghosh (SPRU)

Abstract

In this seminar, I will discuss a paper, which is part of my PhD thesis on sustainability transitions in context of megacities of the world. Transitions research emphasizes on system level change, but the field has been earlier criticised for its lack of attention to geographies where the systems are embedded in. Cities are such geographical spaces - which are highly vulnerable to unsustainable growth, inward migration, pollution, congestion, inequality and poverty.

It is therefore crucial to study sustainability transition at the city level (Hodson and Marvin, 2010). But cities consist of multiple socio-technical regimes which operate individually as well as collectively in serving societal functions for the city. Sustainability transitions under such conditions of multiple co-existing regimes in a city is an underexplored area of research, which we argue can be studied using a relatively new theory called institutional logics.

Institutional logics sit within the broader field of institutional theory, which has recently started gaining momentum in transitions research, to explain socio-technical transitions as shift of institutional logics (Fuenfschilling and Truffer, 2014). Our paper advances this line of knowledge by developing a novel framework of institutional logics applicable to socio-technical systems for urban sustainability transitions.

This framework is then tested in the empirical context of Kolkata – a megacity in India, where we identified multiple sociotechnical regimes for providing mobility services in the city. Each of these regimes are guided by dominant institutional logics, which shift to new portfolio of institutional logics along their course of transition. Through this case study, we try to understand sustainability transition in an urban multi-regime context using institutional logics perspective.

The paper is work in progress, therefore I will really appreciate all ideas, suggestions, criticisms and feedback at this stage of the research.

Bio

PhD researcher at SPRU.

13 December
Sharing Solar Stories: The shifting of solar entitlement amongst social housing tenants
Nicolette Fox (SPRU)

Abstract

As a researcher are you a miner or a traveller? Do you believe knowledge is waiting to be mined, uncontaminated by the interviewer (Kvale, 2008)? Or instead, that it emerges as the interviewer travels “along with the local inhabitants, asks questions and encourages them to tell their own stories of their lived world” (ibid, p. 48)? This seminar focuses on how, over four seasons, I had the privilege of becoming a traveller with seven families following the installation of solar panels on their roofs.

I followed their solar journeys as ‘prosumers’ - producers and consumers - of electricity within one of the top ten percent most deprived areas of England (DCLG, 2015). I heard stories of how the solar panels had made a difference to many of their lives. The mother who stopped worrying about not having enough money to pay for school shoes. Another who, for at least part of the year, no longer had to choose between cooking a Sunday roast and washing her children’s clothes.

And yet at the outset, many of the households ignored the offer of the free solar panels from their social housing provider. They simply did not believe it. Additionally, solar panels were generally associated with “posh” people rather than social housing tenants. However, as panels appeared on roofs, and friends and neighbours shared their experiences, so the physical and social fabric of the estate began to change. Alongside this, a growing sense of solar entitlement emerged amongst the households.

I used Social Practice Theory and Time Geography to explore how energy consumption is embedded in daily life, and to frame producing and consuming solar power as a ‘project’ (eg Hagerstrand, 1982; Hui and Spurling, 2013; Pred, 1981, Shove et al., 2012; Watson and Shove, 2008). The fieldwork highlighted how prosuming dynamically evolved across three stages as project-practitioners adopted, established and committed to it. Alongside this was an emerging fluid typology of producers and consumers of solar power: tentative prosumers; periodic prosumers; and transformative prosumers.

As the researcher, I also undertook a journey. This included a realisation that given the context of where I was working, as well as the methodological implications of being a traveller, I needed to develop a set of research commitments for my study (Lincoln 1995). While this is not the focus of the seminar, if there is time at the end, I am happy to share the thinking behind some of the seven commitments.

View 'Take 7', a 5 minute YouTube film on the research

Bio

http://www.sussex.ac.uk/profiles/118633/research

Spring Term 2017
1 February 
Crafting sustainable innovations: Strategies for collaborating with deviant partners
Jouni Juntunen

Abstract

Leading innovators boost their innovation capacity with the ideas, knowledge and expertise provided by their stakeholders. Yet, many firms miss the opportunities to innovate with external contributors for sustainable products, services and business models. To date, few empirical studies have addressed the challenge of integrating stakeholders into new product development (NPD). Based on our extensive field study of sustainability innovations, we realized thatthey often do so because they disregard the opportunities provided by atypical partners. Conversely, leading innovators have begun to integrate different kinds of stakeholders in creative ways. These integrated stakeholders are not merely the typical customers, businesses or experts in the field; on the contrary they may be users, civil society organizations or representatives of the public sector. We draw on the stakeholder and innovation literature and apply a configurational perspective by using the fsQCA method to examine conditions that transfer valuable information from stakeholders to firms’ innovation processes in a way that increases the economic, ecological and social impacts of the innovations. We present three strategies adopted by the case companies to integrate such partners as external innovators. The results highlight the importance of building strong ties between the innovating companies and the newly integrated stakeholders.

8 February
Reflections & Discussion on the role of academics (and SPRU) in a post-truth/post-Brexit/post-Trump world
Andy Stirling; Ralitsa Hiteva; Chantal Naidoo and Michael Hopkins

No further information available

15 February 
Spirits, Zombies and White Elephant: Mechanics and Pathologies of Value Creation in Infrastructure Projects
Vedran Zerjav (UCL)

Abstract

The aim of the session is to present and discuss early stages of conceptualising issues of value creation and capture in infrastructure projects. To do so, the work draws upon a varied body of literature including design and organisational studies, project and sector specific studies, as well as business innovation studies. The study uses exploratory interviews with seven highly knowledgeable informants encompassing policy and project leadership in the London-based market of major transportation infrastructure developments. Preliminary findings suggest that value creation - as opposed to the more traditional focus on time, cost, and quality - is the main phenomenon that determines the success of an infrastructure project. This may not come as a surprise but from this main insight we further derive a propositional framework for value creation and destruction in infrastructure projects. The framework follows the typical product development lifecycle view - commonly understood to define projects as discrete chinks of work - and suggests three main phases where value can be either created or destroyed in infrastructure projects. Findings also suggest that the phenomena of value and their dynamics in infrastructure projects is a promising area for future inquiry.

Bio

Dr Vedran Zerjav teaches infrastructure project management at the Bartlett school of Construction and Project Management at University College London. He is also Principal Investigator of the ESRC Future Leaders Project – Business Innovation Dynamics in Infrastructure Projects. His research focuses on issues of design and delivery management in large projects and his fieldwork has featured settings of construction, healthcare and transportation sectors.

1 March 
The role of energy in past great surges of economic development: Implications for a low carbon transition
Tim Foxon 

Abstract

This presentation reports on insights for a long term transition to a sustainable low carbon energy future that can be drawn from a study of the role of energy technologies in past historical waves of techno-economic change (Foxon, forthcoming). Drawing on evolutionary economics and ecological economics (Perez, 2002; Foxon, 2011), this study examines the role that access to new sources of (fossil fuel) energy and economy-wide energy efficiency improvements have played in these historical waves, which have driven surges of economic growth.

Bio

Prof Tim Foxon is Professor of Sustainability Transitions at SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit), University of Sussex. His research explores the technological and social factors relating to the innovation of new energy technologies, the co-evolution of technologies and institutions for a transition to a sustainable low carbon economy, and relations and interdependencies between energy use and economic growth. He is a member of the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand, the UK Energy Research Centre and of the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy. He is currently writing a book on the implications for a low carbon transition of the role of energy in past surges of economic development.

8 March 
Virtual Working: implications for knowledge creation in work based communities of practice
George Siantonas

Abstract

Whilst digital connectivity has made it possible to enable communities in work based organisations to interact remotely, knowledge creation and knowledge sharing is not just about access to the most advanced technology, but also about the ability to construct shared dialogues, identities, stories and jargons that underpin new practices (Lave and Wenger 1991) and at the same time work around
cultural and language differences.

Lave and Wenger stress the importance of social relationships in the process of learning and creation of knowledge. However, their groundbreaking work (1991) focuses on co-located communities as opposed to distributed ones.

This study is concerned with the implications of virtual working for the importance of social relationships in the process of learning and creation of knowledge. The study examines how the key concept of Legitimate Peripheral Participation is impacted. This is especially important, as Legitimate Peripheral Participation is central to Lave and Wenger concept and vital to the creation of the relationships that help to build the trust and identity that define a community.

15 March
The Paris Agreement: How can the financial system align itself with low emission and climate resilient development?
Chantal Naidoo

Abstract

The Paris Agreement on climate change agreed to in December 2015 by heads of state contains three objectives. The first two relate to maintain temperate rises to below two degrees and building climate resilience. The third aims to “make all finance flows consistent with low greenhouse gas and climate resilient development” (Article 2.1.c). The high visibility of finance in the Paris Agreement is recognition of the important role finance flows play in transforming development paths to be more environmentally and socially inclusive.

The seminar will explore emerging policy practices in 26 developing countries that have been tracked mainly by the UN Environment Programme. The practices focus mainly on sustainability and offer starting point to understand further practices needed to meet climate objectives. The emerging policy practices reflect the gap in academic understandings of the role of finance in course of sustainability transitions. The discussion will raise questions for further exploration and propose initial hypothesis to link emerging practices with academic framings of green transformations, building mainly on the recent work of Spratt (2015) in ‘Financing Green Transformations'

22 March
Preparing for Fieldwork: Panel discussion about issues emerging when preparing and going to fieldwork
Blanche Ting, Andrea Laplane, Justin Pickard

No further information available

29 March
The stagnation of Latin America’s share in global goods exports: Is the lack of incorporated services to blame?
Nanno Mulder

Abstract

In contrast to developing Asia, Latin America’s share in global goods exports has stagnated since 1990 around 6%. This overall stagnation hides contrasting trends between different types of goods: its participation in global trade in resource based, low and high tech manufactures has fallen, whereas its share in global trade in commodities and medium-tech manufactures has increased. The region’s overall disappointing performance differs strongly from that of developing Asia (ASEAN, China, India and the Republic of Korea), which has more than doubled its global trade share during the same period from 13% to 32%). Latin America’s overall underperformance is often explained by its specialization in natural resources, which has been exacerbated by the fast growing demand for these products by China. The region’s commodity export boom to China led to the appreciation of its currencies, which in turn depressed the expansion of manufacturing exports.

This paper analyzes another potential explanation of the region’s stagnant good exports performance: the insufficient incorporation of domestic and foreign intermediate services. A recent growing body of literature has shown the increasing role of services as a source of value added into exports not only of manufactures but also natural resources. Increasing evidence has become available of this “servicification” as a condition of successful goods exports by developed countries. Services play a key role in manufacturing dominated global value chains (GVCs), as logistics and information technology facilitate the movement of goods and information between segments, and other intermediate services improve the productivity of firms, contribute to the differentiation of products, overcome domestic market barriers, and outsource non-core inputs and services. Baldwin et al. (2015) and Lodefalk (2017) summarized several studies that confirm this growing services value added share in manufacturing production and exports in the cases of France, Germany, Sweden, the United States and other OECD countries using both international input - output tables (IIOTs), micro firm-level data and case studies. However, few studies have been conducted in this area on Latin America.

This paper combines national and international IOTs and case studies to explore the link between Latin America’s export performance and the incorporation of intermediate services. The main data source is IIOTs, which cover an increasing number of countries in the region. The 2016 version of OECD’s TIVA database includes six countries from the region (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico) with data between 1995 and 2011. Moreover, ECLAC published in 2016 a South American input output table covering ten countries of this subregion with data for 2005. In addition to these macro-level data, several sector and firm-level case studies have become available on the incorporation of intermediate services in manufacturing and natural resource sectors such as cattle farming, coffee, copper and oil mining, and wine sectors.

5 April
Analytics platform of NESTA
Juan Mateos-Garcia & Katja Bego (NESTA)

No further information available.

