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Eu-SPRI 2022

Call for papers

Call for papers Eu-SPRI 2022 conference: Challenging Science and Innovation Policy

Utrecht, 1-3 June 2022. Hosted by Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University. 

We would like to invite you to submit papers for the 2022 Eu-SPRI conference: “Challenging Science and Innovation Policy”. The annual Eu-SPRI conference is the leading event in science, technology and innovation policy in Europe, with a broad attendance of scientists as well as policymakers. The key objectives of the conference are to provide a forum for scholars in the areas of research and innovation policy analysis, to exchange ideas, and to present findings across disciplinary boundaries.

This year’s conference theme will explore future directions for studies of policies for research and innovation with a special emphasis on the topics of Digitization, Open Science and Futuring. The conference will be hosted in Utrecht, the Netherlands. We expect more than 200 participants.

Topics to be addressed by the papers at the conference cover a broad spectrum of research questions, but with a specific emphasis on future challenges for STI policy research.

The deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 February 2022.

Papers may be submitted to one of the following special sessions, organized by scholars in the field:

This session starts from the assumption that the new demands that science is facing, have major implications for the relationship between science and policy. The role of science for policy has been analyzed for decades, resulting in a vast literature containing different conceptualizations of impact and accounts of processes through which the impact of science can materialize.

However, we see a combination of issues that warrant a new stab at conceptualizing and analyzing the impact of science on policy. First, the Covid crisis has reignited the debate about how science can be mobilized to increase society’s resilience and to be used for firefighting acute crises. Second, governments all over the world have committed themselves to proactively push for major, unprecedented transformations. The pendulum has swung back; after decades of rather limited state intervention in the development of socio-technical transformations, the state has now reclaimed responsibility for the direction and speed of such transformations. Given the urgency and complexity of transformations and the wicked problems they encompass, the state more than ever turns to science – not only for technical solutions, but also for advice on how policy can be framed to achieve its ambitious aims.

The modern science system has emerged and expanded based on massification of higher education, a belief in the linear model of science, and later a belief in science as a more direct source of innovations and entrepreneurship. But the growing demand on science to analyze and translate the complexity of transformation processes, and to contribute to solving the manifold challenges that our societies are facing, has become a driver of new policy designs for research. It is no longer assumed, for instance, that any investment in scientific research is likely to generate useful knowledge that can help address societal challenges. Mission-oriented policies highlight coordinated, intensive and long-term interaction between science and various societal stakeholders. This implies a shift in the analysis from the production and producers of knowledge, to knowledge users and their expectations and demands on science. Is todays’ science system tailored to meet the needs of the users, and how can science be better aligned with policy without deferring to the conflicting interests that come with a pluralized society? We know a lot about initiatives to steer science towards different forms of impact, but what do mission-oriented science and innovation policies require from the stakeholders that interact with science?

For this session, we are interested in conceptual and empirical work that takes into account the changing expectations to the contribution of science. In particular, we invite contributions about the interaction between science and policy with a special focus on the “user side” and how the policymaking arena engages in and makes demands on science. Different contributions about this user side are welcome, with the following suggestions of questions to be addressed:

  • Are there emerging forms of user engagement in scientific research? What effects does the engagement of user have on the practical application of research results?
  • What kinds of organizational structures are emerging to promote and facilitate the application/use of new knowledge to the solution of large-scale societal problems?
  • How do missions and similar umbrellas change the ways in which users interact with scientists in different research organisations?

We plan to put together a special journal issue based on selected contributions of the track. Further plans for this will be announced at the conference. We expect contributors to submit full paper drafts before the conference.

Proposed and organised by:

  • Jakob Edler (Fraunhofer)
  • Magnus Gulbrandsen (TIK/University of Oslo)
  • Jordi Molas-Gallart (INGENIO)
  • Silje M. Tellmann (TIK/University of Oslo)

As stated in the call for this conference research on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy has changed considerably in recent years, diversified in terms of topics and applications, and deepened with respect to theories and methods (Fagerberg and Verspagen 2009; Martin 2014). Parallel to this development, the practice and the theoretical understanding of futuring, foresight and other Forward-looking activities (FLA) for STI policy have undergone similar changes. This development has been described and discussed in several studies (Georghiou et al. 2008; Miles 2010). Innovation studies and academic analyses of FLA, respectively, have co-evolved over the years (Andersen and Andersen 2014). With strong roots in the 1950s and early targeted efforts in the 1970s, FLA for STI policy has seen a major boost since the 1980s, and FLA is now a widely acknowledge instruments instrument for policy-makers and stakeholders to understand future developments and to guide innovation policies (Edler and Fagerberg 2017). Practitioners have clearly played an important role, although several scholars have also acted as practitioners, though, e.g. by devising, managing, or advising FLA projects. While FLA projects and academic analyses on these activities over the years have imported insights on innovation from the field of innovation studies (Havas, Schartinger, and Weber 2010; Weber et al. 2012), there is still a huge potential for FLA to draw from, and contribute to, the broader field of innovation studies. This broader field includes science and technology studies, transitions research and STI policy studies. This also includes – but not confined to – potentials in the nexus between FLA and analytic concepts as sociotechnical imaginaries (Jasanoff and Kim 2009) or policy oriented concepts such as smart specialisation strategies (McCann and Ortega-Argilés 2013).

In parallel to this fruitful relationship between innovation studies and FLA, a growing number of FLA projects and academic research on FLA for policy-making has also emerged outside of the domain of innovation studies and STI policy. Examples include energy policy (Madlener, Kowalski, and Stagl 2007), forest policy (Carlsson et al. 2015) or urban development (Eames et al. 2013), water resource policy (Carter and White 2012). We see a potential in such studies position themselves in relation to the literature in the field of innovation studies (e.g. Brugger et al. 2021), and we intend to facilitate learning across these domains by covering these activities at the session.

For this session at the Eu-SPRI 2022 conference, we invite contributions on the future challenges for STI policy research and policy designs that analyse:

  • Novel academic insights from the wider field of innovation studies for FLA methods and practices, as well as for a better understanding of the role FLA in STI policy governance sub-systems.
  • Experiences from recent FLA projects from a wide variety of policy fields, but entailing conceptual or methodological implications for the field of innovation studies and STI policy.
  • Experiences with FLA for STI policies with academic relevance for innovation studies.
  • New developments in research methods and approaches for studying FLA.
  • New FLA methods and their impacts on making policy more future-sensitive.

Proposed and organised by:

  • Per Dannemand Andersen
  • Attila Havas
  • Matthias Weber


Andersen, Allan Dahl and Per Dannemand Andersen. 2014. “Innovation System Foresight.” Technological Forecasting and Social Change 88:276–86.

Brugger, Heike, Wolfgang Eichhammer, Nadezhda Mikova, and Ewa Dönitz. 2021. “Energy Efficiency Vision 2050: How Will New Societal Trends Influence Future Energy Demand in the European Countries?” Energy Policy 152.

Carlsson, Julia, Ljusk Ola Eriksson, Karin Öhman, and Eva-Maria Nordström. 2015. “Combining Scientific and Stakeholder Knowledge in Future Scenario Development — A Forest Landscape Case Study in Northern Sweden.” Forest Policy and Economics 61:122–34.

Carter, Jeremy G. and Iain White. 2012. “Environmental Planning and Management in an Age of Uncertainty : The Case of the Water Framework Directive.” Journal of Environmental Management 113:228–36.

Eames, Malcolm, Tim Dixon, Tim May, and Miriam Hunt. 2013. “City Futures: Exploring Urban Retrofit and Sustainable Transitions.” Building Research & Information 41(5):504–16.

