Charles and co-authors presented two papers at EU-SPRI Conference in Utrecht, June 1 – 3, 2022

Utrecht, photo credit: Markus Tacker | cc

This year’s Eu-SPRI conference ( explored future directions for studies of research and innovation with a specific emphasis on future challenges for STI policy research. Charles presented the following papers:

  • With Mart Laatsit: “From the Systems of Innovation Approach to a General Theory of Innovation: Do Activities and Functions Reflect what Happens in Innovation systems”. The Table of Contents of the paper is:

  1.         Introduction   
  2.         Definitions     
  2.1.      Innovation      
  2.2.      System of innovation 
  3.         Activities and functions in systems of innovation
  3.1.      Examples of lists of activities/functions     
  3.2.      How do different authors define activities/functions?
  3.3.      What is the rationale/purpose of different authors to specify activities/functions?
  3.4.      Comparing three of the lists of activities/functions
  4.         Conclusions   
  4.1.      Detailed bullet point summary and conclusions    
  4.2.      General conclusions: towards a general theory of innovation  
  Appendix: Which activities/functions do the different lists contain?

  • With Lars Bengtsson: “Functional public procurement for low-carbon innovations in the Swedish municipal sector”. A main objective is to increase empirical knowledge in the field. A questionnaire will be distributed to all 290 Swedish municipalities.

Summary in English:

Edquist and Zabala-Iturriagagoitia (2012) introduced public procurement for innovations as a potentially very powerful policy instrument for solving major societal challenges. Public procurement in Sweden amounts to approx SEK 700 billion annually, about 15% of GDP. In addition to its direct purchasing power, public procurement has enormous potential to become an important instrument for achieving a fossil-free society. Despite this transformative potential, research and practice on public procurement that stimulates innovations, both generally and related to fossil-free innovations, is still in its infancy. Two major research problems can be related to this situation. First, the lack of a conceptual framework for understanding public procurement of fossil-free innovations as a way to support innovation-based transformation into a climate-neutral society. Secondly, there is a lack of empirical knowledge about the governance, organization, and procurement practices of public procurement of fossil-free innovations. The project aims to describe, analyze, and support the public procurement of fossil-free innovations with a focus on societal planning sectors in the municipalities. This takes place in three steps:1) development of a conceptual framework that distinguishes between product and functional procurement, 2) empirical studies of Swedish municipalities’ governance, organization, and procurement practices of fossil reducing innovations and 3) dissemination of best practice.