26 April
From acceleration to halt in UK zero carbon building transition: The dynamics of policy change and intermediation
Mari Martiskainen & Paula Kivimaa (SPRU)

Abstract

Alike in many other European countries, if not more so, the transition towards zero carbon buildings in the UK is challenging. This presentation explores this transition – the development of which in the UK can be characterised by a strong zero carbon policy drive followed by a complete overhaul of policies with implications on the actions and agency of a range of actors. Drawing on theoretical concepts from the sustainability transitions literature, including phases of transitions, we analyse the emergence and development of a zero carbon building niche. Bringing further insights to the concept of agency, we also explore the role of intermediary actors in the different phases of transition (and non-transition). We particularly note how the actions, as well as existence, of intermediaries can be mobilised or curtailed by policy changes.

The paper draws on rich interview data with key stakeholders combined with document and literature analysis. Through a deductive approach, key phases are identified as well as the position and actions of selected (key) intermediary actors in those phases.

The paper shows that, unlike in some countries, such as Norway where “green building has shifted from being a peripheral niche activity to having mainstream appeal” (Nykamp, in press), niche progress in the UK has halted (or even reversed). First, dilution of policy and, later, dramatic policy changes have curtailed activity by many actors and, in particular, influenced the ‘operational space’ of intermediary organisations that have contributed to niche building. 

Bios

Paula Kivimaa

Mari Martiskainen 

3 May
Adaptive and transformative green growth: Two sides of the same coin?
Nicolo Barbieri

Abstract

The paper aims to shed some light on the evolution of green employment in US Metropolitan Areas ‎‎(MAs) over the period 2007-2014. In so doing, the study adds to the limited, although growing, ‎literature on the regional labour market outcomes associated with the greening of the economy, an ‎investigation of the agglomerative economies and their effects on green regional growth. Using ‎relatedness (Frenken et al., 2007) as a conceptual framework, we show that initial unrelated variety of ‎the industrial composition is associated with subsequent green employment growth, and that this ‎relationship differs across high, medium and low skill occupations. If the first part of the paper is about ‎‎‘how much’ green employment grows, the second part is about understanding ‘what type’ of green ‎employment growth can be observed across MAs. Thereby we explore differences in the distribution of ‎green and non-green employment across occupational categories and inquire into the key drivers.‎

Autumn Term 2016
21 September 2016
User Innovation and Internet mediated renewable energy communities
Hyysalo Sampsa

Abstract

While climate and energy policy voice concerns about citizen’s lack of improving their houses and heating systems, some citizens by far exceed the expectations. Users have been shown to innovate in the formative period of new technology development, having a decisive role in the emergence of the Danish wind turbine and Austrian solar collector development. Users have shown to continue innovating in the expansion phase of technology development in ground and air source heat pump, pellet burning, solar heat and solar photovoltaic systems. To examine the user innovation in the technology expansion phase we focalize to the Finnish market for these technologies since 2000, when all of these small-scale renewables (S-RET) could be considered relatively mature and had several commercial designs available. In the Finnish market over 200 user innovations emerged in S-RET and covered most parts of these technologies. The innovations were not small tinkering or misguided alteration: the carbon emission reduction using LCA verifies the substantial gains associated.

Users’ capacity to carry out their projects owed much to their exchanges at user run on-line forums, which have helped
otherwise dispersed and heterogeneous users to create a repostitory of knowledge and effective peer learning environment. In turn, the innovative users were found to provide formidable peer support for scaling, choosing,
comparing, maintaining and modifying these systems. These active energy citizens and the Internet communities they have formed have considerably aided the diffusion of the S-RET, for instance the heat pumps numbers moving from 50
0000 to 700 000 in the decade since the Internet discussion forums emerged. These digitally mediated knowledge infrastructures have given rise to new form of alternative energy communities.

Whereas the traditional community energy has been locality bound and premised on sharing of finance and produce, the new citizen energy communities are geographically dispersed, share the interest in the same class of technology and in digitally mediated infrastructure without committing to shared finance or produce. These new type of energy communities are emerging as key user-side innovation intermediaries, which create value for multiple benefactors and fill in gaps in the gradually institutionalizing markets.

In all, the findings underscore the importance of capacities of citizens as innovative energy prosumers and the role which capacitating IT-infrastructures can play in the proliferation of micro-generation technology.

28 September 2016
A Political Ecology of urban pondscapes – the case of Bardhaman (West Bengal) and Navsari (Gujarat)
Cornea Natasha

Abstract

This presentation is based on findings from the three year project on “Small cities, urban environments, and governance in India”, led by Prof. René Véron of the University of Lausanne, with Natasha Cornea and Anna Zimmer. In particular, I introduce the concept of the pondscape, drawing on earlier work on the waterscape and the riverscape. Two case studies are presented: one on Bardhaman (West Bengal) and one on Navsari (Gujarat). Using the theoretical framework of Urban Political Ecology, the pondscape is understood as a landscape of power. To analyse this landscape, we explore everyday governance of accessing ponds, the transformation of the pondscape in recent time and the environmental imaginaries attached to it. While important differences exist between both states in terms of the way ponds are embedded culturally and socially, ponds in both sites represent a crucial urban space and resource that is the focus of a variety of productive, reproductive and spiritual practices. Analysing their entanglement in an urban political ecology allows us to contribute to the concept of the waterscape in its fragmented diversity and complexity. Such analysis brings to the fore policy relevant questions about how we understand urban hydroscapes and the importance of multiple urban waters.

Bio

Natasha Cornea is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Geography, University College London. Her research interests centre on questions of urban politics and governance, the environment, and labour. She is particularly interested in processes that (re)produce difference and marginality in South Asian and Southern African cities. Currently, her research examines the politics of waste in Lusaka (Zambia). Her doctoral work at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) contributed to the “Small cities, urban environments, and governance in India” project. Her thesis explored processes of everyday environmental governance in small cities in West Bengal (India).

5 September
Chiara Amato

Abstract

This paper studies the role of youth participation in Yemen in the post Arab Spring period. Following the demise of the old regime, young citizens became a creative and dynamic group actively participating to the newly formed system, challenging the political process and identifying new channels to engage with Yemeni society. The beginning of the conflicts in 2015 has prevented Yemeni youth from addressing the consequences of the humanitarian situation and has shifted their priorities in the short term.

The model developed examines the main characteristics of this group by focusing on its political participation and activism as well as on the sense of
marginalisation and exclusion that has emerged after the humanitarian crisis and highlights the significance of the theme of youth empowerment in the data.

The quantitative analysis develops a new framework for assessing these types of data to determine their associations using statistical techniques as well as visualisation tools. By using both qualitative and quantitative data captured by narrative research, this study delineates an in-depth and thorough representation of this group and identifies youth-specific characteristics in relation to other groups of the population.

This study determines the main challenges and obstacles for Yemeni youth and derives a comprehensive methodology to analyse a heterogeneous set of primary data. Finally, it enhances the understanding of youth identity in Yemen by giving key strategic recommendations to policymakers to engage with and empower younger citizens for future policies.

12 October
Transformative Change in Brazilian and Danish Energy Pathways: Critical Lessons in National Policy, Innovation and Agents of Change
Kathleen Araújo

Abstract

Too often, discussion about the potential to change energy pathways centers on long timescales and least-cost economics of near-term policy
objectives. While both aspects matter, they don’t fully reflect what can drive energy system transformations. This presentation examines the way in which Brazil and Denmark adopted low carbon energy at scale, following the oil shocks of the 1970s. The role of innovation and agency will be considered, together with ideas on institutional retooling. This talk will highlight how government does not always lead in disruptive change.

19th October
Framing Innovation Policy for Transformative Change: Innovation Policy 3.0
Johan and Ed Steinmeuller

No further details available 

26th October
‘Better late than never’: a longitudinal quantile regression approach to the interplay between green technology and age for firm growth
Alberto Marzucchi

Abstract

The seminar first aims to outline my line of research on the determinants and effects of environmental innovation. I will then focus on a paper that investigates the relationship between green/non-green technologies and firm growth. Combining the literature on eco-innovations with industrial organisation and entrepreneurial studies, this relationship is studied by considering the pace at which firms grow and the moderating role of age. Based on a sample of around 5500 manufacturing firms in Italy for the period of 2000-2008, the analysis is carried out through a longitudinal fixed effects quantile approach in which age is set to moderate the effects of green and non-green patents on employment growth. The results indicate a positive effect of green technologies on growth, which is greater than the effect of non-green technologies. This result is valid with the exception of struggling and rapidly growing firms. Age plays a moderating role in the growth effects of green technologies. This moderation effect is positive, indicating the importance of experience in benefiting from green technologies in terms of growth.

2nd November
And Yet It Moves: Infrastructure Mobilities and Urban Socio-Technical Change
Justin Pickard

Abstract

Building on work critiquing linear models of innovation diffusion and policy/technology transfer (McCann and Ward 2012, 2013, 2015), this paper posits ‘infrastructure mobilities’ as a novel approach to the global circulation of infrastructures. Drawing a continuum between self-contained technological artefacts and national-scale systems, the paper invokes a series of examples from my doctoral fieldwork to pose the question of what it means for technology to be mobile (Urry 2007). I share these ethnographic vignettes as a means of exploring how a mobilities-derived approach to socio-technical change might apply to city-scale systems – with implications for future work on innovation, technological adaptation, and socio-technical transitions in urban and postcolonial spaces.

9th November
Personal Mobility: How is the future imagined?
Noam Bergman

Abstract

This study focuses on imagined futures of personal mobility in the United Kingdom, in the context of sustainable mobility and the need to reduce transport CO2 emissions. We investigate how people and mobility are imagined in visioning documents about the future up to 2050, and what agendas these documents serve. The roles of two relevant innovations are analysed: electric vehicles (EVs), which offer a technological reduction in emissions, while potentially leaving other parts of the transport system unchanged, and car clubs, which offer systemic change through modal shift and integrated transport, severing the link between car ownership and travel.
Most of the documents analysed focus on low-carbon vehicles, and assume little change in the (auto)mobility system, with personal transport dominated by privately owned vehicles. People are imagined primarily as traditional consumers, often as rational actors. Disruptive change is minimised by suggesting technological progress will gradually reduce CO2 emissions, allowing ICEVs (internal combustion engine vehicles) to persist for years as incumbents adjust to producing low-emission vehicles. Rather than explore a variety of futures, this ‘central vision’ portrays a near business-as-usual option as the only future. Car club focused visions offer a counterpoint, with less car ownership and a broader sustainability agenda, but retain high mobility and an economic growth perspective. Visions of the future are political tools, and we find that most of the visioning documents reflect incumbent actors’ perspectives, and argue that their production is itself an act supporting the status quo and promoting incumbent agendas.

16th November
The Euro Area. Trade Imbalance and Growth Differentials: A Minsky-Kaleckian SVAR Approach
Giovanni Covi

Abstract

This study determines the main challenges and obstacles for Yemeni youth and derives a comprehensive methodology to analyse a heterogeneous set of primary data. Finally, it enhances the understanding of youth identity in Yemen by giving key strategic recommendations to policymakers to engage with and empower younger citizens for future policies.

23rd November
Do Business Awards Impact Firm Performance? Evidence from the UK Queen’s Enterprise Awards
Josh Siepel and David Storey

Absract

Awards are a common feature of everyday life, in areas as diverse as culture, sport, society and businesses. Despite the prevalence of business awards (there are hundreds in the UK alone) we know surprisingly little about the impact of these awards on firm performance. This paper aims to understand the impact of receiving awards on firm performance. Drawing upon recent literature on awards and performance we identify several plausible explanations as to how firms might react to awards: awards might represent a ‘lifetime achievement award’ recognising the end of a period of high performance; or firms may use awards as a ‘springboard’ to propel them to higher performance. We empirically test these hypotheses using data from 1497 winners of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the highest award for businesses in the UK. Using official administrative data we track the pre- and post-award performance of these winners, using matching techniques to identify similar firms that did not receive the awards. We then use difference-in-difference methods to identify the impact of receiving awards on firm performance. Our results show that while winners’ growth slows prior to receiving the awards, consistent with the ‘lifetime achievement’ hypothesis, winners use awards to propel themselves to higher long-term growth.