Edler, Jakob and Jan Fagerberg. 2017. “Innovation Policy: What, Why, and How.” Oxford Review of Economic Policy 33(1):2–23.

Fagerberg, Jan and Bart Verspagen. 2009. “Innovation Studies—The Emerging Structure of a New Scientific Field.” Research Policy 38(2):218–33.

Havas, Attila, Doris Schartinger, and Matthias Weber. 2010. “The Impact of Foresight on Innovation Policy-Making: Recent Experiences and Future Perspectives.” Research Evaluation 19(2):91–104.

Jasanoff, Sheila and Sang Hyun Kim. 2009. “Containing the Atom: Sociotechnical Imaginaries and Nuclear Power in the United States and South Korea.” Minerva 47(2):119–46.

Luke Georghiou, Jennifer Cassingena Harper, Michael Keenan, Ian Miles, and Rafael Popper, eds. 2008. The Handbook of Technology Foresight: Concepts and Practice. Edward Elgar Pub.

Madlener, Reinhard, Katharina Kowalski, and Sigrid Stagl. 2007. “New Ways for the Integrated Appraisal of National Energy Scenarios: The Case of Renewable Energy Use in Austria.” Energy Policy 35(12):6060–74.

Martin, Ben R. 2014. R & D Policy Instruments – a Critical Review of What We Do and Don ’ t Know. Aalborg.

McCann, Philip and Raquel Ortega-Argilés. 2013. “Smart Specialization, Regional Growth and Applications to European Union Cohesion Policy.” Regional Studies 1–12.

Miles, Ian. 2010. “The Development of Technology Foresight: A Review.” Technological Forecasting and Social Change 77(9):1448–56.

Weber, K. M., J. C. Harper, T. Konnola, and V. Carabias Barcelo. 2012. “Coping with a Fast-Changing World: Towards New Systems of Future-Oriented Technology Analysis.” Science and Public Policy 39(2):153–65.

This track connects to the theme ‘The governance of STI policy – new players, new processes and new instruments’. It addresses new STI policy related mechanisms that have been created in the context of Covid-19 recovery and seeks to discuss how such policy mechanisms function as instruments of STI policy and potentially advance sustainability transitions.

As an example, many European Union member states have introduced Covid-19 recovery packages in response to the EU Recovery Plan for Europe: Next Generation EU’ (NGEU). The NGEU is divided into seven instruments, of which the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) is the largest. EU member states have aimed to design programmes to implement recovery packages in a way that also promotes just transitions to more environmental societies, and where in minimum 30% of funding is targeted to climate change mitigation. Furthermore, the packages under the RRF must apply the principle of “not doing significant harm to the environment”, which means that no funding shall worsen environmental conditions. Thus, the recovery packages can be seen as a horizontal policy measure that crosses the boundaries of finance, innovation, economic and environmental policies. They also offer potential for advancing sustainability transitions in the aftermath of the pandemic, but their influence on transitions is not certain. The impact is likely to depend on how genuinely attention is paid to, for example, transition dynamics and climate change mitigation in the design and implementation of the national recovery packages.

Next to the actual instruments, the governance process of developing and implementing these new multi-level and cross-cutting instruments requires attention. Not only do they involve the collaboration of a variety of political actors, but also call for an experimental and learning-based approach to governance as well as new ways of bundling resources and trading of various risks and opportunities. Experiences from member state and EU levels provide a range of novel insight into these new forms of governance.

This track calls for presentations on both EU-wide and country-specific analyses of Covid-19 recovery policies, and their links to STI policy as well as sustainability transitions. The papers can focus on the logic behind, preparation of, and/or implementation of Covid-19 recovery policies, and/or introduce more conceptual thoughts on what should be considered in Covid-19 recovery policymaking and policy evaluation in connection to transformative change. Some questions that the contributions may address include:

  • What kind of policies have been designed for Covid-19 recovery in given contexts (e.g. the EU, EU member state, region) and how do they link to STI policy and/or transitions?
  • What are the processes (rationale, decision making, governance, national context, etc.) behind the design of the recovery packages, and what has been the role of STI policy and/or transitions thinking?
  • What objectives and instruments characterise Covid-19 recovery packages and how are they likely to impact STI policy and/or transitions?
  • What are likely to be the short- and long-term impact of the recovery packages on transitions?
  • How can the recovery packages be compared to other historical recovery/stimulus packages from a transitions’ perspective?
  • How do recovery measures at different governance levels (national, supranational, regional) interact or relate to each other from a transitions’ perspective?
  • What impetus has Covid-19 provided for transition-oriented / transformative innovation policy?
  • What kind of conceptual, evaluation or assessment frameworks can be used to examine recovery packages in relation to STI policy and/or transitions?

Proposed and organised by:

  • Paula Kivimaa (Climate Change Programme, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE)
  • Sylvia Schwaag-Serger (Department of Economic History, Lund University)
  • Matthias Weber (Innovation Systems and Policy Center, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology)

In recent years, Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy has shifted its ambition from addressing market failures and supporting economic growth towards addressing grand societal challenges and directing new technologies to pursuing the public good. The orientation of STI towards such challenges was accompanied by a re-evaluation of the role of the state, as well as other political and social forces. The rate and direction of innovation is political. To understand them, we need to bridge the gulf between normative political theory and STI policy.

The aim of this SPRI 2022 session is to do so by examining the ethico-political and/or philosophical foundations and justifications for the design and implementation of certain types of STI policies. For example, policy proposals such as Mission-oriented Innovation Policies (Mazzucato 2018) could be pursued by different kinds of political regimes, pursuing radically different political goals. Such proposals therefore need to be supplemented with a vision of social justice or other political ideals and a clear account of how the state can and should engage in bringing these about through responsible science, technology and innovation breakthroughs (Papaioannou, 2020). This also raises questions about the implications of existing views about the role of economic policy in the context of theories of political legitimacy.

The character of STI policy very much depends on the nature of the state and its historical development as a condensation of social relations in different contexts. The recent proposals for Mission-oriented Innovation Policies in the contexts of Western liberal democracies (e.g. the EU, the UK and the US) require state agency that can engage in complex economic activities (risk-taking, collaboration, leadership) over long periods of time in order to pursue societal goals. However, such agency is not straightforward. Marxist and liberal theories of the state (e.g. structuralism, pluralism, public choice, etc.) argued that the state is easily subverted by factional interests (Jessop, 2007). Therefore, the question that remains unanswered is which conception of the state should underlie STI policy in this area?

This session will focus on the broad area of ethics and politics of STI policy and various contestations (from theoretical but also empirical viewpoints). Abstracts may address one or more of the following questions:

  • Which political ideals (e.g. justice, equality, autonomy) should science and innovation policies be aimed at?
  • How do democratic processes interact with STI policy?
  • What is the role of the individual in design and implementation?
  • What are the ethical limits of ‘public entrepreneurship’?
  • What is the difference between a political and an economic conception of the value of innovation?
  • What is the underlying picture of the state in science and innovation policy?
  • How can the discourse on Responsible Research and Innovation (Stilgoe et al. 2013) be expanded to guide missions?
  • What vision or theory of justice (Rawls 1999) can guide a legitimate state of innovation?
  • How can the notion of ‘public value’ guide science and innovation policy?

Proposed and organised by:

  • Lukas Fuchs (Philosophy & Ethics, Eindhoven University of Technology)
  • Theo Papaioannou (Innovation and Development, The Open University)


Jessop, B. (2007). State power: A strategic-relational approach, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Mazzucato, M. (2018). ‘Mission-oriented innovation policies: challenges and opportunities’. Industrial and Corporate Change, 27(5), 803-815.

Papaioannou, T. (2020). ‘Reflections on the entrepreneurial state, innovation and social justice’. Review of Evolutionary Political Economy, 1(2), 199-220.

