Influences of technological and sectoral contexts on technological innovation systems
Journal article, 2021

This paper analyses how technological and sectoral context structures influence the functional pattern of a focal technological innovation system (TIS), focusing on value chain interdependencies. Through a case study of the ‘embryonic’ bio-succinate from mixed food waste TIS in Sweden, we show that all identified context structures exert both negative and positive influences on TIS functions by influencing resource availability and accessibility, market conditions and the wider selection environment. Contextual influences result from interdependencies throughout the value chain, but in contrast to previous studies, direct structural overlaps are not as relevant as competition for resources, markets and policy support. Competition does not only come from the regime but also from other related TISs and sectors. The study also confirms the importance of contextual influences from the international TIS. These findings suggest that a wide perspective on context structures and selection pressures should be considered in future research.

Context system

Bio-based chemicals

Context structure

Sustainable innovation

Functions approach



Johanna Ulmanen

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Anna Bergek

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics

Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions

2210-4224 (ISSN)

Vol. 40 20-39

Subject Categories

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Economic Geography

Business Administration



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Latest update

6/9/2021 7