Bio

Josh Siepel

David Storey

30th November
Frederique Lang

Information to be confirmed

7th December
Homemade Exports:Countries’ Trade Specialisation and Competitiveness in Global Value ChainsFilippo Bontadini
Filippo Bontadini

Abstract

This paper looks at export competitiveness of countries and at trade specialisation as one of its determinants and whether different trade specialisations improve countries trade competitiveness within a GVC context. We look in particular at natural resource, both high and low tech manufacturing, as well as business services, which are often left out of many analyses, despite their increasing importance in developing and developed economies.

Moreover, we take into account the emergence in recent years of global value chains (GVCs) that have changed countries’ specialisation opportunities, in particular for developing economies. Specialisation can in fact now take place in a segment rather than in the whole VC, hence the measurement of countries’ trade specialisation in gross export is arguably less representative of their productive structure and domestic capabilities.Therefore we employ measures based on value added flows rather than gross export in a GMM dynamic panel framework. We also compare the effect of trade specialisation on developing and industrialised countries.As a further contribution, we not only look at the direction of changes of trade specialisation but also at the pace at which this happens. This allows us to study dynamic, rather than static one-off effects of such changes.We find that specialisation in high-tech manufacturing has a positive impact on developing countries’ trade competitiveness growth, while low-tech manufacturing and natural resources show a negative impact. Business services show a significant and negative effect for developed countries only. Interestingly, the effect isn’t significant anymore when we exclude financial services from our analysis.

Spring Term 2016
3 February 2016
The evolving role of finance in South Africa's renewable energy sector
Lucy Baker

Discussant

Gregor Semieniuk

Abstract

"In the last four years, carbon-intensive, coal-dependent South Africa has become one of the leading global destinations for renewable energy investment. This investment can be attributed to the unprecedented take off of the country's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers' Programme (RE IPPPP), a bidding process for the procurement of privately generated, utility scale renewable energy, launched in August 2011. Asserting that energy must be studied within the broader economic, political and social forces in which it is embedded, I explore the fundamental role that different modes of finance have played in shaping South Africa's emerging renewable energy sector within the context of the country's unique system of accumulation characterised by its minerals-energy complex (MEC) (Fine and Rustomjee, 1996). I focus on finance and financialisation as growing features within the MEC. I further examine the tension or incompatibility between commercial demands for 'bankability', short-term shareholder value and impatient finance and RE IPPPP's unique requirements for community ownership of projects and the realisation of economic development criteria. I find that a reconfiguration of long-standing MEC actors, particularly in the realms of finance is taking place as they merge with new sources of foreign capital."

Bio

TBC

10 February 2016
What is happening to our universities?
Ben Martin

Discussant

TBC

Abstract

In recent decades, many universities have been moving in the direction of a more hierarchical and centralised structure, with top-down planning and reduced local autonomy for departments. Yet the management literature over this period has stressed the numerous benefits of flatter organisational structures, decentralisation and local autonomy for sections or departments. What might explain this paradox? And why have academics remained strangely quiet about this, meekly accepting their fate? The paper critically examines the dangers of centralised top-down management, increasingly bureaucratic procedures, teaching to a prescribed formula, and research driven by assessment and performance targets, illustrating these with a number of specific examples. It discusses a number of possible driving forces of these worrying developments, and concludes by asking whether academics may be in danger of suffering the fate of the boiled frog. Working paper can be accessed here: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/research/swps

Bio

TBC

24 February 2016
Health information quality: information (knowledge) or information (news)?
Pietro Ghezzi (Brighton and Sussex Medical School)

Discussant

Piera Morlacchi

Abstract

Assessing information quality is a challenging problem, particularly in the medical field as health information available on the web influences decisions of the public, patients and carers. It can literally mean life or death. This seminar will describe a new teaching-informed research area at BSMS on health information quality (HIQ). This include a course aimed at developing an information literacy scaffold for 2nd year students to develop their critical thinking and research projects for 4th year medical students and PhD students. Typically, research projects start from searching for a health topic in Google, downloading a 200-websites search engine result page (SERP) and manually tagging the websites. Websites are classified by typology (commercial, professional, news, government etc.) and assigned a JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) score (the most used criteria for HIQ, in fact a trustworthiness indicator). We are developing the project further identifying other aspects of the webpage, such as if it describes an evidence-based medicine (EMB) approach or a non-EBM one. Then we use statistical analysis to identify websites patterns and orientation. We are currently developing natural language processing techniques for assessing some of these features automatically and, in perspective, to address the broader question of what is HIQ.

Bio

Pietro Ghezzi is R.M. Phillips Chair of Experimental Medicine at the Brighton & Sussex Medical School, a joint venture of the Universities of Brighton and Sussex. His main research interest in the mediators of inflammatory diseases. He is developing a new research line in assessing the quality of health information and teaches one course on how to identify the levels of evidence for theories on the pathogenesis of diseases

17 February 2016
Complementarities: Chances and challenges for the energy transition
Jochen Markard (ETH, Zürich)

Discussant

Tim Foxon

Abstract

The study of socio-technical transitions, in which sectors such as energy or transportation change fundamentally and along multiple dimensions, represents a challenge for existing frameworks in innovation studies. One of the issues is that transitions involve changes in a broad range of interrelated technologies. However, not only do technologies change but also they ways in which they interact and complement each other. Complementary interaction of technical and non-technical components is key for the provision of services such as energy supply, Missing complementary components in contrast may hamper the emergence of new technologies or negatively affect sector performance. Therefore, it is vital to understand the implications of changes in complementarities in the course of transitions. In the presentation, I will introduce a framework to analyze complementarities and to understand their consequences for transitions. The framework consists of four building blocks: i) different relationships, ii) different components, iii) different purposes and iv) complementarity dynamics. Applicability of the framework will be illustrated with examples from the ongoing energy transition. Finally, I discuss so-called ‘complementarity bottlenecks’ and resulting challenges.

Bio

TBC

2 March 2016
The evolving role of finance in South Africa's renewable energy sector
Nidhi (TBC)

Discussant

TBC

Abstract

TBC

Bio

TBC

9 March 2016
Introduction to the Sussex Sustainability Research Programme
Caroline Grundy et al

Discussant

TBC

Abstract

TBC

Bio

TBC

16 March 2016
Anticipating the future trend of female labour market participation and its impact on economic growth
Matteo Richiardi

Discussant

TBC

Abstract

We present medium- and long-term projections of female participation and employment rates, for a selected number of Member States: Italy, Spain, Ireland, Hungary and Greece. These case studies have been selected because they are among the most problematic in terms of female participation and employment rates, and gender (in)equality. Sweden has also been included as a high participation benchmark. The evolution of participation and employment rates in the selected countries are investigated by means of a dynamic microsimulation model. Different life course events are simulated (e.g. educational choices, entry in the labour market, household formation and dissolution, fertility, evolution of work careers, retirement, death) with specific microsimulation sub-models having a focus on different dimensions (e.g. demography, work, family etc.) and different subgroups of the population. We analyse the role played by some key drivers - demography, education, participation behaviour - and policy actions, in shaping future female labour market participation.

Bio

Matteo Richiardi is a Marie Curie Fellow at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, and an Assistant Professor at the University of Torino. His work focuses on agent-based and microsimulation models, and on empirical analysis of labour markets. He is Chief Editor of the International Journal of Microsimulation.

6 April 2016
When the Brightest are not the Best
Marco Valente

Discussant

Ben Martin (SPRU)

Abstract

Selection procedures for new recruits in research organizations, supposedly aiming at identifying the candidates with the highest potential, relies necessarily on indirect information concerning the quality of a researcher. It is safe to assume that this information is correlated to, but not coinciding with, the unobservable future contributions of candidates. There is, consequently, the problem to design a selection procedure such as to ensure the identification of the best candidates. We show that using exceedingly selective criteria operating on observable proxy indicators of research quality may hinder the overall goal to ensure the highest expected research quality in the hiring organization. The paper presents a simple theoretical model showing that the strategy of pursuing the absolute best during the selection process is very likely to produce worse results than more relaxed selection procedures, aiming humbly at identifying the good candidates.

Bio

TBC

13 April 2016
TBC
Chux Daniels, Rob Bryne, Johan Schot and Sarah Schepers (SPRU)

Discussant

TBC

Abstract

TBC

Bio

TBC

20 April 2016
Small arms trade
Matthew Ford (Department of International relations, Sussex)

Discussant

TBC

Abstract

TBC

Bio

TBC

27 April
Organization and Entrepreneurship in the Development of Chile's Wind, Solar and Biogas Sectors
Tomas Saieg

Discussant

Josh Siepel (SPRU)

Abstract

If one avoids the more narrow definitions and thinks of entrepreneurship as the function that consists in the identification and development of risky and uncertain entrepreneurial opportunities, and the carrying out of these until they have become successful new ventures, one must conclude that entrepreneurship is something that happens in all economic sectors. Studies however suggest that the identity of those that perform this function, and the way in which they do it, varies a lot for different sectors and different contexts. Drawing from research on industrial organization and transaction costs economics, this talk will show where entrepreneurship came from, and how it was organized, through the process of emergence of three relatively new green-tech infrastructure sectors in Chile. The findings, at times surprising, illuminate some pressing economic development issues, and confirm that the way in which entrepreneurship is performed is much more than just a function of the character of the entrepreneurs.

Bio

TBC

4 May 2016
Innovation strategies of energy firms
Jose Gracia Quevedo

Discussant

TBC

Abstract

Investment by energy firms in innovation may have substantial economic and environmental impacts and benefits. Nevertheless, the amount of R&D investment in energy technologies appears to be low. Internal R&D is a main input and driver of the innovation process but innovation involves other activities such as capital purchases and other current expenditures related to innovation. While some papers have analysed the R&D activities of energy firms, few of them have examined the different types of innovation activities. The three main innovation activities are internal R&D, external R&D and the acquisition of advanced machinery, equipment or software. In addition, the objectives of innovation that firms want to achieve may not be the same for different innovation activities that may have different functions. In this paper we first analyse the main characteristics of the firms regarding their decisions to invest in each of these three innovation activities and how these characteristics differ. In this analysis, we take the potential persistence of innovation activities into account. Second, we examine the role that different innovation objectives have on these decisions. Third, engaging in internal R&D, external R&D or acquire machinery may be the result of decisions not taken independently. Therefore we analyse whether there is some complementarity between these three innovation activities. To carry out the empirical analysis we rely on data for private energy firms from the Technological Innovation Panel (PITEC) for Spanish firms for the period 2004-2013. We use panel triprobit models to examine potential complementarity.

Bio

TBC

Autumn Term 2015
18 November
Moments of instability in infrastructure development
Kath Lovell

Discussant

Tim Foxon

Abstract

Infrastructure systems underpin economic activity and structure the way many aspects of society operate; mature infrastructure systems have done so for, in some cases, hundreds of years and they have adapted and reformed for changing environments over time. This paper considers the privatisations and restructuring of mature infrastructure systems, seen in the latter part of the twentieth century, as moments of instability for these systems. Moments where there is potential for transformation. Post-privatisation infrastructure systems do not fit easily into existing ideas of incumbent systems or of new systems. This paper brings together two theoretical frameworks used to understand how infrastructure systems change: the Multi-Level Perspective (MLP) and Large Technical Systems (LTS) theory. Applied together these frameworks provide another way of looking at infrastructure system development. The LTS mechanism for system change, reverse salient correction, is used to operationalise the MLP concept of a socio-technical regime; this step forms the basis of a novel method, presented here, that addresses some of the criticisms of the MLP. This approach can increase the rigour in complex historical case studies and it offers potential for effective comparative studies across sectors. A case study of the privatisation of Great Britain’s railway system illustrates these ideas and an analysis of samples of development activity in railway infrastructure, before and after privatisation, is presented. This study affirms Markard and Truffer’s (2006) finding that liberalisation – in their case of the electricity sector – led to a loosening of the existing socio-technical regime. In addition, this analysis shows a new area of development activity in the railway sector post privatisation; using interview data and the framework developed here the mechanisms behind such a change in development trajectory are investigated. The extended framework developed in this paper contributes to an improved understanding of how mature infrastructure sectors change and it presents opportunities for the further development of research on transitions and transformation.