Rawls, J. (1999). A theory of justice: Revised edition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard university press.

Stilgoe, J., Owen, R., & Macnaghten, P. (2013). Developing a framework for responsible innovation. Research policy, 42(9), 1568-1580.

Combining various topics of the Eu-SPRI 2022 conference (The governance of STI policy, Mission-oriented policies and Disruptive emerging technologies), this session aims to gain a broad spectrum of perspectives on the governance of developing digital ecosystems. Increasingly, we are developing and confronted with digital ecosystems (Morgan-Thomas, Dessart, & Veloutsou, 2020; Susskind, 2020). These ecosystems include information technology infrastructures, digital platforms, and virtual interactions in a variety of sectors with many different actors, such as the digital technologies needed to keep the Google Search engine (and its many services) running  (Van Dijck, Poell, & Waal, 2016; Lippert & Cloutier, 2021). Increasingly, these ecosystems include the non-digital, be that non-digital actors (humans or nature), physical infrastructures (sensors and data centres) and impacts in the non-digital world. As such, digital ecosystems and non-digital ecosystems have become entangled.

Digital ecosystems are not passive; they implicitly encapsulate ethical values and action frameworks, empower some actors and leave others in a more passive role (Danaher, 2019; Huldtgren, 2015; Lyytinen, Nickerson, & King, 2020; Van de Poel, 2020). Issues and consequences occur which require intervention, whether this is setting up new (more) ideal digital ecosystems, such as alternative social media initiatives like PubHubs and Public Spaces, or steering current digital ecosystems with policies, as the European Union is attempting with science technology and innovation policies such as the Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act (European Commission, 2021a, 2021b). For either intervention, it is crucial to think about the future (what would an ideal digital ecosystem entail) and the governance (how to get to these ideal digital ecosystems with science, technology and innovation policies) of digital ecosystems.

During this session, we first gain a broad understanding of digital ecosystems and their development and current governance through paper presentations concerning digital ecosystems in different sectors. Next, we look ahead and investigate what an ideal digital ecosystem would entail, and which policies and governance approaches are needed to guide digital ecosystems to support and include public values.

This session aims to discuss different types of digital ecosystems currently developing and how they are, can and should be governed. The session will be organized in two rounds:

  1. A paper presentation round. A call for papers related to the governance of digital ecosystems will lead to the selection of 5-6 papers to be presented. This part will take approximately 3 hours. We are specifically interested in papers discussing the development and government of current digital ecosystems which are entangled with the physical world, what issues occur in these infrastructures and how we could move towards a more ideal digital infrastructure. Topics to consider are, but not limited to digital ecosystems, governance, digital infrastructures, public values, cybersecurity, futuring and socio-technical imaginaries.
  2. A discussion round. Following the format of a round table, we intend to have a lively discussion. The participants of this round table are those who have presented their papers in the first round, invited stakeholders and other participants who wish to join. We aim to invite a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including (local) policy makers (for example, of a municipality) and civil society organizations concerned with digital ecosystems. The discussion will centre around the question: What does an ideal digital ecosystem entail and what governance and STI policies are needed to create this? This session will take approximately 2 hours.

Proposed and organised by:

  • Irene Niet (Eindhoven University of Technology)
  • Anne Marte Gardenier (Eindhoven University of Technology)


Danaher, J. (2019). Automation and Utopia: Human Flourishing in a World Without Work. Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Dijck, J. van, Poell, T., & Waal, M. de. (2016). De Platformsamenleving: Strijd om publieke waarden in een online wereld. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

European Commission. (2021a). The Digital Markets Act: Ensuring fair and open digital markets [Text].

European Commission. (2021b). The Digital Services Act package.

Huldtgren, A. (2015). Design for Values in ICTInformation and communication technologies. In J. van den Hoven, P. E. Vermaas, & I. van de Poel (Eds.), Handbook of Ethics, Values, and Technological Design: Sources, Theory, Values and Application Domains (pp. 739–767). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-6970-0_35

Lippert, K. J., & Cloutier, R. (2021). Cyberspace: A Digital Ecosystem. Systems, 9(3), 48. doi: 10.3390/systems9030048

Lyytinen, K., Nickerson, J. V., & King, J. L. (2020). Metahuman systems = humans + machines that learn. Journal of Information Technology, 0268396220915917. doi: 10.1177/0268396220915917

Morgan-Thomas, A., Dessart, L., & Veloutsou, C. (2020). Digital ecosystem and consumer engagement: A socio-technical perspective. Journal of Business Research, 121, 713–723. doi: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2020.03.042

Poel, I. van de. (2020). Embedding Values in Artificial Intelligence (AI) Systems. Minds and Machines, 30(3), 385–409. doi: 10.1007/s11023-020-09537-4

Susskind, J. (2020). Future Politics (1st ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Over fifty years ago, the futurologist Olaf Helmer wrote about science as a ‘modern profession’ (Helmer 1967), highlighting two major changes which would transform it in the years to come. The first was in science’s purpose, which in his view would become increasingly oriented towards societal needs. The second, framed as cause and condition for achieving the first, was in science’s methods, which would be radically disrupted by the second computer revolution, the growing importance of interdisciplinary teams and what he framed as ‘researcher-computer’ symbiosis.

Aligned with Helmer’s predictions, new digital technologies have been enjoying global policy support with the hope that digitalisation will help governments overcome a range of societal and economic challenges. EU-wide research and innovation programmes, such as Horizon 2020, as well as national funding mechanisms across EU members and other countries, have been part of this trend. For example, as early as 2014, the European Commission stressed their support for an ‘open, digital science’, which is to be continued via Horizon Europe programme 2021-27, where a ‘digital transition’ is one of the main goals (EC 2021). Cognisant of these developments, the OECD recently launched an initiative to better understand the impacts of digitalisation on science and how policy-making must respond (Nolan 2021).

Digitalisation, like information systems, can be broadly defined as the implementation of digital infrastructures that mediate everyday practices, including those unfolding in work environments. Scientific work has been influenced by digitalisation since the early days of the computer, whereas automation has been widely used in laboratory practice for at least a century (Olsen 2012). Different fields, from economics to organisational studies and information systems research, have demonstrated an interest in understanding the impacts of digitalisation on work practices (e.g. Balsmeier and Woerter 2019; Schultze and Orlikowski 2004; Pachidi et al. 2021). However, with some exceptions such as historical and sociological approaches on the computerisation of biology (Chow and García-Sancho 2012; Hilgartner 2017), most studies have focused on other sectors and occupations, which means that the impacts of digitalisation on scientific practices remain little understood (Furman and Teodoridis 2020). This is particularly the case where new robotic technologies and artificial intelligence methods (e.g. deep learning) are introduced in scientific spaces (Cockburn, Henderson and Stern, 2019).

This track invites empirical or theoretical papers that explore the relationship between digitalisation and scientific practices and reflect on its implications for science and innovation policy. Papers may be qualitative or quantitative (or both) and take different approaches, including, for example, organisational, sociological, historical, innovation and policy-focused analysis of the digitalisation of scientific practices.

Potential topics or areas of interest include but are not limited to the impacts of digitalisation on:

  • Creativity
  • Collaborations
  • Databases, databasing, and data control
  • Gender
  • Impact (e.g. societal challenges)
  • Knowledge production
  • Labour and working conditions
  • Productivity
  • Professional identities
  • Scientific careers

Proposed and organised by:

  • Barbara Ribeiro (MIoIR, University of Manchester)
  • David Barberà (Ingenio, Polytechnic University of Valencia)


Balsmeier, B., & Woerter, M. (2019). Is this time different? How digitalization influences job creation and destruction. Research Policy, 48(8):103765.

