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Networked Transitions: Policy Coordination in Socio-Technical Innovation Systems

Kopp, Andreas Paul; (2021) Networked Transitions: Policy Coordination in Socio-Technical Innovation Systems. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Governments worldwide increasingly address challenges, such as climate change or sustainability transitions, through mission-oriented innovation policies, i.e. systemic policies that cut across sectors to target a societal problem. Achieving such missions requires socio-technical change and often results in so-called multi-technology innovations: technologies that comprise a set of complex, interacting sub-technologies of diverse characters and cater a multitude of socio-technical purposes. These innovations pose a challenge: They trigger coordination problems across policy domains, across government organisations with different interests, capacities, and mandates, as well as across policy design and implementation. However, although coordination problems are not new to public policy scholars, they remain largely unaddressed in the innovation policy context. Likewise, the innovation studies literature hardly considers the influence of public agencies in innovation systems. Combined, this merits the research question: How do public sector organisations and socio-technical innovation systems mutually shape each other, particularly in the context of mission-oriented policies? This thesis investigates the innovation systems of autonomous vehicles as an example of a multi-technology solution resulting from mission-oriented policies in three highly innovative economies: Singapore, Estonia, and Sweden. Relying on network analyses, semi-structured interviews, and process-tracing, it compares how hierarchical, market-based, and network-oriented policy coordination arrangements shape the public administration’s impact on the innovation system and vice-versa. In conclusion, socio-technical innovations, due to the challenges they trigger, shift policy coordination arrangements towards (intensified) network-oriented approaches. Accordingly, government organisations collaborate to enable the innovation system, rather than controlling it top-down or through market-based arrangements. ‘Networked transitions’, hence, allow systemic feedback loops to integrate policy design and implementation, to mitigate coordination failures, and to accelerate the system’s development towards fulfilling ‘the mission’.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Networked Transitions: Policy Coordination in Socio-Technical Innovation Systems
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Innovation, sustainability transition, political economy, policy coordination, public administration, innovation systems, autonomous vehicles, Singapore, Estonia, Sweden
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > STEaPP
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10136250
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