11 November
Engaging the Urban
Ralitsa Hiteva, Gordon Mackerron, Noam Bergman, Mari Martiskainen and Jonathan Dolley

Discussant

Johan Schot

Abstract

Cities are potent spaces for bringing into question the multiple and fragmented nature of regimes and becoming spaces of authority through which technologies, resources, norms and beliefs are reassembled. A densely populated space, cramped with innovation, visions, domination and contestation, it allows more prominence to individual systems, regimes and niches, and the dynamics between them. It brings forward dimensions of sustainability not traditionally involved in transition studies, such as capability for coordinating, relating to, interlinking, and for social innovation, introducing new categories of actors such as legal guardians, the informal sector and squatters.

4 November
Opening the black box of energy security: A study of conceptions of low-carbon energy security in the UK
Emily Cox

Discussant

TBA

Abstract

Despite an array of conceptualisations of ‘energy security’, the term continues to resist a generally-accepted definition. The issue is further complicated by the emergence of the carbon reduction imperative in industrialised nations, and the literature rightly argues that conceptions of energy security should be broadened to include environmental concerns. However, policy decisions are frequently made on the basis of ‘improving energy security and reducing carbon emissions’, despite the lack of any clear understanding of what ‘improving energy security’ actually means. Therefore this paper conducts an empirical exploration of what ‘energy security’ means to key stakeholders in UK energy policy, with a particular focus on the electricity system in the context of a low-carbon transition. 25 expert and influential stakeholders in the UK energy field are interviewed to explore their perspectives on a pre-defined set of potential indicators for the security of electricity systems. The indicators are drawn from the existing literature and are chosen to reflect a broad range of potential security concerns, including carbon, sustainability and affordability aspects. The aim of the research is to get a grasp on what aspects or dimensions of ‘security’ are felt to be most critical or material, and to discover the underlying concepts which are used by stakeholders when making or justifying these choices. This paper thus aspires to generate an in-depth and transparent discussion which does not seek to close down the diversity of views, but instead seeks to open them up to debate and to policy attention.

28 October
Deep Sustainability Transitions
Johan Schot and Tim Foxon

Discussant

Adrian Smith

Abstract

The driving questions of the presentation are how can we understand and conceptualize the emergence, acceleration and stabilization of deep transitions? What drives their directionality? How can we model their futures? A deep transition is defined as a directed and simultaneous change in many socio-technical systems. Understanding deep transitions requires a novel theoretical framework which could explain how direction emerges and stabilizes Given that the change we are interested in can only be properly understood in long-term perspective, it takes decades for deep transitions to unfold and even more time for waves of them to yield a cumulative impact, we also need a theory that can address co-evolutionary change, path creation and path-dependency, and developments in the long run. Such as theory does not exist, it is the aim the presentation to introduce and discuss the combination of two possible building blocks: the Techno-Economic Paradigm framework and the Multi-level Perspective, and show how this combination could be used to build new type of socio-technical scenario’s

21 October
The politics and governance of innovation in contemporary capitalist development
Keston Kyle Perry (SOAS)

Discussant

Saurabh Arora (SPRU)

Abstract

Innovation studies as a field of academic and policy enquiry started with concern for growth performance, institutional evolution, industry cycles and economic change, the source of which was technological progress in advanced and fast industrialising societies. This historical and empirical basis for the field’s evolution provided hope that changes in poorer countries could be stimulated to facilitate ‘catch up’ through idealised formal arrangements in research and development (R&D), improving social capabilities, and putting in place new institutional mechanisms, presumably based on gradually improving conditions and identifying the ‘missing links’ present in advanced or industrialised countries. In contrast, the epistemological appeal of development studies, though initially understanding technological change in an unequal producer-consumer relationship, sought to understand and probe developing countries on their own terms, and thus provide the platform for inducing social transformations. Though there have been converging paradigms with conceptual development and important insights since the 1990s, with micro level studies, innovation systems research misappropriates the source of potential change by neglecting the role of politics.

With new and old research in development studies exemplified in the work of Alice Amsden, Mushtaq Khan among others, there is room for a paradigmatic convergence which must be made on solid institutional foundations. As such, it requires analysing the collective and agential forces of change in the governance relationship between the state and other actors, including businesses, industry, research groups and donors – as ‘networks of power’. Understanding the politics of the development process manifested through informal and formal institutional arrangements and power can help elucidate some of these early shortcomings. This paper thus calls for ‘bringing politics back in’ beyond the narrow scope of new institutional economics that has informed the blueprint good governance agenda. Through in-depth historical and institutional analysis, the author proposes that the political settlements framework can provide the appropriate analytical device by which to understand the specific political drivers and that can block, or governance capabilities which can stimulate innovation-driven growth. This paper thus seeks to respond to the theoretical and empirical gap identified by Bell (2009) in relation to deepening understanding about the ‘political forces’ and ‘institutional context’ that may facilitate or block the development of innovation capabilities in late capitalist development.

Bio

Keston K. Perry is a PhD candidate in International Development at SOAS, University of London. His research interests include science technology and innovation, science-industry coalitions, governance and development policy, innovation dynamics in small states, and the political economy of small states development. In April 2015, he was appointed as a member of the Advisory Panel for the 2016 Caribbean Human Development Report by Ms Jessica Faieta, Assistant Secretary General of the UNDP Latin America and Caribbean Bureau. In his previous role, he served as Programme Coordinator of the Council for Competitiveness and Innovation (CCI) in the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development in Trinidad and Tobago. In this role he pioneered government's flagship project, idea to innovation. Keston has also completed short-term consultancy assignments for the several UN agencies, including UNAIDS, UNFPA, UN Women and UNIC. He holds a Master's degree (Distinction) from Newcastle University, UK, in Innovation Management and Bachelor's (First class honours) in Communications and International Relations from the University of the West Indies, Trinidad

13 October
Between accelerated growth and dependency. Productivity spillovers in global value chains in Central and Eastern Europe
Maciej Grodzicki, Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland

Abstract

The seminar will present the industrial development in CEE countries since 1990's in the context of dynamic integration within global value chains. On the empirical side, it will focus on the issue of productivity spillovers from backward and forward linkages in GVCs. It will also discuss more general, conceptual, conclusions from the PhD research of the presenter, as well as planned directions for further work mainly focussed on the use of firm level data.

Bio

TBC

Further info

The seminar will begin at 2:15 pm in room 1B3 in Pevensey 1 and end at approximately 3:15 pm

7 October
Community and Academic Connections: An Innovative Food Research Network
Ruth Segal and Rachael Taylor (SPRU)

BSUFN Introductory brochure

7-10-2015 seminar pdf [PDF 525.45KB]

Abstract

This seminar will introduce the Brighton and Sussex Universities Food Network (BSUFN). This Network brings together researchers from across disciplines working in the highly diverse field of food research, and facilitates connections with local civil society, community and food activist groups. BSUFN creates opportunities for networking, knowledge exchange and research collaborations through a variety of events, activities and media. BSUFN also raises awareness of the diversity of food-related research undertaken by its members and connects the two Universities to the local community, other food research institutions, and a global audience of academics, policy-makers, and practitioners. We will outline the innovative way BSUFN works to achieve this, and where we hope to go from here.

Bio

TBC

23 September
On Synergies between Environmental Technological and Organizational Innovations
Effie Kesidou (Leeds)

Discussant

Josh Siepel (SPRU)

Abstract

Theoretical and empirical studies in the innovation literature indicate that there are complementarities between technological and organizational changes. Yet, little is known whether these synergies apply in the context of environmental technological and organizational innovations. If complementarities exist then the adoption of technological innovations by firms through investments in abatement technologies (e.g. end-of-pipe and/or integrated production technologies) could be facilitated by the simultaneous adoption of organizational innovations (e.g. environmental management systems). However, even if synergies are relevant in the context of environmental technological and organizational innovations, they might not be relevant for all firms. Firms pursue a variety of strategies to respond to environmental pressures that ranges from passive compliance strategy to proactive prevention strategy; hence, it is crucial to shed light on role that complementarities play for each of these strategies. This paper contributes to the environmental management literature by testing the above hypotheses using data from the Community Innovation Survey (CIS 2008).

Bio

Dr. Effie Kesidou is Lecturer of Applied Economics at the University Leeds. Previously, she was employed as a Lecturer at the University of Nottingham and as a Research Associate at the ‘Centre for Enterprise’, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Her research interests lie in the areas of environmental innovations, economics of innovation, economic development and the software industry. She has received funding by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), ESRC, and by the University of Nottingham. She has published her work in journals of international excellence, such as Research Policy, Ecological Economics, World Development, European Journal of Development Research, and Industry and Innovation.

30 September
Linking the economy and energy sector: production and consumption changes for a low material and carbon future
John Barrett (University of Leeds))

Abstract

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provides robust evidence demonstrating the need to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) rapidly to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. The UK Government defines its contribution towards this goal as achieving an 80% reduction in GHG emissions by 2050 from a 1990 baseline. Mitigation efforts to reduce industrial energy has been limited in the UK and focusing on energy efficiency opportunities with little thought of the purpose and end goal of industrial energy. Ultimately, all industrial energy use is a result of demand for goods and services. Energy is required at each stage in the manufacture of a product from raw material extraction through to the final distribution and ultimately disposal. The presentation considers whether the UK has achieved a reduction in energy demand or whether energy has been outsourced with materials and products being the “carrier” of industrial energy. As other sectors show some signs of decarbonisation, industrial energy demand grows as savings in direct energy unlock further demand for products. By linking wider economic activities with the energy agenda, the presentation demonstrates the need for a systematic economy wide approach to climate change mitigation.

Bio

John holds a Chair in Sustainability Research at the Sustainable Research Institute (SRI), University of Leeds. His research interests include sustainable consumption and production (SCP) modelling, carbon accounting and exploring the transition to a low carbon pathway. John has been an advisor to the UK Government on the development of carbon footprint standards and continues to work with the UK Government on Consumption-based Emissions being responsible for providing the headline indicator for the UK. John also works closely with other government bodies such as the Committee on Climate Change having provided advice on carbon leakage, consumption based scenarios, embodied emissions and policy options. John is also the director of CIE-MAP, a million initiative funded by the UK Research Council centres. In addition, John is the co-director of UKERC, the multidisciplinary research centre established through the Research Councils Energy Programme. John is an accomplished public speaker having presented to Government Select Committees and regularly appearing on Radio 4 while the research is regularly covered in the broad sheet media. John has managed numerous research projects and a large research team for over 15 years. John is also a lead author for the International Panel on Climate Change, Working Group III.

Spring term 2015
21 January
Innovation Strategies and Firm Growth: New Longitudinal Evidence from Spanish Firms
Gabriele Pellegrino (co-authored with Bianchini & Tamagni)

Abstract

The relationship between innovation and firm growth is a classical, yet still puzzling topic. While theory predicts a strong positive link, the empirical literature provides mixed results. In this work, we account for the multifaceted nature of the innovation activities engaged by firms, exploring the relationship of sales growth with a wide set of innovation indicators that capture the different sources, modes and results of the innovative activity undertaken within firms. By taking advantage of a rich panel on innovation activity of Spanish manufacturing ?rms, reporting detailed CIS-type information continuously over the period 2004-2011, we combine standard panel estimates of the average effect of innovation strategies with newly developed fixed-effects quantile regressions allowing to unravel asymmetries in the innovation-growth relationship. We find that R&D (especially internal), acquisition of innovative machinery and equipment and, to a smaller extent, product innovation (especially for products new to the market), display a positive association with subsequent sales growth, both on average and even more strongly for high-growth firms at the top quantiles of the growth rates distribution. Conversely, we do not detect any statistically significant effect for process innovation and disembodied technical change.