Chow-White, P.A., & García-Sancho, M. (2012). Bidirectional shaping and spaces of convergence: Interactions between biology and computing from the first DNA sequencers to global genome databases. Science, Technology, & Human Values, 37(1):124-164.

Cockburn, I.M., Henderson, R., & Stern, S. (2019). The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Innovation: An Exploratory Analysis (pp. 115-148). In Agrawal, A., Gans, J., & Goldfarb, A. (Eds.) The economics of artificial intelligence: an agenda. University of Chicago Press.

European Commission (2021). The EU Research & Innovation Programme 2021-27. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/research_and_innovation/strategy_on_research_and_innovation/presentations/horizon_europe/ec_rtd_he-investing-to-shape-our-future.pdf

Furman, J.L., & Teodoridis, F. (2020). Automation, research technology, and researchers’ trajectories: Evidence from computer science and electrical engineering. Organization Science, 31(2):330-354.

Helmer, O. (1967). The future of science. The RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California.

Hilgartner, S. (2017). Reordering life: knowledge and control in the genomics revolution. MIT Press.

Nolan, A. (2021). Artificial intelligence and the future of science. OECD.AI Policy Observatory. Available at: https://oecd.ai/en/wonk/ai-future-of-science

Olsen, K. (2012). The first 110 years of laboratory automation: Technologies, applications, and the creative scientist. Journal of Laboratory Automation, 17(6), 469–480.

Pachidi, S., Berends, H., Faraj, S., & Huysman, M. (2021). Make way for the algorithms: Symbolic actions and change in a regime of knowing. Organization Science, 32(1):18-41.

Schultze, U., & Orlikowski, W.J. (2004). A practice perspective on technology-mediated network relations: The use of Internet-based self-serve technologies. Information Systems Research, 15(1):87-106.

The Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) framework has been widely promoted – notably in the context of EU policies – to align research and innovation processes with societal needs, values, and ethical guideposts (von Schomberg, 2011). While this central idea of RRI – to take the normative dimension of research and innovation processes more seriously in the face of wicked problems and global challenges – is relatively unchallenged in the innovation and policy research community, questions regarding the actual application of the concept in a policy, research, and business context remain opaque.

Recently, different research projects have delved more deeply into the question of how RRI can be applied as a toolkit to help policy makers, scientists, and businesses (e.g., see https://rri-tools.eu/ or https://www.v4innovate.de/). Thus, guidelines and indicator systems are being developed and applied as an orientation for the development and diffusion of more (societally and environmentally) responsible technologies (e.g. van Mierlo et al., 2010; Wickson and Carew, 2014; Meijer and van de Klippe, 2020). However, the literature is still driven by ongoing debates addressing various unresolved issues around RRI. To mention just a few, traditionally, RRI has been applied to potential breakthrough technologies such as biotechnology, genetic engineering, and quantum computing. RRI, thus, arguably neglects innovation as a systemic phenomenon emerging in complex adaptive innovation systems (e.g. Owen 2019). In a similar vein, one could argue that the scope of RRI must be even further extended in order to adequately address social-economic transformation processes, for example to tackle Grand Societal Challenges such as the transition of the energy system towards carbon neutrality (e.g. Owen et al., 2013). Another fundamental challenge for governing innovation – especially in more complex innovation systems and networks – is that innovation processes are characterized by a high degree of uncertainty regarding their outcome. In combination with questions of agency (and retrospective vs. prospective responsibility), legitimacy, and directionality (e.g., Schlaile et al., 2017), this limits the ability to plan, control, and potentially intervene in the innovation process (see “Collingridge dilemma”). Against this backdrop, it is important to emphasize the distinguishing features of RRI as a concept, especially when compared to related concepts such as technology assessment, consumer co-creation etc. Finally, justified concerns have been raised that responsibility, ethics, and anticipation runs the risk of being reduced to the ticking of boxes when implementing RRI through funding policies (Åm, 2018).

With this session, we call for contributions to these and other ongoing debates on RRI both from conceptual, empirical, and practical angles.

Possible research questions to be addressed in this session (non-exhaustive):

  • How can RRI be applied to tackle Grand Societal Challenges (e.g., in policies, business models, or evaluation schemes)?
  • What are the most important criteria for appropriate RRI measurement and evaluation tools?
  • Can RRI serve as a governance platform for normatively-oriented (e.g., transformative & mission-oriented) innovation policies?
  • In which contexts can RRI be most suitably applied and measured?
  • How should appropriate indicators to measure RRI be selected – and by whom?
  • Who can apply RRI toolkits?
  • How can RRI be combined with the concept of innovation systems?
  • To what extent can responsible R&D processes be evaluated ex ante vs. ex post?
  • (How) can RRI be both legitimized and applied in the private sector and in large innovation networks?

Proposed and organised by:

  • Tobias Buchmann (ZSW)
  • Patrick Wolf (ZSW)
  • Matthias Müller (University of Hohenheim)
  • Michael P. Schlaile (University of Hohenheim, Cusanus University)
  • Marion Dreyer (Dialogik)
  • Frank Dratsdrummer (Dialogik)
  • Bianca Witzel (Dialogik)

Society needs more scientific knowledge that is directed to the global challenges it faces. Therefore, in recent years there has been an increasing demand for science policy and funding to be better aligned with societal challenges such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Compared with conventional research evaluation approaches that assess research in terms of its “impact” or “excellence” via citation analysis or peer-review, for example, the contribution of research to societal challenges is more complex and elusive. There is no linear way to guarantee that mobilizing research investments towards a specific SDG target, for example, will provide results that will be relevant to it. Also, research contributions that might help to solve a certain target usually depend on the context and may need to combine diverse types of knowledge (e.g. interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary or indigenous) and actors (e.g. researchers, civil society, politicians, private sector). To add to that, societal challenges such as the SDGs usually are more problematic in lower income contexts where the research systems are weaker and the capacity to solve those challenges are lower.

Although being a puzzling task, several policy approaches have been proposed to shape not only research but also technology and innovation towards the SDGs. They include mission-oriented approaches (e.g. Mazzucato, 2018; Miedzinski et al., 2019), roadmaps or integrated assessments (e.g. IATT, 2020), or the literature that focuses on the transformations/transitions that are required in the wider economy to achieve the SDGs (e.g. Sachs et al., 2019; Schot and Steinmueller, 2018). However, partially due to the complexity of the issues at hand, fewer efforts have been made in trying to understand what policies and incentives work best, and how to analyse and evaluate the efficacy of those approaches.

Aim of the session

In this special session, we would like to invite authors to present their original research on questions related to:

  1. What are the difficulties in attributing progress in SDG related challenges to specific research areas, and how to deal with conflicting results?
  2. How can we design research funding programs that incentivize positive impact on the SDGs and minimise the negative impacts, in a context in which different actors may have different views about what constitute positive/negative impacts?
  3. SDGs interact in positive and negative ways, and certain research trajectories/pathways might improve certain targets while impacting negatively other targets. How to develop analytical approaches that help to understand these trade-offs?
  4. What research evaluation practices can help to promote research relevant to societal challenges?
  5. How to mobilize international science to strengthen capacity building in contexts where societal challenges such as the SDGs are worst?
  6. How can we establish equitable research collaborations that allow addressing the SDG challenges in lower income countries?

Session organisation

The session is organised in the following way:

  1. We will present some of our empirical work in the STRINGS project[1] on mapping research in relation to the SDGs.
  2. We will invite colleagues from different geographies, sectors, and working on different SDGs, to present their work on the six issues described above.
  3. We will open the session to external participants that should submit original research related to the themes of the session.

