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Eu-SPRI Forum PhD Circulation 2011/12

Circulation Report
Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research Strategic policy making in innovation policy (working titel) Department of Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School Section 1 Student’s Achievement During Their Stay
Please outline what you have achieved during your circulation: a) in terms of developing your doctoral research and thesis Before I came to CBS my PhD project basically dealt with two aspects, as outlined in the application for
the PhD circulation award in August 2012: I wanted to “improve the (theoretical) understanding of the
rationale, role and the governance capacity of high-level strategic approaches in R&I policy-making,
through empirical analyses of corresponding political programmes.” Among other aspects this plan
included defining the notion of national innovation strategies by integrating insights from economics
and political economy respectively. While I got to know the literature from i.a. strategic management
and strategic market creation during the first few weeks of my stay, I realised that those insights are a
good source of inspiration when it comes to structuring a strategy. However, with a view to policy most
of the suggested features did not seem relevant enough to be applied (mostly due to the underlying
linear model of rational action in strategic management, which might be applicable regarding corporate
strategies, but seemed too far away from policy making).
Nonetheless, the insights I gathered and the discussions with Prof. Susana Borrás and other DBP
members helped me to make some crucial decisions on how to structure and carry out the thesis from
now on. I realised that the relevant question to ask is not about how to define policy strategies, but
finding out about the practises of those strategies and whether or not the existence of a national strategy
makes a difference in the pursuit of a fruitful innovation policy. Therefore I altered my research foci
during my stay and operationalized strategy as a concept of policy action which I am now trying to
grasp by taking up the following questions through my empirical analysis:
What are the guiding principles and policy objectives underlying the national strategy, and
how are these perceived and actualized by the organization implementing the strategy?
How are national innovation strategies implemented and what kind of patterns can be identified
regarding the coordination and cooperation of the actors involved?
How is the strategic capacity of the actors involved and coherent management (leadership)
organized/operationalized regarding the strategy?
Now I started conducting interviews with policy makers that are involved in the formulation and
implementation of national innovation strategies by using a semi-structured “interview guideline” along
the core questions mentioned above.
When I applied for the “circulation” I also planned to use the Danish innovation policy as one of my
case studies. The shift towards the analysis of the practises of strategies – not so much the definition and
formulation – made it necessary though to look for cases with strategies already in existence for a few
years (the Danish innovation strategy was only launched in December 2012). Therefore I opted for UK,
Sweden and Germany
for several reasons:
- they all have established “national innovation strategies” and therefore have a history of implementing
those (UK: Innovation Nation (2008), “Innovation and research strategy for growth” (2011); Germany:
Hightech-Strategy (2006); Hightech-Strategy 2020 (2010); Sweden: Innovative Sweden – A strategy for
growth through renewal (2004), En innovationsstrategi för Sverige (2012))
- they are all EU countries and thus influenced by the EUs attempt to address the “Grand Challenges”
(i.a. reference to the Lund Declaration of 2009) and are all amongst the top third of EU member states`
innovation performance (European Innovations Scoreboard 2012)
- however, they do differ in terms of the priorities and “philosophies” regarding the national political
economy (case studies chosen along the Varieties of Capitalism heuristic: UK liberal market economy,
Germany coordinated market economy, Sweden hybrid/nordic model).