Bio

TBA

A Special Edition Seminar!
26 January
Extraordinary SPRU Seminar: Institutions and fossil fuel divestment
Jonas Torrens, Jack Miller (SPRU)

This Seminar will take place on a monday in Jubilee 155 at 1-2pm

Abstract

Growing evidence suggests that if fossil fuel companies’ proven reserves were to be extracted and used, cumulative carbon emissions would greatly exceed that which can be emitted before the 2°C warming threshold is crossed. This, compounded with the evident volatility of oil markets, has called some to question the prudence of oil, gas and coal companies’ shares as ‘sound’ investments. Nevertheless, institutional investors such as universities and pension funds continue to maintain many of the largest of these companies amongst their portfolios.

This contradiction has prompted a rapidly-growing ‘divestment’ campaign movement, largely driven by student bodies across North America and Europe, which has seen a number of successful attempts to persuade universities (e.g. Glasgow and Stanford) to move all or part of their fossil fuel investments into other areas.  This has further influenced a number of other organisations, such as the British Medical Association and World Council of Churches, to divest.

A number of members of SPRU have recently been discussing the campaign, both at Sussex and beyond, and would like to invite you to this ‘Extraordinary SPRU Seminar’ to discuss fossil fuel divestment. Jonas will outline the unburnable carbon and stranded assets arguments in the current context of oil markets, followed by an introduction to the divestment initiatives underway at Sussex (and elsewhere) by Jack.  Our aim is both to create awareness about the campaign and promote a wider discussion; it will thus feature a longer-than-usual open discussion period in which participants can share their own thoughts.

28 January
Innovation policy evaluation: design, conceptualization, measurement
Giovanni Cerulli (CNR, Rome, Italy)

Background reading

Abstract

This paper discusses different aspects related to the ex-post assessment of the effect of R&D and innovation (RDI) policies. To this end, the paper puts forward a comprehensive ‘conceptual framework’ where agents’ behaviours, factors affecting their decisions, and quantitative (econometric) methods for impact evaluation are linked together and analysed. In particular, this work puts forward the following issues: a generalised RDI investment model for explaining the potential occurrence of subsidy success (i.e., additionality). a logical framework for the functioning of a project-funding RDI policy, rooted in the policy-cycle approach. the identification of the main factors driving the actors’ behaviour, expressed through interconnected behavioural relations. a list of critical aspects regarding the design of public support to RDI, which need to be better addressed in future work to reach more reliable conclusions on the actual impact of an RDI policy.

Bio

Dr. Giovanni Cerulli received his degree in Statistics and PhD in Economic Sciences at the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’. He currently serves as researcher at the IRCrES - CNR (www.ircres.cnr.it) Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth, National Research Council of Italy. Giovanni is Editor-In-Chief of "Int. J. of Computational Economics and Econometrics" (IJCEE) and his research is mainly focused on the econometrics of program evaluation and more specifically on the evaluation of R&D and innovation policies using econometric methods. He has published his research in several high quality journals and performed of a number of user-written Stata commads for applied program evaluation. Giovanni is author of the book “Econometric Evaluation of Socio-Economic Programs: Theory and Applications” which is going to be published by Springer.

4 February
The coverage of world's scholarly journals by indexing systems: Geographical, disciplinary, and linguistic patterns
Diego Chavarro Bohorquez

Abstract

Individuals now have the possibility to search through entire bodies of literature, analyse trends, produce indicators, and have an overview of the development of a field. In science, journal indexing systems play an important role in research and policy making. However, users of these services are limited to the journals these services cover. This gives the organisations behind indexing systems great influence on the definition of what counts as science. Important questions therefore arise around: what is being covered? what criteria are being used? and what (if any) biases can be found? Journal indexing systems such as Web of Science and Scopus claim objectivity in their selection of journals for coverage. Nevertheless, they have been criticised for having a series of biases against some countries, disciplines, and languages; thus making some science invisible. Alternative indexing systems such as Scielo and RedALyC have attempted to shine light, especially in Ibero-America, on those journals which are left out. In this paper I examine the reasons for the creation of alternative journal indexing systems. I relate my findings with two conceptions of science: one that considers it as a universalistic process that rewards merit and achievement, and one that considers it a particularistic process that privileges ascribed features with a focus on nationality, knowledge domains, and language.

Bio

TBA

11 February
Providing scientific advice to the UK Parliament
Chandrika Nath (Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST)

Abstract

Chandy Nath is Deputy Director of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST), Parliament’s in-house source of scientific advice. In this talk Chandy will describe how POST works, and how research evidence is incorporated into the parliamentary process. She will also talk briefly about POST’s work to support evidence-informed policy making in developing countries. Chandy heads POST’s physical sciences team (covering defence, security and telecommunications) and oversees POST’s international work. Prior to joining POST she worked at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge and has a doctorate in Particle Physics from Oxford University.

Bio

TBA

18 February
Technological catch up of innovation systems in context 
Cian O'Donovan

Abstract

Rolling out renewable energy systems forms an important part of many national, European and global greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategies. Much analytic work has gone in to studying these strategies in lead nations. But most countries don’t lead. This paper considers how and why renewable electricity systems take-off in countries in which the system building processes of an innovation system do not yet exist or are underdeveloped. Recent work combining socio technical systems perspectives and economic geography has established that for emergent systems of innovation, space and context matters. This paper contributes to this understanding by establishing contextual determinants of renewable energy innovation system emergence and expansion.

A technological innovation system analysis framework is combined with spatially sensitive indicators to disaggregate the influence of actors, networks and institutions on innovation and productions processes at national and European scales. The paper builds on an in-depth longitudinal case study on the roll-out of wind technology in Ireland and the European Union and investigates what aspects of the innovation system need be locally constructed. Analysis suggests spatially disparate innovation processes are mediated by local informal institutions and local actor capabilities to influence the establishment of a functioning innovation system at a national scale. Specifically, the agency and capabilities of local actors entering the system and the institutional system components at a European level play key combinatorial roles.

Bio

Cian is an academic, technologist and activist. He tweets @cian. His research interests include the politics and sociology of large socio-technical systems, and the role of institutions in innovation and social change.

He is a member of the Sussex Energy Group, and is co-funded by a the ESRC and the University of Sussex. His PhD is examining the transition from carbon intensive energy systems to renewable and low-carbon alternatives (supervisors Adrian Smith and Ed Steinmueller). Specifically he is looking at the growth of wind energy in Ireland over the past 25 years and asking why some countries are capable of “rapid catch-up” despite a low scale indigenous industrial base.

25 February
Comparing nuclear power trajectories in Germany and the UK: from 'regimes' to 'democracies' in socio-technical transitions and discontinuities
Phil Johnstone 

Abstract

This paper focuses on what is arguably the single most striking contrast in contemporary major energy politics in Europe (and even the developed world as a whole): the starkly differing nuclear policies of Germany and the UK. Germany is seeking entirely to discontinue nuclear power, phasing the technology out by 2022. The UK professes the aim of a ‘nuclear renaissance’ and plans to promote the most ambitious new nuclear construction programme in Western Europe. With nuclear power continuing to assume such iconic cultural and political salience worldwide – and constituting such a significant part of these and other countries institutional and energy mixes – the stakes are high.

This paper is based around a simple yet quite fundamental question: what are the drivers that produce such divergence in these energy developments between these two countries? Answers to this question may assist in wider understandings and conceptualisations of sociotechnical discontinuity. And they may be especially salient because – as we shall show – more fine-grain appreciation of conditions in these two countries actually compound (rather than relax) the evident discrepancy. The present study seeks to address this by developing and applying nine criteria constituted by 30 parameters, designed on the basis of various literatures to explore key relevant factors bearing on nuclear incumbency in these two countries.
The nine criteria are: 1) general market conditions in the two countries in respect of different kinds of capital investment in electricity supply; 2) the comparative degrees of penetration (and thus – to this extent – associated influence) of nuclear power in the electricity generating mix; 3) the relative strengths of national nuclear engineering sectors in terms of performance in manufacturing and operational equipment supply and associated industrial lobbies; 4) the relative magnitudes and costs of the available national renewable resource potentials; 5) the scale of established national industrial capacities and interests around technological alternatives to nuclear power as a low carbon energy option (including solar, wind, offshore technologies); 6) the relative scales of military-related nuclear activities and interests; 7) relevant characteristics of relevant national political institutions and elite policy cultures and procedures; 8) public opinion and the broader presence and activity levels on the part of relevant anti-nuclear social movements; and 9) contrasts in variously-construed ideas of the respective overall ‘qualities of democracy’ in the two countries.

Despite the complexities, this analysis finds a relatively clear picture with respect to the first five criteria. These involve dynamics internal to the ‘focal regime configuration’ of nuclear power and its associated (nested and overarching) ‘sociotechnical systems’, ‘niches’ and ‘challenger technologies’. On this basis, it might be expected that Germany would be significantly less likely than the UK to discontinue nuclear power. Indeed, these five criteria together might in this case be taken quite confidently to predict the opposite of the observed pattern. Yet these criteria address the key basic ‘internal’ factors that tend to be emphasised in conventional analyses of dynamics in sociotechnical regimes and sectoral patterns of innovation. In short, in these ‘conventional’ terms, the UK’s renewed enthusiasm for nuclear in comparison to Germany’s nuclear phase-out seems rather hard to explain.
It is under the remaining four criteria – relatively remote from the focal regime configuration around nuclear power – that seem to align more with the observed pattern of developments in the two countries. Particularly important here, are the strongly differing military nuclear strategies and the contrasting qualities of democracy in the two countries – which are alone in very clearly favouring the observed pattern of discontinuation in Germany rather than the UK. Manifesting correlation rather than causality, this does not definitively explain the contrast. But the fact is, that it seems in this important case of sociotechnical discontinuity, that the criteria representing the most potentially relevant drivers concern dynamics that are quite remote the focal regime configuration.

Of course, nuclear power (like all large infrastructures) displays many distinctive features. There are many ways in which this examination (like any analytical framework) might miss significant factors. But the fact that a pattern so challenging to theory should apply in such an important case, does raise important questions for conventional analysis of sectoral innovation and sociotechnical regimes in general. Crucial here is that the dynamics of the focal regime configurations do not seem merely to be of secondary importance, but are actually quite clearly aligned towards an entirely opposite outcome. So the observed pattern of events in this case, apparently suggest that broader political factors typically marginal to existing theory, actually dominate and reverse what would otherwise conventionally be expected to be the opposite picture.
In this respect, the present analysis reinforces some wider emerging literatures in this field. There seems considerable scope fruitfully to move attention away from such exclusive concern with relatively narrow dynamics specific to a focal regime configuration - involving specific (but variously-construed) categories like ‘regimes’, ‘landscapes’ 'niches’, ‘incumbents’ and ‘challengers’. What seems to come more to the fore in this case, are more general and pervasive qualities in wider political structures, discourses and processes. Seemingly especially important, is a rich body of recent discussion concerning diverse qualities of democracy – which (despite many differences of detail and framing) is unanimous in characterising Germany more positively than the UK. Given associated levels of secrecy, it is relatively difficult to ascertain the importance of the additional stark contrast in nuclear military strategies in Germany and the UK. But in the event this were a significant driver, the fact that military nuclear commitments remain virtually unmentioned in British policy documentation concerning rationales for supporting nuclear power, would anyhow compound the inherent implications of the secrecy itself, in further underscoring the importance of contrasting levels of democratic accountability.

Whatever the precise drivers, then, it seems quite compelling in at least this specific case, that this particular – especially prominent – sociotechnical discontinuity is rather poorly explained by reference to the circumscribed concepts highlighted in conventional narrow versions of transitions theory. What is evidently more important here, are wider political factors relating broadly to general 'qualities of democracy'. Perhaps then, democracy is itself – in all its diverse, multidimensional and contested forms – a relatively neglected factor in the achieving of transformative sociotechnical change? Of course, this raises many counter-questions, precluding any unequivocal conclusion even in this case. But there do at least seem important implications for further research.