Proposed and organised by:

  • Valeria Arza (CENIT-CONICET & Buenos Aires University)
  • Tommaso Ciarli (UNU-MERIT & SPRU, University of Sussex)
  • Hugo Confraria (SPRU, University of Sussex
  • Ed Noyons (CWTS, Leiden University)
  • Ismael Rafols (CWTS, Leiden University)


IATT, 2020. Guidebook for the Preparation of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for SDGs Roadmaps. doi:10.1017/CBO9781107415324.004

Mazzucato, M., 2018. Mission-Oriented Research & Innovation in the European Union: A problem-solving approach to fuel innovation-led growth. Brussels. doi:10.2777/36546

Miedzinski, M., Mazzucato, M., Ekins, P., 2019. A framework for mission-oriented innovation policy roadmapping for the SDGs : The case of plastic-free oceans (No. WP 2019—03). London.

Sachs, J.D., Schmidt-Traub, G., Mazzucato, M., Messner, D., Nakicenovic, N., Rockström, J., 2019. Six Transformations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Nat. Sustain. 2, 805–814. doi:10.1038/s41893-019-0352-9

Schot, J., Steinmueller, W.E., 2018. Three frames for innovation policy: R&D, systems of innovation and transformative change. Res. Policy 47, 1554–1567. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2018.08.011

Current societal challenges, such as the climate and energy crises, global health pandemics and intra-societal tensions, are calling for fundamental policy and institutional changes. Science, technology and innovation policy can play an important role in helping countries address these pressing issues in order to transition to post-crises governance systems that – ideally – are also designed to account for issues of sustainability and justice. In this light, social inclusion and diversity have achieved increasing attention as topics in STI scholarship studying transitions.

This panel aims to facilitate conversations that rethink ways to understand and research transitions by focusing on diversity and social inclusion. Studying diversity dimensions – such as gender, race, age, country of origin, culture, location, income and sexual orientation – in relation to issues of power dynamics, representation, justice, inclusion and (de)colonialization promises fruitful grounds for the field of science, technology and innovation policy. We invite research contributions from all disciplines, methodologies and theoretical approaches that include diversity dimensions – either singular or intersectional – in their analysis of policy instruments, actors, innovations and technolo-gies that are crucial for advancing socially inclusive transition processes in countries of the Global North, the Global South and in interaction between them.

We are particularly interested in scholarship that can speak to the following topics:

  • Critical theories can offer an original perspective to pro-actively shaping inclusive and di-verse technological and social innovation. We invite papers that use dimensions of diversity as a lens to analyze issues of justice, inclusion, power, representation and (de)colonization in transition processes to identify new players, processes and instruments for STI policy design and implementation.
  • We invite papers that critically engage with issues of intersectionality to assess the impact or rethink policy design and implementation of STI policy. Who is seen and represented? How do intersecting dimensions of diversity work? How can science, technology and inno-vation policies be designed to take intersectionality seriously? What is the role of the sci-entific research community in regard to intersectional diversity in transitions?
  • A growing body of literature analyzing issues of diversity in transitions has come from schol-arship looking at countries in the Global South. We invite papers from and about the Global South that identify best practices in regard to diversity in transition processes (locally, re-gionally or internationally). What can we learn from these practices for transitions in other countries and regions? How can STI policy prevent the deepening spatial polarization of knowledge and innovation while also promoting diversity and social inclusion on a regional and global level?

Proposed and organised by:

  • Joy Clancy (University of Twente)
  • Mariëlle Feenstra (TU Delft)
  • Anne Kantel (Fraunhofer ISI)
  • Sabine Preuß (Fraunhofer ISI)

We are in an era of rapid, major shifts in the global geopolitical and security landscape. Besides the Covid-19 pandemic, the world is influenced, e.g., by the securitisation of the economy and decoupling of US-China relations (Fjäder et al., 2021), increasing demand and competition for energy (Fadly, 2019; Kivimaa & Sivonen, 2021), growth in hybrid influence by major states such as China or Russia (Wigell, 2021), tightening security interests and hydrocarbon exploitation in the Arctic following polar ice retreat (Morgunova, 2020, 2021), new cyber threats, and recent events in Afghanistan. Further, progress in artificial intelligence (AI) has sparked the interest of militaries to maintain global security, while AI poses risks to personal freedom and privacy (Masakowski, 2020). While these changes are gaining increasing attention, for example, in the context of energy or cyber space, they have been relatively little addressed in the context of innovation policy. As a rare example, Edler et al. (2021) have noted that growing geopolitical uncertainties and threat of global trade conflicts place attention to a principle of technology sovereignty as one element of future-oriented innovation policy.

These phenomena connect with the unfolding and in places accelerating sustainability transitions and technological development, for example, in energy, mobility, food, AI, and health. For example, regions and nations depend on global supply chains, markets and trade relations. Thus, transitions and technological development affect and are affected by the global dynamics. Yet, geopolitics may hinder the types of international or transnational cooperation needed to support transitions. Despite these connections, sustainability transitions research, that the transformative innovation policy approach draws from, or AI research have paid little attention to the knock-on effects to geopolitics and security, while emerging attention is devoted to questions of global justice and decolonialisation. Too little attention has also been paid to the effects of geopolitics or developments that are perceived ‘unjust’ on the success of transitions. Likewise, geopolitics and security have not yet been prevalent concerns in the calls for and renewal of innovation policy towards transformative innovation policy. While such transformative innovation policy has emphasised the global context and ‘inclusivity’, elements of just transitions, it has not had a broader outlook on the perspective of just transitions.

This track aims to open discussion on (1) geopolitics and security and (2) global justice in the context of transformative innovation policy, and other similar efforts in redirecting innovation policy to be more in line with sustainability transitions thinking. It welcomes presentations on the two aspects separately or in combination, and both empirical sector-focused studies and more conceptual deliberations. Some questions that the presentations can address, include:

  • What are relevant global security and justice issues connected to sustainability transitions, AI or pharma?
  • How should innovation policy take into account the effects of transitions it advances on global security and justice?
  • What role can and should global security and justice play in changing STI-policy frameworks?
  • How can or should geopolitical shifts be reflected on in transformative innovation policy?
  • What kind of conceptual, analytical or evaluation frameworks can be built around connecting global security and/or justice to STI policy?

Proposed and organised by:

  • Paula Kivimaa (Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, Climate Change Programme & SPRU, University of Sussex)
  • Jakob Edler (Fraunhofer ISI & Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, Alliance Manchester Business School)


Edler, J., Blind, K., Frietsch, R., Kimpeler, S., Kroll, H., Lerch, C., Reiss, T., Roth, F., Schubert, T., Schuler, J., & Walz, R. (2021). Technology sovereignty. From demand to concept. Fraunhofer ISI Working Paper.

Fadly, D. (2019). Low-carbon transition: Private sector investment in renewable energy projects in developing countries. World Development, 122, 552–569.

Fjäder, C., Helwig, N., & Wigell, M. (2021). Recognizing ‘geoeconomic risk’ : Rethinking corporate risk management for the era of great-power competition. https://www.fiia.fi/julkaisu/recognizing-geoeconomic-risk?utm_source=fiia_julkaisutiedote&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=fiia_BP314

Kivimaa, P., & Sivonen, M. H. (2021). Interplay between low-carbon energy transitions and national security: An analysis of policy integration and coherence in Estonia, Finland and Scotland. Energy Research and Social Science.

Masakowski, Y.R. (ed.) (2020). Artificial Intelligence and Global Security. Emerald Publishing Limited.

Morgunova, M. (2020). Why is exploitation of Arctic offshore oil and natural gas resources ongoing? A multi-level perspective on the cases of Norway and Russia. Polar Journal, 10(1), 64–81.