b) conference participation (active and passive), workshops, seminars, courses. Please list: Active:
„Strategische Politikgestaltung in der Innovationspolitik“/ “Strategic policy making
in innovation policy”
, research colloquium at the Institute for Political Sciences and
Center for the Study of Democracy, Leuphana University of Luneburg
“Policy Challenges of Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) – conceptual thoughts”, Séminaire evoREG: Innovation, connectivité et évolution : quelles perspectives et politiques pour le Rhin Supérieur?, Bureau d’economie theoretique et appliquée (BETA), Universität Straßburg, France ; proceedings online : 22-23/11/2012
“What's strategic in today’s innovation policy strategies? Conceptual thoughts on challenge-oriented innovation policies“, Presentation and Paper submitted, 4th DBP Paper Seminar, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. 20/11/2012
„Konzepte zur Nutzung des Potentials regionalen Engagements”/“Concepts for
fostering the potential of regional Engagement of Higher Education Insitutions”
Workshop Competence Centers „Policy and Regions“on the “Relevand of regional
activities for higher education institutions and the science system, Berlin;
proceedings online:
"Obstinate or Obsolete? European Integration Theories and the EU Crisis", Guest lecture by Prof.Dr. Tanja Börzel, Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence, DBP, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. 02/11/2012
"The failure of global and European economic governance and why international regulation in trade and finance is imperative“, Guest lecture by Dr. Heiner Flassbeck (UN Division on Globalization), Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. 17-20/10/2012
4S/EASST Conference: Design and Displacement – social studies of science and technology; particularly the panels on The governance of innovation and socio-technical systems: design and displacements, (20.10.2012) provided helpful information for my PhD. publications (indicate type of publication, whether peer reviewed or not, including manuscripts in • Drafts of chapters for the PhD thesis (monograph in English, planned finalisation April 2015): Introduction and Research Framework - overview of the research focus: brief history of innovation policy and the emergence of national innovation strategies; operationalization of the term policy strategy (and related aspects i.a. policy objectives, coordination patterns) and literature review on the gaps concerning the term. - outline of the thesis and methodology. - conception of the questionnaire that builds the basis for the empirical investigation that constitutes the main part of the thesis. • Manuscript in preparation: “Policy strategies: a new generation of policy mix? Conceptual thoughts on challenge-oriented innovation policy”, Paper to be presented at th10th biennal conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics, 18-21/06/2013 Lille, France Section 2 – Benefits to the PhD
Please indicate briefly how the stay has benefited your PhD. As indicated above the exchange enabled me to define my research design and figure out research foci that seem relevant for the advancement of policy analysis in innovation policy. Regarding a possible contribution to current debates I now see the thesis “located” in a triangle of public policy implementation studies (aspects of coordination and cooperation mechanisms (governance patterns)), innovation studies (critical reflection of the role of the state in i.a. innovation system theory (policy objectives and their operationalization)) and public management (analysing the strategic capacity of the involved units, departments, ministries). Before my stay I only had a vague idea of what to focus on and how to relate to the current debates. The temporary change of the institutional working environment at the CBS being a Business School/University was also very inspirational as expected. This was mostly due to the fact of the greater emphasis of theoretical reasoning at CBS compared to a greater focus on the applicability of research results (at Fraunhofer ISI) as well as the exposure to diverse research foci of the DBP colleagues mainly in the area of political economy. Exceptionally helpful were the meetings with Prof. Susana Borrás approx. every 2,5 weeks. I am very grateful and thrilled that Susana took so much time to discuss my research design and writing plan with me. Her thoughts and her feedback was and still is of utmost importance to me and I am very grateful for her continuous support. Even if her schedule during the week was tight, she still managed to squeeze in a “lunch meeting” to give me feedback. Now we continue our cooperation over the distance and agreed to reflect on the progress continuously. She is a great and very engaged mentor/supervisor whit a very profound knowledge of innovation policy that she is eager to share with young scholars. For me she is the perfect academic host and I hope that we can also establish further cooperation in the years to come. Section 3
We would welcome any feedback which will help us to improve the experiences of the future circulation students. Please provide any comments below: I benefitted from my stay in many respects and would like to express my gratitude to the colleagues at DBP, particularly Prof. Susana Borrás. Furthermore I would like to thank the EU-SPRI Forum for the generous support and creating such a great institutionalized opportunity for PhD students to visit other member institutions. The only drawback of my stay was the fact that it took me a lot of time and effort to find accommodation in Copenhagen. Even after my arrival - I did find a room for the first month while I was still in Germany - I had to spend approximately two weeks of continuous “accommodation casting”. The International Office at CBS was unable to help me in advance unfortunately. Requests send to the Department by Susana were also not successful. It is of course not the duty of Eu-SPRI Forum institutions and their personnel to assists with finding accommodation. However this was the only aspect of the experience which I considered difficult. Once again “mange tak”, as my Danish hosts would say, for the generous support. SIGNATURE SECTION
22. March 2013


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