Full paper

Bio

TBA

4 March
Towards sustainable innovation: Analysing and dealing with systemic problems in innovation systems
Anna Wiecorek

Abstract

Technological Innovation System (TIS) perspective became a popular tool to analyse and understand the diffusion of particular, mostly renewable, technologies and their contribution to sustainability transitions. The core of the current TIS studies comprise of the analyses of the emergent structural configuration (actors, networks, technology, institutions) and major processes (functions) that support formation and development of innovations. The approach is often used to identify so the called system problems and propose systemic policy and instruments to address them in a coherent way. The approach and the related empirical studies, however, suffer from a number of flaws.

In this lecture I will discuss three of them. Firstly, I will conceptualise and discuss the notion of the system problems and systemic instruments. Secondly, I would like to argue that the use of both concepts: system problems and instruments in combination with a coupled structural and functional analysis can enhance and specify the policy advice. Thirdly, I will demonstrate how the national delimitation of the system and a lack of explicit recognition of the spatial context in which innovations and transitions occur, impacts the definition of the problems and the related policy advice in systems that are in various stages of development. I will draw on two empirical domains: aquatic biomass and offshore wind to illustrate the theoretical claims.

Bio

I conducted this research as part of my PhD at Utrecht University being also a researcher at the Institute for Environmental Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (IVM/VU) and running the program on Industrial Transformation of the International Human Dimension Program. Within that task I facilitated international research on applying insights from the emerging in the Netherlands stream of system innovation in the context of analysing economic and environmental transitions occurring in developing Asia. Some of the early products of that work include two special issues of Technological Forecasting and Social Change and Environmental Science and Policy, a book on understanding industrial transformation from various disciplinary perspectives, a number of workshops, conferences, conference sessions and meetings, a good network and a membership in the Steering Group of a European Research Network on Sustainability Transitions (STRN).

In 2014 I joined the Department of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences of the Eindhoven University of Technology and continue work on sustainability transformations in various geographical and economic contexts. I am particularly interested in the role of experiments in this process, in further enriching the transition field with insights from the innovation-in-development literature and in making use of the transition insights in practice. I teach both academic and increasingly also executive courses on sustainability transitions. I have co-designed and served as a mentor of the Pioneers into Practice professional education program of the Climate-KIC and a learning module on Social Innovation and Transition in Energy for InnoEnergy KIC. I also advise the Lower Silesian regional government in Poland on the strategies and investment programmes that could chart a path of transition to a low-carbon economy in the region.

11 March
Title: The SPRU History Project: first insights
Speaker: Angela Ferreira Campos (SPRU),  Frederique Lang‎ (SPRU) and others

Please note change of venue to room Jub 155

Abstract

Since its inception, SPRU has been known to be at the forefront of science, technology and innovation studies. As SPRU’s fiftieth anniversary in 2016 quickly approaches, this is the perfect occasion to reflect on the history of the Unit, its achievements and contributions to our field. Initiated in 2014, and now reaching completion of its first phase, the SPRU History Project aims to understand, firstly, how the Unit was built and developed, but also to build a comprehensive overview of the knowledge it generated by studying SPRU publications produced over the last half a century.
The Project consists of two main angles. The quantitative angle aims at analysing SPRU publications over the years. The Project provided the opportunity to collect data about SPRU publications which includes data about PhD theses completed in SPRU, and also publications of members of staff. Data collection for publications is still an ongoing process, but we can present initial results on PhD theses data. The qualitative angle approaches SPRU history through oral history interviews with former and current members of staff, alongside other life history sources and methodologies, towards building a fuller historical analysis of the Unit.
With this special Wednesday Seminar on the History Project we wish to focus on what has been achieved so far, as well as future directions, sharing initial results and reflections with SPRU members. For those of you who are able to stay after 2pm, we also wish to give everybody the opportunity to embrace a wider SPRU community, past and present. We are very pleased to share the news that over 50% of our oral history interviewees will be present!

Confirmed presences are: Martin Bell, Raphael Kaplinsky, Roy MacLeod, Ben Martin, Erik Millstone, Geoff Oldham, William and Gillian Page, Carlota Perez, Julian Perry Robinson, Margaret Sharp, Howard Rush and William Walker. They will briefly explain their connection with SPRU, and then join a discussion about the significance of pursuing a history of SPRU now, both for SPRU’s strategy and future, but also in connection with the wider field of science policy. 

Programme

13:00 – 14:00: Seminar SPRU History Project delivered by Frederique Lang and Angela Campos

14:00 – 14:15: coffee break (coffee, tea and biscuits will be provided)

14:15 – 15:00: roundtable with SPRU History project participants 

18 March
Title: Business as unusual. An explanation of the increase of private economic activity in high-conflict areas in Afghanistan
Speaker: Tommaso Carli (SPRU)

Abstract

We explore the relation between the change in conflict intensity and the investment in private economic activity (PEA) of nearby households in Afghanistan, exploiting a unique dataset containing geographically detailed information on conflict events and on households’ activity. We identify the effect of several indicators of conflict on a range of different types of PEA, differentiating across levels of formality, sectors, and capital intensity. The results show that the level of conflict, its impact, and to a lesser extent its frequency, increase the probability that a household engages in self employment activities with lower capital intensity and in activities related to subsistence agriculture. However, the magnitude of most effects are quite small.

Bio

Tommaso's main research interests are in the area of technological change, institutional change, and economic development. With a focus on international trade, the globalisation of agriculture, conflict and entrepreneurship, structural change and income distribution, technological trajectories, sustainable innovation and firm organisation

He is currenty involved in several projects, among which: the evolution of seed rice technology (ESRC and NSF), the relation between conflict and private economic activity (CEPR and DFID), inclusive growth and innovation, micro to macro models of growth and structural change, and the relation between contract farming and technological change. For a more or less up-to-date list of selected working papers and work in progress (and publications) related to these and other ongoing research projects and topics please see the Research tab.

He has a PhD in Economics and in Industrial Development from the University of Birmingham and the University of Ferrara (Italy). He previously worked as a Researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Economics (2008-2011), as a Postdoc at the Manchester Metropolitan University (2007-2008) and at the University of L'Aquila, Italy (2006-2007) and teaching at the University of Bologna (2005-2007). Before the PhD Tommaso has worked for UNIDO and ECLAC (2000-2004).

25 March
Cooperation for innovation in Europe: New evidence from FP7 project data
Alex Coad (with S Amoroso and N Grassano)

Abstract

A growing body of literature suggests that cooperation can enhance innovation outcomes in terms of the quantity of outputs and the quality of the outputs. Nevertheless, it has been suggested that cooperation for innovation remains at sub-optimal levels across Europe. We investigate the structure of cooperative networks across Europe by analysing the population of FP7 projects (i.e. the European Commissionís Seventh Framework Programme, which provided >Ä50bn funding for research and technological development, 2007-2013). Universities seem to play a coordinating role at the centre of the network, with firms and public bodies playing more peripheral roles as participants. We also explore possible typologies of cooperative networks, and investigate the role of geographic distance and possible differences in cooperative activity across regions.

Bio

I have been a research fellow at SPRU since October 2010 (Senior Research Fellow as from October 2011). I am also Associate Fellow at the RATIO Institute (Stockholm), and Associated Researcher at HUI (Stockholm). Since February 2014 I am Associate Editor at Research Policy. I obtained a PhD in Economics and Management in 2007 from Universite Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, and the Sant'Anna School, Pisa, Italy, after which I moved to the Max Planck Institute of Economics in Jena, Germany, for post-doctoral research.

I have published over 40 articles in international peer-reviewed journals, such as Journal of Business Venturing, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (2), Research Policy, Social Science & Medicine, Industrial and Corporate Change (7), Small Business Economics (6), Regional Studies (2), and Journal of Evolutionary Economics (2). I have also published a book on the topic of firm growth. My research interests are mainly focused on firm performance, entrepreneurship, business strategy, and industrial dynamics, although I have also published on subjects such as happiness economics, environmental motivation of consumers, regional innovation dynamics, and the diversity of consumer products

1 April
Energy Inequality, Embodied Energy Exports and Entropy
Speaker: Gregor Semieniuk (SPRU)

Cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances

Abstract

The paper presented engages with two conceptual problems encountered by recent estimates of energy inequality, namely (a) net energy exports and (b) the prediction of convergence to a maximum entropy exponential energy distribution advanced in Lawrence, Liu and Yakovenko (2013) [Entropy, 15(12), 5565-5579; doi:10.3390/e15125565]. Using data from the Eora MRIO database, net exports of embodied energy in traded goods from non-OECD to OECD countries are estimated to lie between 4 and 6% of total energy in 1990-2011 and the Gini coefficient of the international weighted per capita energy consumption distribution adjusted for embodied net exports is 2-4 percentage points higher than for the unadjusted distribution. Almost the entire decrease in international inequality can be attributed to China's increasing per capita energy consumption; inequality per fuel type or sector varies widely. Reinterpreting the exponential distribution prediction as arising from Jaynes-Shannon informational entropy elides problematic assumptions about energy trade. Comparing the informational entropies contained in the data and the predicted exponential distribution shows that additional economic theory is needed to explain the empirical shapes that contain significantly more information than an exponential distribution.

Bio

Gregor is a research fellow at SPRU working with Mariana Mazzucato on questions of the valuation of economic activities and on innovation and competition in renewable energy markets. His research interest focuses on competition and innovation, in particular regarding energy technology; and on the theoretical interpretation of non-normally distributed variables in economic data. Before coming to SPRU, Gregor did his PhD in economics at the New School for Social Research in New York City.

8 April
No Seminar due to easter break
15 April
Growth Processes of High Growth Firms as a Four-Dimensional Chicken & Egg
Marc Cowling (Univ. Brighton)

Abstract

This paper investigates how High-Growth Firms grow in different ways from other firms. Specifically, we analyse how firms grow along several dimensions (growth of sales, employment, assets and operating profits) using Structural Vector Autoregressions. Causal relations are identified using information contained in the (non-Gaussian) growth rate distributions. For most firms, the growth process starts with employment growth, which is then followed by sales growth, assets growth, and finally growth of operating profits. In contrast, high growth firms put more emphasis on sales growth driving other dimensions of growth. We then discuss the theoretical and managerial implications of our findings.

Bio

Professor Marc Cowling has a PhD in Business Economics from Warwick Business School and an MSc Economics from London University. Before his appointment at Brighton he was Professor and Head of the Department of Management Studies at Exeter Business School. Prior to that, he held the posts of Chief Economist at the Institute for Employment Studies and The Work Foundation. He has also held positions at Warwick Business School, Birmingham Business School (where he was Director of the Research Centre for Industrial Strategy) and London Business School (where he was Deputy Principal Investigator of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor). He is currently ranked in the top 12% of economists in the world by citations (H-index) according to Research Publications in Economics (REPEC, May 6th 2014) and in entrepreneurship he was ranked 23rd in the world over the period 1995-2006 according to "Rankings of the Top Entrepreneurship Researchers and Affiliations". Marc has spent the last 24 years researching in 4 core areas; * The Dynamics of Early Stage Survival and Growth; * The Financing of SMEs and Entrepreneurial Businesses; * Labour Market Dynamics; * Evaluating Public Policy.

13 May
"Assessing the innovativeness of the firm through Work-Life Balance"
Maria Savona (SPRU)

Abstract

Assessing the innovativeness of firms is not an easy task. The literature recognizes a number of innovativeness indicators. Most of them are technology-based indicators such as R&D budget or patents indicators that perform well in high-tech industries but might useless in other types of industries in which there is a low propensity to patent or in which R&D budgets are low or not formalized.


In this paper, we critically review previous innovativeness indicators and we propose a new perspective to assess the innovativeness of firms based on the implementation of Work-Life Balance benefits which are clearly connected with creativity at the workplace. We argue that this could be an effective new indicator to assess the innovativeness of firms. The existence of Work-Life Balance benefits could be used together with previous indicators and might have important advantages such as being applicable to any kind of firm regardless its technological intensity.

