Evaluating transformative innovation policy: towards an integrated framework
Licentiate thesis, 2021

Past reviews show that the current practice of science, technology, and innovation policy evaluation lags behind the development of innovation theory. The emergence of the transformative innovation policy paradigm, which aims at addressing transformative change or ‘grand challenges’, implies new challenges for policy evaluation. These include, among other aspects, assessing (i) behavioural additionality, i.e., going beyond the traditional input–output analysis to address how policy changes the behaviour of actors involved in or affected by a policy measure and affects learning at the system level, and (ii) the directionality of change, i.e., how policy mixes are impacting the process and direction of socio-technical systems.

The purpose of this licentiate thesis is to understand how evaluation can be made more transformative in order to assess policy interventions targeting system innovation, while also addressing the aforementioned challenges. Based on the literature on sustainability transitions, combined with insights from the literature on theory-based policy evaluation, I propose an integrated framework for evaluating such programmes. The integrated framework is composed of three main components: (i) a programme theory, which describes how the programme was conceptualized, including its goals, system boundaries, desired transition pathways, and theories of change; (ii) a system analysis, which focuses on a set of transformative processes that describe changes in socio-technical systems; and (iii) an assessment of the unfolding transition pathway(s).

This licentiate thesis also includes a first attempt to apply the framework. In order to do this, I analyse the case of the BioInnovation Strategic Innovation Programme (SIP), a programme funded by Vinnova (the Swedish Innovation Agency), whose vision is that Sweden will have transformed into a bioeconomy by 2050. The programme focuses on system innovation in three main areas: chemical and energy, construction and design, and materials. Building on preliminary findings of this empirical application, I reflect upon the methodological and conceptual implications of such an approach and indicate opportunities for further research.

policy evaluation

transformative innovation policy

directionality

behavioural additionality

Online
Opponent: Erik Arnold, professor vid universitetet i Twente, adjungerad professor vid KTH, hedersprofessor vid University of Manchester samt medgrundare och styrelseordförande för Technopolis Group.

Author

Carolina Resende Haddad

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Subject Categories

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified

Publisher

Chalmers University of Technology

Online

Online

Opponent: Erik Arnold, professor vid universitetet i Twente, adjungerad professor vid KTH, hedersprofessor vid University of Manchester samt medgrundare och styrelseordförande för Technopolis Group.

More information

Latest update

10/21/2021