Morgunova, M. (2021). The Extractive Industries and Society The role of the socio-technical regime in the sustainable energy transition : A case of the Eurasian Arctic. The Extractive Industries and Society, May, 100939. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2021.100939

Wigell, M. (2021). Democratic Deterrence: How to Dissuade Hybrid Interference. Https://Doi.Org/10.1080/0163660X.2021.1893027, 44(1), 49–67.

Governments, universities, research organizations and/or firms create international scientific consortia in which they make a formal agreement to collaborate towards accomplishing a scientific goal. These consortia are understood as important policy tools for addressing societal issues. They study for instance possible responses to global health emergencies, catalyse brain research to improve medical treatments, or develop new, clean energy sources. Policy makers and policy researchers focus mostly on the establishment of consortia and on their outcomes, such as scientific findings, patents or (regional) socio-economic impact.

In the meantime, however, between set-up and results consortia run into challenges. Cost overruns, delays and conflicts are common. Many of these challenges seem to be due to the fact that the consortia are not isolated entities, but consist of individuals and organizations with many ties to other parts of the research system and society. Dynamics and developments in the outside world perpetuate inside the consortia and influence their efficiency. However, the exact mechanisms behind the emergence of the challenges are mostly unknown. And so are adequate science policy responses for prevention or mitigation of such issues.

In this session we would like to investigate consortium challenges and explore how to prevent or mitigate them via policy innovations and new organization designs. We also want to reflect on the relation between policy makers and a consortium community during the time a consortium is up and running. We would like to invite contributors from any disciplinary background enthused by these aims to share their ideas. Since some of the described issues are not exclusive to consortia, we also welcome similar studies on other forms of research collaboration.

Dynamics and developments in the outside world often manifest as tensions inside consortia. Potential contributions could then for instance describe, analyse or reflect upon (policy tools related to) such tensions. Tensions arise for example, but not exclusively, between: different scientific disciplines collaborating in the consortium; researchers and administrators; individual careers and consortium goals; local work and global connections; established consortium partners and newcomers; the inertia in researchers’ epistemic cultures and policy makers’ wish for versatility (Hackett et al., 2004); scientific curiosity and societal demand for solutions; commercial interests and the scientific ideal to share knowledge freely; and geopolitical tensions and local working relationships.

We are especially interested in policy tools and organization designs that deal with the issue of bridging scales: organizational scales (bridging between society, scientific fields, organizations, project groups and individuals), spatial scales (bridging between the global, regional and the local) and temporal scales (bridging between the paces of scientific research, research careers, scientific field dynamics, construction times, day-to-day work, policy cycles and societal change).

Proposed and organised by:

  • Richelle Boone
  • Kaela Slavik
  • Simcha Jong


Hackett, E. J., Conz, D., Parker, J., Bashford, J., & DeLay, S. (2004). Tokamaks and turbulence: research ensembles, policy and technoscientific work. Research Policy, 33(5), 747-767.

Our societies face various ‘grand challenges’ related to environmental and social sustainability (e.g. climate crisis, loss of biodiversity, resource depletion, poverty, malnutrition) requiring swift action. The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) embody the key sustainability challenges transformative innovation policy should address. However, radical societal change processes necessary to solve those grand challenges always create winners and losers, and are fundamentally intertwined with questions of inequality and social justice (Bennett, et al. 2019). Accounting for social justice in transformative innovation policy is crucial, of course, from a normative standpoint. We need to ensure just decision-making processes (procedural justice), a fair distribution of harms and benefits arising from transformative change (distributive justice), as well as inclusion, non-discrimination and respect for marginalized social groups (justice as recognition) because it is simply the right thing to do. However, there are also important instrumental reasons for needing to consider justice in transformative change processes. A failure to do so might lead to a loss of societal acceptance of policies and transition pathways, and ultimately slow down or hinder much needed change (as the French yellow vest movement illustrates) (Williams and Doyon 2019). Further, issues of social justice and equity speak to fundamental tenets of democracies, and, if lacking, feed mistrust in political institutions, and at the same time may have geopolitical implications (tensions and conflicts or migration waves as a consequence of unfair use of or access to land and water resources) (Swilling and Annecke 2012; Feola 2020).

Thus, unsurprisingly, there is growing interest from academics and practitioners in the role social justice plays in achieving societal change. Connected to the notion of a ‘just transition’, a growing body of literature focuses on the procedure of exnovating from of carbon-intensive technologies and industries and how this affects workers livelihoods or regional structural stability, e.g. coal miners and mining-regions in the phase-out of coal (Heyen et al. 2020; Newell and Mulvaney 2013). Another ongoing and much-promising debate concerns the ‘dark sides’ of innovations, looking into unintended negative consequences of social and technological innovations (Biggi and Giuliani 2021; Fougère and Meriläinen 2021). Building on environmental and climate justice research, scholars have created different frameworks to conceptualise social justice in transformative change with the most commonly used framework being the three-tenet justice approach (Walker 2012; Williams and Doyon 2020; Kaljonen et al. 2021). Despite this spike in interest in issues of equity and justice, there is a need to go beyond this three-dimensional approach to justice and paint a more comprehensive picture of justice in transformative change.

As there remains much work to do for scholars of transformative innovation policy, this session invites contributions reflecting on, or providing empirical evidence of, the guiding question:

 To what extent, and through which means, can or should science and innovation policies and practices contribute to achieving just(er) transitions?

Specific sub-questions include:

  • In science and innovation policy processes, how is justice imagined, envisioned and talked about, what dimensions of justice are possibly ignored, and why?
  • How does science and innovation policy create new social and environmental injustices (‘dark sides’), or contribute to ‘problem shifting’?
  • How are the benefits and harms arising from science and innovation policy distributed across social groups or geographical spaces?
  • What are possible injustices in procedures and decision-making processes underlying science and innovation policy, and how can they be avoided?
  • How are (marginalised) communities, their views, visions and types of knowledge included into science and innovation policy processes?

Proposed and organised by:

  • Linda Widdel
  • Stephanie Daimer
  • Katharina Schiller
  • Minna Kaljonen
  • Annika Lonkila


Bennett, Nathan, Jessica Blythe, Andrés M. Cisneros-Montemayor, Gerald Singh, U. R. Sumaila, Nathan J. Bennett, and Gerald G. Singh. 2019. Just Transformations to Sustainability. Sustainability 11 (3881).

Biggi, Gianluca, and Elisa Giuliani. 2021. The noxious consequences of innovation: what do we know? Industry and Innovation 28 (1): 19–41.

Feola, Giuseppe. 2020. Capitalism in sustainability transitions research: Time for a critical turn? Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 35:241–50.

Fougère, Martin, and Eija Meriläinen. 2021. Exposing three dark sides of social innovation through critical perspectives on resilience. Industry and Innovation 28 (1): 1–18.

Heyen, Dirk A., Luisa Menzemer, and Franzisika Wolff. 2020. Just transition in the context of EU environmental policy and the European Green Deal: Issue Paper under Task 3 of the ‘Service contract on future EU environment policy’, Freiburg.

Kaljonen, M., Kortetmäki, T., Tribaldos, T., Huttunen, S., Karttunen, K., Maluf, R.S., Niemi, J., Saarinen, M., Salminen, J., Vaalavuo, M., Valsta, L. 2021. Justice in transitions: widening considerations of justice in dietary transition. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 40, 474-485.

Newell, Peter, and Dustin Mulvaney. 2013. The political economy of the ‘just transition’. The Geographical Journal 179 (2): 132–40.

Swilling, Mark, and Eve Annecke. 2012. Just Transitions: Explorations of sustainability in an unfair world. New York: United Nations University Press.