Bio

TBA

20 May
Title: TBA
Speaker: TBA

Abstract

TBA

Bio

TBA

27 May
Title: What is an emerging technology?
Speaker: Daniele Rotolo (SPRU) 

Abstract

Despite the growing interest around the emergence of novel technologies, especially from the policy-making perspective, there is still no consensus on what classifies a technology as 'emergent'. The present paper aims to fill this gap by developing a definition of 'emerging technologies' and a framework for their detection and analysis. The definition is developed by combining a basic understanding of the term and in particular the concept of 'emergence' with a review of key innovation studies dealing with definitional issues of technological emergence. The resulting definition identifies five attributes that feature in the emergence of novel technologies. These are: (i) radical novelty, (ii) relatively fast growth, (iii) coherence, (iv) prominent impact, and (v) uncertainty and ambiguity. The conceptual effort is then used to develop a framework for the operationalisation of the proposed attributes. To do so, we identify and review major empirical approaches (mainly in, although not limited to, the scientometric domain) for the detection and study of emerging technologies (these include indicators and trend analysis, citation analysis, co-word analysis, overlay mapping, and combinations thereof) and elaborate on how these can be used to operationalise the different attributes of emergence. 

Bio

TBA

3 June
Title: TBA
Speaker: TBC

Abstract

TBA

Bio

TBA

10 June
Title: Synergies between Environmental Technological and Organizational Innovations' 
Speaker: Effie Kesidou (University of Leeds)

Abstract

Theoretical and empirical studies in the innovation literature indicate that there are complementarities between technological and organizational changes. Yet, little is known whether these synergies apply in the context of environmental technological and organizational innovations. If complementarities exist then the adoption of technological innovations by firms through investments in abatement technologies (e.g. end-of-pipe and/or integrated production technologies) could be facilitated by the simultaneous adoption of organizational innovations (e.g. environmental management systems). However, even if synergies are relevant in the context of environmental technological and organizational innovations, they might not be relevant for all firms. Firms pursue a variety of strategies to respond to environmental pressures that ranges from passive compliance strategy to proactive prevention strategy; hence, it is crucial to shed light on role that complementarities play for each of these strategies. This paper contributes to the environmental management literature by testing the above hypotheses using data from the Community Innovation Survey (CIS 2008).

Bio

Dr. Effie Kesidou is Lecturer of Applied Economics at the University Leeds. Previously, she was employed as a Lecturer at the University of Nottingham and as a Research Associate at the ‘Centre for Enterprise’, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Her research interests lie in the areas of environmental innovations, economics of innovation, economic development and the software industry. She has received funding by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), ESRC, and by the University of Nottingham. She has published her work in journals of international excellence, such as Research Policy, Ecological Economics, World Development, European Journal of Development Research, and Industry and Innovation.

Autumn 2014
24 September
Lenses for better understanding public goods in biodiversity-based innovation: The maca case
Edwin Cristancho Panilla (SPRU) 
1 October
Exploring the UK cancer research funding system: How useful are funding acknowledgements?
Daniele Rotolo, Michael Hopkins (SPRU)

Abstract

The financial crisis has led major developed countries to revise public spending onscientific research and even the largest of science budgets are under pressure. TheResearch Councils UK (RCUK), for example, have had a flat budget over the fiscayear 2012-2013 while the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) have faced a budgetcut of 10%. In a time of austerity, policy makers are seeking major re-structuring ofnational funding systems. Yet, the understandings of the interdependencies thatcharacterise national funding environments and, thus the potentially amplified effectsof budget cuts, are limited. We examine the extent to which funding data included inpublications' acknowledgement sections can be used to analyse funding systems. Todo so, we perform our analysis on the case of cancer research in the UK for the year2011. The sample of publications specifically includes 7,510 records for which wecollected and coded funding data as reported by authors. These are then comparedwith data obtained from other databases (e.g. MEDLINE/Pubmed and ISI Web ofScience). Funding data retrieved from publications' acknowledgement sections arethen used to explore funders' complementarity in supporting research. Differentlyfrom previous research which has focus at individual and organisational levels, we explore funders' complementarity at single publication level. We distinguish fundingsources between (i) national, (ii) international, and (iii) industry. National fundingsources are further classified as major and minor sources according to proportion ofthe overall research output they supported. Findings reveal complementarity amongnational and international funding sources and between the latter and industrialsupport. The empirical analysis does not provide evidence of complementaritybetween national and industrial funding sources while a strong complementaryamong (major and minor) national funding sources is found


Bio

Daniele Rotolo, PhD (European Doctorate) in Innovation Management, is Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex and School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology. During his PhD, Daniele was visiting researcher at the University College London (UCL) and Stern Business School (New York University). Daniele is also co-editor of the SPRU Working Paper Series. Daniele's main research interests are in the network dynamics featuring in the emergence process of novel science and technologies,scientometric mapping and visualisation techniques, the role of networks inknowledge creation processes, and the determinants of academic productivity(personal webpage www.danielerotolo.com).Michael Hopkins is Director of Research at the Science Policy Research Unit(SPRU), University of Sussex, UK. Michael originally trained as a biologist beforeundertaking his D.Phil in Science and Technology Policy studies at SPRU. He has more than 15 years experience researching the sociotechnical challenges associated with biomedical innovation. His research projects typically employ mixed methods to understand processes of technological emergence in biomedical innovation (e.g. drugs and diagnostics). He is currently PI of the SPRU team in the MDET project (Mapping the Development of Emerging Technologies, supported by the ESRC), which seeks to explore the histories and evolving networks associatedwith biomedical technologies using novel scientometric techniques and interfaces.For more details see www.interdisciplinaryscience.net/projects/mdetp. He was also SPRU PI for the Cancer Research UK funded project that is the topic of the above paper.
8 October
Mapping the evolution of research 'controversies': The case of rice since the 80's
Tommaso Ciarli, Ismael Raflos (SPRU)

Abstract

Evolutionary economics and innovation studies have reflected on the direction of research for a long time. In this paper we enter this debate focussing on the research on one 'low-tech' good, rice. We investigate the direction of research, through time and across countries, of a crop which (i) feeds a large number of people around the world, and is considered particularly relevant in low and middle income countries; (ii) was at the core of the 'green revolution'; (iii) and, for this reason, is also a controversial technology given some of the mid-term impact of the green revolution --impoverishment of diets, overuse of water, exhaustion of soils, and pollution. What we want to gain with this exercise is not an explanation of how research or knowledge evolves in a 'low-tech' sector, but a map of how research efforts change through time and space, and how this is related to specific events, cultures and needs. We use the CABI repository of publications because it has a focus on agriculture and a much wider coverage of research from developing countries than Web of Science or Scopus. The study is based on a combination of semantic analyses of a large corpus of publications on rice from 1983 to 2012. We find that the research focus has changed dramatically through the years, moving from issues related to plant protection (weeds and pests) and traditional genetics, to issues related to final consumption and transgenics. We also find that this trajectorysignificantly differ among countries, and does not necessarily reflect the countries needs for technological change in a staple crop.

Bio

Tommaso Ciarli

Senior research fellow at SPRU (http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/people/lists/person/129520)

Ismael Rafols

Ismael Rafols is a research fellow at Ingenio (CSIC-UPV, València) and visiting fellow at SPRU (where he worked in 2005-2012). He works on research assessments and scientometrics methods for mapping interdisciplinary fields and organisations.

15 October
Improvised explosive devices and SPRU
James Revill (SPRU)

Abstract

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) have become increasingly salient in 21st century security discourses. Frequently framed as a ‘weapon of the weak’ they have become the paradigmatic weapon of ‘new wars’, causing significant damage in Afghanistan and Iraq, and in a number of other countries. Yet the focus on their current use in new wars belies a long and broad history of improvised explosives being used in conflict. Following a short conceptualisation of IEDs, this presentation begins with an overview of the historical evolution of IEDs through attending to their employment in different contexts and by different cultures of violence. The subsequent section provides an analysis of the utility of IEDs before looking at the factors which influence the diffusion of this technology, drawing on the work of Everett Roger’s to counter the technological determinism of some contemporary approaches to IED ‘proliferation’. The penultimate section addresses how IEDs are framed in the contemporary security discourse(s) and the state of governance mechanisms for dealing with IEDs, drawing on the concept of a ‘web of prevention’.

Bio

James Revill is a Research Fellow at SPRU. Over the course of completing his PhD prior to joining the Harvard Sussex Program he worked as a consultant to the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research and completed research fellowships with the Landau Network Centro Volta in Italy and the Bradford Disarmament Research Centre in the UK. Revill’s research interests focus on the evolution of the biological weapons treaty regime, especially analysis of the ‘Inter-sessional Process’, the interplay between science and security and awareness raising efforts amongst life scientists. Together with colleagues at Bradford he developed an educational module to assist in these efforts and he has published widely in this area. He also has a specific interest in South Asian Security issues through his role as an Associate with the Pakistan Security Research Unit at Bradford and the issues of scientists engagement through his work with the Landau Network.

22 October
Constructing politico-epistemic authority. Food safety agencies at the front and backstage
Rebecca-Lea Korinek (WZB Berlin Social Science Centre) 
29 October
Human capital and the long-run growth and survival of UK high-technology firms
Josh Siepel (SPRU) 
5 November
Processes of aging among firms
Alex Coad (SPRU)

Abstract

This talk synthesizes theory and evidence on processes of firm-level aging. While aging processes can occur at many levels (employee, firm, cohort), we focus mainly on the firm-level. First, we debunk notions that size and age are synonymous. Second, we discuss why anthopomorphic analogies are not helpful for understanding firm aging (differences in population pyramid shapes, with 50% of firms exiting after just 3 years; no upper bound on firm ages; no deterministic decline in performance with firm age). Third, we summarize empirical work on firm age by arguing that firm performance remains roughly constant beyond the initial 'liability of newness.' This talk is based on a literature review paper in preparation for a special issue of 'Journal of Evolutionary Economics' on "Firm Age and Performance", with guest editors Alex Coad, Jacob Rubaek Holm, Jackie Krafft, and Francesco Quatraro.

Room changed to Jub 155 - For this week only.

12 November
The Role of Independent Professionals and Freelancers in Open Source Software Development and Diffusion
Matthijs den Besten (Groupe Sup de Co Montpellier, FR)

Abstract

Independent professionals and freelancers represent a sizeable and growing part of the workforce nowadays. At the same time the organization of work is changing. Project-based work is becoming more frequent and outsourcing more widespread. In some sectors, firms are also radically changing the way in which they gather and implement new ideas into products and processes by adopting a form of open innovation. Software-intensive organizations, for instance, increasingly deploy open source software in their products and services. Open source software has been studied intensively by scholars. Surprisingly little is known about the professional status of the contributors to this software, which anyone can modify. Nevertheless there are many indications that freelancers played important roles, which this paper will describe in more detail.

26 November
The Co-evolution of societal issues, technologies and industry regimes: Lessons from three cases studies of the American automobile industry – and a future research agenda
Caetano Penna (SPRU)

Abstract

The seminar will present some of the findings and contributions of my DPhil thesis, which aimed to address a gap in the field of science, technology and innovation policy research: despite many theoretical advances, we still do not know why some urgent societal issues (or ‘challenges’) remain unaddressed, notwithstanding the technological advances that could potentially address them (or ‘the moon and the ghetto’ problem discussed by Nelson (1977)). In particular, radical technological innovations – innovations that depart from the established technological trajectory – would offer greatest potential to address societal challenges. While the source of radical innovations is often new entrepreneurial firms, established firms are likely to play an important role in developing them because of the vast resources and complementary assets they possess. Incumbents however, face few immediate incentives to develop radical innovations in response to societal challenges. The thesis thus explores the analytical puzzle of how, when, and why industries change (or not) their strategies (in particular, their technological strategy) in order to address a societal problem. It develops a new analytical perspective – the Dialectical Issue Life-Cycle (DILC) model – that combines insights from issue life-cycle and issue attention cycle theories (from the Business & Society field), with the so-called ‘Triple Embeddedness Framework’ (Geels, 2014) and concepts from business strategies, innovation management, corporate political strategies, and technology policy. Using qualitative and quantitative research methods in an original way, the thesis applies the DILC model to three case studies on how the American automobile industry responded to various societal problems (local air pollution, auto and highway safety, and climate change). By explaining how incumbent industry actors respond to societal challenges, the thesis ultimately contributes to the practical policy debate of how incumbents can be stimulated to develop radical innovations that help address societal challenges. The final part of the seminar will discussed the avenues for future research that could be followed as a result of the findings from my thesis.

