Title: Evolutionary Approaches for Sustainable Innovation Policies: From Niche to Paradigm?
Citation: RESEARCH POLICY vol. 38 no. 4 p. 668 680
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC40247
ISSN: 0048-7333
URI: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol
DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2009.01.011
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Fostering technological innovation is considered as an important element of policies towards sustainable development. In the past 10 years, evolutionary policy approaches have been increasingly advocated. For several reasons, they seem well equipped to underpin sustainable innovation policies. They focus on dynamics of change and their drivers, they allow for a substantive perspective on technologies beyond mere input¿output relations, taking into account trajectories and different characteristics of innovation, and they are able to describe circumstances under which established technologies might persist even whenthey are to some extent inferior to their newcompetitors (lock-in).However, the policy effectiveness of evolutionary approaches in cases in which radical or systemic changes are involved is not yet proven. In this paperwe assess the theoretical rationale, instrumental aspects and the coping with policy constraints of three evolutionary policy approaches which have also been used in empirical studies: strategic niche management, transition management and time strategies. Each approach has its strengths and specific problems and all three have to be further developed and tested out but they hold promise for contributing to non-incremental change with economic and environmental benefits, by shaping processes of variation, selection and retention, with the outcomes feeding back into policy. Theymay also be used in other areas in which innovation direction is important, for instance health care or food.
JRC Directorate:Growth and Innovation

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