Walker, Gordon. 2012. Environmental Justice. Routledge.

Williams, Stephen, and Andréanne Doyon. 2020. The Energy Futures Lab: A case study of justice in energy transitions. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions (37): 290–301.

Williams, Stephen, and Andréanne Doyon. 2019. Justice in energy transitions. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 31:144–53.

The revitalization of challenge-led and mission-oriented innovation policies (MOIP) has given advances in the operationalization of their multi-level nature (Mazzucato 2018, 2021; Kattel and Mazzucato 2018), in the framing of the complexity, contestation and uncertainties of the problem-solution space of missions (Wanzenböck et al. 2020), and in the understanding and conceptualization of various forms of mission initiatives (Fisher et al. 2018; Janssen 2020; Janssen et al. 2021; Larrue 2021). However, we still need a better understanding of whether and how challenge-led and mission-oriented innovation policy approaches are conditioned by, or could be used to support, place-specific characteristics and development paths.

The emergence of the third generation of innovation policies (Schot and Steinmueller 2018), has prompted a debate around the relationship and roles across the so-called second and third generation of innovation policies (Giuliani 2018; Fagerberg 2018; Alkemade, Hekkert, and Negro 2011; Diercks, Larsen, and Steward 2019; Hekkert et al. 2020). The core of this discourse concerns to what extent new and directional policies required to address and tackle grand societal challenges necessitates radically revamping and replacing existing resources, competencies and policies (Schot and Steinmueller 2018), or whether such existing assets should be seen as vital building blocks for the various socio-technical transitions that lie ahead (Fagerberg 2018; Giuliani 2018).

A geographical approach can help us better understand the relationship between a break with existing resources or building upon the same resources in achieving required changes. Following earlier contributions that have sought to improve our understanding of how socio-technical transitions are conditioned by geography (Binz et al. 2020; Coenen, Benneworth, and Truffer 2012; Coenen and Truffer 2012; Hansen and Coenen 2015), one could argue that there is currently a need for a better understanding of whether and how challenge-led and mission-oriented innovation policies relate to existing policies, geographical specificities and domain-specific systems of innovation.

As part of such an ambition there is a need for exploring whether and how innovation policies could incorporate new directional elements at the same time as relating to existing policy measures, i.e. either adding to and/ or deviating from previous policy initiatives and incentives (Bugge, Andersen, and Steen 2021). Various countries, regions and domains are likely to have specific socio-economic configurations and institutional set-ups that are favorable for challenge-led or mission-oriented approaches, whereas other contexts may require more radical breaks through transformative innovation policies (e.g. OECD 2021). There is thus a need to better understand the place-based conditions for third generation.

Innovation policies that aim at supporting acceleration of innovation and/or transforming existing socio-technical systems (Wittmann et al. 2021). In this session we invite contributions that aim to investigate these topics and challenges, as well as other aspects related to the development and implementation of challenge-led and mission-oriented innovation policies. Topics that may be addressed may include (but are not limited to):

  • Empirical documentation of cases of challenge-led and mission-oriented innovation policies
  • Conceptual approaches to challenge-led and mission-oriented innovation policies
  • Whether, how and why challenge-led and mission-oriented innovation policies vary geographically
  • The role of challenge-led and mission-oriented innovation policies at different geographical scales
  • Place-based conditions for different types of challenge-led and mission-oriented innovation policies (e.g. smaller-scale ‘accelerator’ initiatives vs larger and more transformative missions)
  • Policy variation across varieties of capitalism/different institutional contexts
  • Balancing top-down governance and bottom-up anchoring and legitimacy in challenge-led and mission-oriented innovation policies (Bugge and Siddiq 2021; Uyarra and Flanagan 2021)
  • Studies of the political processes behind challenge-led and mission-oriented innovation policies
  • Policy measures (e.g. innovative public procurement) and institutional entrepreneurship (e.g. intersectoral approaches) that may underpin challenge-led and mission-oriented innovation policies
  • Understanding how challenge-led and mission-oriented innovation policies as policy concepts travel across space (policy mobility)

We aim at putting together a special issue based on selected papers from the session.

Proposed and organised by:

  • Markus M. Bugge (TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo)
  • Teis F. Hansen (University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics)
  • Håkon E. Normann (NIFU Nordic institute for studies in innovation, research & education)
  • Markus Steen (SINTEF Digital, Department of Technology Management)
  • Elvira Uyarra (Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIoIR) Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester)


Alkemade, F.; M.P. Hekkert; and S.O. Negro. 2011. Transition policy and innovation policy: Friends or foes? Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions:125-129.

Binz, C.; L. Coenen; J.T. Murphye; and B. Truffer. 2020. Geographies of transition—From topical concerns to theoretical engagement: A comment on the transitions research agenda. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 34:1-3.

Bugge, M.M.; A.D. Andersen; and M. Steen. 2021. The role of regional innovation systems in mission-oriented innovation policy: exploring the problem-solution space in electrification of maritime transport. European Planning Studies:1-22.

The early 21st century has been a time of urgent societal challenges, especially in fields with strongly perceived injustice such as sustainability and health. One approach to tackle these is social innovation (SI). Such SI has been the target of increasing policy efforts and has attracted scholarly examination from different disciplines, yielding conceptual ambiguities and efforts to resolve these (Benneworth et al., 2015; Van der Have and Rubalcaba, 2016). We draw attention to efforts emphasising four crucial points. First, we observe a (renewed) interest in SI as a means to meet unmet needs that the private sector might not consider worth its while (Murray et al., 2010). Second, we see increased attention to SI processes’ multifaceted nature, actor constellations, and dependencies and their contextualisation (Haxeltine et al., 2015; Wittmayer et al., 2020). The third point is to draw attention to changing social relations (Avelino et al., 2019) and impacts of SI in terms of environmental or employment effects (Walz et al., 2019), examining not just processes but outcomes of SI. Fourth and crucially, some go a step further in valuing outcome-oriented SI as changing ‘the rules of the game’. This has been labelled transformative SI (Pel et al., 2020), building on ‘transformative innovation policy’ research (Schot and Steinmueller, 2018).

Foregrounding non-linear contextualised SI processes that may reach transformative, system-level outcomes is of particular interest in fields like sustainability and health. These fields are highly regulated and highly mediatised, aim to serve strongly perceived unmet needs, and feature a diverse set of actors with relatively well-established interests and path-dependencies. Such a focus raises questions on connections between socio-material practices and system dynamics and outcomes, including justice and empowerment effects, also in socio-economic contexts beyond the ‘global North’.

We seek to bring together critical social innovation policy scholars in sustainability and health that moves away from current path-dependencies towards transformative social change. Papers may address or be related to the following topics:

  • Transformative policy-making, including policy mixes
  • Generalisation, diffusion and scaling
  • Social justice, empowerment and just transitions
  • Responsible Research & Innovation
  • Futures and narratives
  • Strategic behaviour and institutional entrepreneurs
  • Experiments and other niche locales
  • Evaluation, assessment and long-term impact

Proposed and organised by:

  • Tineke Kleinhout-Vliek (Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University)
  • Wouter Boon (Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University)
  • Jarno Hoekman (Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University)
  • Effie Amanatidou (Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, University of Manchester)
  • Sabine Hielscher (Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex)
  • Katrin Ostertag (Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research)
  • Tanja Kaufmann (Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research)
  • Jürgen Howaldt (Social Research Centre, Technical University of Dortmund)
  • Karoline Rogge (Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research / Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex)


Avelino, F., Wittmayer, J. M., Pel, B., Weaver, P., Dumitru, A., Haxeltine, A., …&O’Riordan, T. (2019). Transformative social innovation and (dis) empowerment. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 145, 195-206.