Suggested Readings

Penna, C.C.R. (2014). The Co-evolution of societal issues, technologies and industry regimes: Three case studies of the American automobile industry. Science Policy Reesarch Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex, Brighton. (Manuscript available by request)

Penna, C.C.R. (2014). “Corporate strategies in response to social and environmental problems: five lessons from historical issue life-cycles”, Group 22 working paper series, March. Available at: http://www.grupa22.hr/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Penna-2014-Article-for-Grupa22-novo.pdf

Penna, C.C.R., Geels, F.W. (2012). “Multi-dimensional struggles in the greening of industry: A dialectic issue lifecycle model and case study”. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 79(6), 999-1020. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040162512000212

Geels, F.W., Penna, C.C.R. (forthcoming). “Societal problems and industry reorientation: Elaborating the Dialectic Issue LifeCycle (DILC) model and a case study of car safety in the USA (1900–1995)”, Research Policy, in press. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048733314001620

Penna, C.C.R., Geels, F.W. (forthcoming). “Climate change and the slow reorientation of the American car industry (1979-2012): An application and extension of the Dialectic Issue LifeCycle (DILC) model”, Research Policy, accepted for publication. (Manuscript available by request)

3 December
Can automatic classification help to increase accuracy in data collection? 
Yuxian Liu, Frederique Lang, Diego Chavarro, Jose Christian

Abstract

Many quantitative studies start with the analysis phase and do not emphasize sufficiently the importance of data cleaning. Mistakes in datasets can produce inaccurate results leading to wrong conclusions, possibly affecting policy-making. Mistakes can appear for a variety of reasons: codification, missing values, file corruption, among others. Some mistakes can be cleaned manually, but in big datasets the amount of manual coding may be impractical. In this paper we test the accuracy of various forms of automatic classification to identify relevant records in a large dataset, with the primary aim of determining their usefulness for researchers for the collection of data. We show the performance of seven different classification algorithms (Support Vector Machine, Scaled Linear Discriminant Analysis, Lasso and elastic-net regularized generalized linear models, Maximum entropy, Regression tree, Bagging, Boosting and Random Forest) and analyse two properties: accuracy and precision. Accuracy is the overall performance as compared to manual classification and precision the ratio of relevant items correctly classified. We assess the algorithms both individually and combined, and conclude that they can be used to help correctly identify the relevant records with an accuracy above 95% in some cases. However, manual classification is still needed, although it is expected to be highly reduced with the help of automatic classification.

10 December
Title: Why do some drug projects succeed in development while others fail? How internal and external factors influence the development of drugs for rare cancers
Speaker: Philippa Crane 

Abstract

This talk will present the preliminary findings from my PhD research project. The research aims to identify the factors that are associated with the successful and unsuccessful development of therapeutic drugs for rare cancers. In order to do this the project takes a case study approach to the analysis of 12 drug projects in an attempt to identify the pivotal factors that led to the outcome of each project. To facilitate a comparative analysis I build a taxonomy to represent the similarities and differences between the cases within groupings according to the type of organization the project originated from (pharmaceutical, biotechnology or academia). The findings indicate that while projects originated in pharmaceutical firms are largely subject to internal strategic changes and perceptions of toxicity and efficacy, projects that begin development in biotech firms or academia are more subject to external organizational environment and industrial dynamics. However, this negative effect, of the environmental forces, can be overcome through the action of consistently present individuals, or groups of individuals, or a particularly supportive organizational culture and collaborative agreements.

Summer Term 2014
DateSpeakerSeminar TitleDiscussant

14 May

Francesco Rentocchini (Southampton Univ.)

Please note that this seminar will take place in Jubilee 115 rather than the usual venue

That was then, this is now: Skills and routinisation in the 2000s

TBC

21 May

Ralitsa Hiteva and Jim Watson (SPRU)

Please note that this seminar will take place in Jubilee 117 rather than the usual venue

Title TBC

Paul Nightingale

28 May

John Kitching (Kingston)

Estimating the Size of the UK Freelance Workforce Using Labour Force Survey Data

TBC

4 June

Caitriona McLeish (SPRU)

Title TBC

TBC

11 June

Rachael Durrant (SPRU)

Please note that this seminar will take place in Jubilee G35 rather than the usual venue

Title TBC

TBC

9 July

Jose Manuel Leceta, Director of EU Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)

Please note that this seminar will take place in Jubilee 144 rather than the usual venue

What makes the EIT unique?

TBC

 

Spring term 2014
DateSpeakerSeminar TitleDiscussant

2 April

Karoline Rogge (SPRU)

Towards an enhanced understanding of the policy mix within technological innovation systems: the case of offshore wind in Germany

Florian Kern

26 March

Antonio Messeni Petruzzelli (Politecnico di Bari, Italy)

Reinterpreting tradition to innovate: from old components to new products

Tommaso Ciarli

12 March

Sarah Main (CASE)

How to persuade a politician – making the case for science investment

James Wilsdon

5 March

Phil Johnstone (SPRU)

Innovation, destabilisation, discontinuation and extraordinary sameness: exploring ‘forms of the state’ in nuclear decision-making

Gordon MacKerron

12 February  Mario Morroni Capability, transaction and scale-scope: rival or complementary explanations of organisational boundaries? TBA
5 February  Adrian Smith

Recalling the Lucas plan: What can an old movement for socially useful production tell us about democratising technology today?

Johan Schot
 29 January Claudio Bravo Ortega (University of Chile)

 The Effectiveness of R&D Intensity Targeting Policies and the Characteristics of Intensity Transitions: Evidence from Developing and Developed Economies over the Last Five Decades

Maria Savona
22 January

Giovanna Speciale

The contribution of the Clean Development Mechanism to the alleviation of energy poverty

Rob Byrne
15 January

Jouni Juntenen
(SPRU)

Making Technology Fit – Active Citizen Engagement with Renewable Micro-Generation Technologies

Colin Nolden
8 January 

Ralitsa Hiteva 

Intermediaries as agents of governance and change. What’s next for segregated intermediary knowledge?

Adrian Smith
Autumn term 2013
DateSpeakerSeminar TitleDiscussant
25 September Friedmann Polzin
(SIIE, Wiesbaden, Germany)

Governing the cleantech revolution: the role of institutional intermediaries as coordinators between financiers and innovators

Paula Kivimaa
2 October Paula Kivimaa (Sussex)

Government-affiliated intermediary organisations as actors in system-level transitions

TBA
9 October Sven-Olov Daunfeldt (HUI Research) High Growth Firms Paul Nightingale
23 October Chux Daniels (Sussex) Organisational Capabilities for Policy Formulation in Developing Countries TBA
30 October Nicola Grassano & Maria Savona

Productivity in services 20 years on: A review of conceptual and measurement issues, and a way forward 

TBA
6 November David Tyfield (Lancaster University)

Political economy of science, esp. life sciences, low carbon innovation in China

TBA
13 November Ohid Yaqub (SPRU) Attitudes to vaccination: Moving from information-deficit to trust-deficit following the 2009 pandemic Michael Hopkins
20 November Alex Coad (SPRU)

If failure is good, how much more do we want?

Ben Martin (SPRU)
27 November Hetan Shah (Executive Director, Royal Statistical Society)

What does a new era of ubiquitous data mean for policy and society?

SPRU Wednesday seminar w/ Hetan Shah, 27 November 2013

James Wilsdon
4 December Leah Fuenfschilling (ECIS)
Bernhard Truffer (Eawag)
The structuration of socio-technical regimes – Conceptual foundations from institutional theory

Philip Johnstone

11 December  Silvia Giacomazzi (Universita Cattolica, Piacenza, IT) & Alex Coad

Please note this seminar will take place in Jubilee 155 rather than the usual venue 

Characteristics and determinants of young firm innovation in Spain

Maria Savona
Summer term 2013
DateSpeakerSeminar TitleDiscussant
 3 July Dr Lucy Baker 
School of Global Studies
Please note: this seminar will take place in Jubilee 117 rather than the usual venue

South Africa’s minerals energy complex: renewable energy and rising powers

 Florian Kern
19 June Declan Kuch
University of New South Wales

The Paradox of Measurable Counterfactuals: Performing the efficiency of emissions trading

Adrian Smith
12 June Monica Masucci
Sussex

Please note that this is ajoint seminar with Business and Management

Uncovering the determinants of initiative survival in corporate venture units: a multistage selection perspective

David Storey
15 May Anabel Marin
National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), Argentina

Developing capabilities in the seed industry: which direction to follow?

TBC
8 May Piera Morlacchi
Sussex

Please note: this is a joint seminar with Business and Management and will take place in Jubilee G30 rather than the usual venue

From ‘built to grow’ to ‘built to sell’: The evolution of new venture creation in the US pacemaker field (1949-2012)

TBC
Spring term 2013
DateSpeakerSeminar TitleDiscussant
6 February Satoko Yasuda
SPRU

Mobility of Japanese academic entrepreneurs: Educational, occupational, sectoral, and geographical heterogeneity in career paths

Joe Tidd
13 February Alice Bell
SPRU

What should "public engagement" mean for SPRU?

None
20 February Martin Binder
SPRU

Subjective well-being and unemployment: A quantile treatment approach

Matias Ramirez
27 February Mathew Cook
Open University

Service design for sustainable urban environments: a critical engagement

Adrian Smith
6 March Tobias Møller Ruby
Technical University of Denmark

Energy efficiency and innovation in Denmark

TBC
13 March Charlotte Jensen 
Aalborg University

Social Practices in Energy related Transitions – the LED as a transformer?

TBC
20 March

Tammy Sharp
SPRU

Exploring the Potential Impact of Carbon, Capture and Storage on the Diversity of the Future UK Electricity System

Andy Stirling
27 March Alex Coad 
SPRU

On The Demand for Science Graduates in Germany and the UK: Do High Tech Firms employ High Human Capital People?

-
10 April Giovanni Valentini
Bocconi University

What is open innovation, really? (Joint seminar with the Department of Business and Management)

-
Autumn term 2012
DateSpeakerSeminar TitleDiscussant
5 December Maria Savona
Sussex

Is money all? Finance versus knowledge or demand constraints to innovation

Nick Von Tunzelmann
28 November  Tammy Sharp
Sussex

Please note: this seminar has unfortunately been postponed until the Spring term. Details of a rescheduled date will follow in due course.

Exploring the potential impact of carbon, capture and storage on the diversity of the future UK electricity system

Andy Stirling
21 November  Bethânia Almeida
Brazil Federal University

In pursuit of a dengue vaccine: the dynamics of collaboration in the invention process

Ohid Yaqub
14 November  Anna Schreuer
IFZ Graz, Austria

Citizen power plants in sustainable energy transitions: experiences from Austria and Germany

Adrian Smith
7 November  Gabriele Pellegrino
Sussex

R&D drivers in young innovative companies

TBC
31 October  Staffan Jacobsson
Chalmers University, Sweden

Mechanisms blocking the dynamics of the European offshore wind energy industry – opportunities for policy intervention

No discussant
24 October  Kathi Welle
Sussex

‘Monitoring performance’ or ‘performing monitoring’? The case of access to rural water supply in Ethiopia

James Wilsdon
17 October  Tommaso Ciarli and Ismael Rafols
Sussex

Future-oriented technology analysis

Ben Martin
10 October  Sebastiano Massaro
UCL

“Under the thumb”: university-industry collaborations and barriers in technological innovations

Michael Hopkins
3 October Fernando Rizzo
Director of the Center for Strategic Studies and Management, Brazil

Facing the innovation challenge in Brazil

Mariana Mazzucato