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Innovation, Complexity and Policy

Contributions from 30 years of innovation policy research in Austria

Edited By Matthias Weber

This book brings together a set of contributions that show the breadth and depth of the scientific work of Josef Fröhlich and his influence on Austrian research, technology and innovation (RTI) policy. It is edited in honour of the occasion of his retirement as Head of Innovation Systems Department at the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology. The contributors provide an overview of important issues of debate at the intersection of innovation studies and government policy, which have been pivotal for the modernisation and consolidation of the Austrian innovation system since the early 1990s.

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Futures of research and innovation: transformative scenarios and the dilemma of research and innovation policy (Matthias Weber / Petra Schaper-Rinkel / Susanne Giesecke)


Matthias Weber, Petra Schaper-Rinkel, Susanne Giesecke

Futures of research and innovation: transformative scenarios and the dilemma of research and innovation policy

Abstract: The digitalisation of research and innovation activities, the enhanced participation of stakeholders and citizens in these, and the growing claims for social accountability of publicly funded research are posing major challenges for research, technology and innovation (RTI) policy. While expectations with regard to the contributions of RTI to help tackle major societal challenges are high, the complex nature of research and innovation constrains the possibilities of targeted policy intervention. Based on an overview of current trends in the practices and organisational forms of research, this chapter highlights some important tensions arising from the interactions between these trends, and sketches transformative scenarios that may be triggered by them. The scenarios point to fields of action that will require the attention of RTI policy in the years to come, as well as to new types of policy strategies to help shape the future.

1 The twofold dilemma of research and innovation policy

Research findings and their implementation in the form of innovations are seen as having the potential to help tackle future challenges, be they economic (e.g. to promote growth), social (e.g. to fight inequality) or environmental (e.g. matters of security or climate change).

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