Benneworth P., Amanatidou, E., Edwards Schachter M., Gulbrandsen, M., (2015). Social innovation futures: beyond policy panacea and conceptual ambiguity. TIK Working Papers on Innovation Studies No. 20150127

Edwards-Schachter, M., Wallace, M.L.. (2017). ‘Shaken, but not stirred’: Sixty years of defining social innovation, Technol. Forecast. Soc. Change 119, 64–79

Haxeltine A, René Kemp, Adina Dumitru, Flor Avelino, BonnoPel and Julia Wittmayer (2015). TRANSIT WP3 deliverable D3.2 – “A first prototype of TSI theory” Version 1.1 of 30th April 2015

Murray Robin, Julie Caulier-Grice, Geoff Mulgan. (2010). The Open Book of Social Innovation. Social Innovator Series: Ways To Design, Develop And Grow Social Innovation. The Young Foundation and NESTA.

Pel, B., Haxeltine, A., Avelino, F., Dumitru, A., Kemp, R., Bauler, T., …&Jørgensen, M. S. (2020). Towards a theory of transformative social innovation: A relational framework and 12 propositions. Research Policy, 49(8), 104080.

Schot, J., &Steinmueller, W. E. (2018). Three frames for innovation policy: R&D, systems of innovation and transformative change. Research Policy, 47(9), 1554-1567.

Van der Have R. P., Rubalcaba L. (2016). Social innovation research: An emerging area of innovation studies? Research Policy 45, 1923–1935.

Walz, R., Oldenburg, C.; Pfaff, M., Schuler, J., Gotsch, M., Marscheider-Weidemenn, F., Hiete, M. (2019): Wider economic and social implications of sustainable economy approaches: Some insights from a scenario exercise. GAIA 28 /S1, 190-197

Wittmayer, J. M., de Geus, T., Pel, B., Avelino, F., Hielscher, S., Hoppe, T., …&Härtwig, A. (2020). Beyond instrumentalism: Broadening the understanding of social innovation in socio-technical energy systems. Energy Research & Social Science, 70, 101689.

Two concurrent policy objectives may frequently be observed in the innovation context: to guarantee the safety and wellbeing of the public and to ensure the international competitiveness of industries. These objectives may be in tension, especially in the case of ‘emerging technologies’ (Rotolo et al., 2015), which hold great potential for fostering economic growth, but are characterized by high levels of uncertainty and ambiguity about potential risks derived from their use. Two mechanisms to control this uncertainty while promoting innovation are regulation and standards (Blind et al., 2017).

Regulatory agencies may effectively endorse the adoption of an emerging technology by establishing rules which are difficult to comply with using existing technologies (Lee et al., 2010) and/or by making the proof of compliance much easier for the technology which is best aligned with the public goals (Wagner, 2000). Alternatively, they can engage in dialogue with members of the private sector, who may propose ideas how to regulate a new technology in a way that causes the least impact on their operations (Coglianese and Lazer, 2003; Downer, 2010). The number and variety of emerging technologies for which current rules are not effectively applicable has skyrocketed during the past decades; this has triggered many industries to rethink their approaches to the regulation of technical risks (Bonnin Roca and O’Sullivan, 2020; Mandel, 2009). Against this background, regulators now often engage in discussions with interdisciplinary teams to analyse existing scientific evidence (Oye, 2012), while at the same time remaining neutral and avoiding ‘picking winners’ (neither technologies nor firms) (Greenberg, 2015).

Standards may have a substantial impact on innovation (Blind and Gauch, 2009; Ho and O’Sullivan, 2017). Specifically, they have been found to lead to higher innovation efficiency than regulation when market uncertainty is high (Blind et al., 2017).  Standards may define minimum safety/quality levels and the methods to establish whether or not an innovation adheres to them, specify interfaces and disseminate information (Swann, 2010). This makes them relevant for the policy tension outlined above; they may concretise regulation, complement it in some cases (e.g. in the EU’s ‘New Approach’) and substitute it in others (Haufler, 2013). Their emergence may be initiated by governments, by committees of experts and/or by markets (Wiegmann et al., 2017).

Both regulation and standards impact the tension between promoting safety and technology adoption, but do so through different mechanisms. This makes studies on their interplay a highly relevant topic in the innovation policy context. In this track, we invite studies addressing this, for example by considering the following topics:

  • How to use standards and regulation to balance the needs for safety and innovation?
  • How to foster communication between public and private sectors/ecosystems while limiting the risks of regulatory capture?
  • How to tailor standards and regulations to the needs of each technology (and should this be done in the first place)?
  • Impacts of standards and regulation not directly addressed at safety (e.g., interface standards) on the potential tension between safety and technology adoption.
  • Comparisons between different policy approaches to the interplay of standards and regulation in innovation contexts.
  • Any others which, in a broad manner, examine the role of standards or regulation in innovation.

Proposed and organised by:

  • Jaime Bonnin Roca (TU Eindhoven)
  • Kai Jakobs (RWTH Aachen University)
  • Parth Vaishnav (University of Michigan)
  • Paul Moritz Wiegmann (TU Eindhoven)


Blind, K., Gauch, S., 2009. Research and standardisation in nanotechnology: evidence from Germany. J Technol Transf 34, 320–342. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10961-008-9089-8

Blind, K., Petersen, S.S., Riillo, C.A.F., 2017. The impact of standards and regulation on innovation in uncertain markets. Research Policy 46, 249–264. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2016.11.003

Bonnin Roca, J., O’Sullivan, E., 2020. The role of regulators in mitigating uncertainty within the Valley of Death. Technovation 102157. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.technovation.2020.102157

Coglianese, C., Lazer, D., 2003. Management-based regulation: Prescribing private management to achieve public goals. Law & Society Review 37, 691–730.

Downer, J., 2010. Trust and technology: the social foundations of aviation regulation: Trust and technology. The British Journal of Sociology 61, 83–106. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-4446.2009.01303.x

Greenberg, B.A., 2015. Rethinking Technology Neutrality. Minn. L. Rev. 100, 1495–1562.

Haufler, V. (2013). A public role for the private sector: Industry self-regulation in a global economy. Carnegie Endowment.

Ho, J. Y., & O’Sullivan, E. (2017). Strategic standardisation of smart systems: A roadmapping process in support of innovation. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 115, 301-312.

Lee, J., Veloso, F.M., Hounshell, D.A., Rubin, E.S., 2010. Forcing technological change: A case of automobile emissions control technology development in the US. Technovation 30, 249–264. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.technovation.2009.12.003

Mandel, G.N., 2009. Regulating Emerging Technologies. Law, Innovation and Technology 1, 75–92. https://doi.org/10.1080/17579961.2009.11428365

Oye, K.A., 2012. Proactive and adaptive governance of emerging risks: The case of DNA synthesis and synthetic biology. International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) as part of project work on public sector governance of emerging risks.

Rotolo, D., Hicks, D., Martin, B.R., 2015. What is an emerging technology? Research Policy 44, 1827–1843. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2015.06.006

Swann, G.M.P., 2010. International Standards and Trade: A Review of the Empirical Literature. OECD, Paris. https://doi.org/10.1787/5kmdbg9xktwg-en

Wagner, W.E., 2000. Triumph of Technology-Based Standards, The. U. Ill. L. Rev. 83.

Wiegmann, P.M., de Vries, H.J., Blind, K., 2017. Multi-mode standardisation: A critical review and a research agenda. Research Policy 46, 1370–1386. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2017.06.002

We are proposing a session that invites contributions from academic scholars and policy practitioners on the provision and use of knowledge bases and policy intelligence tools to inform system-level transformative STI policy. By ‘policy intelligence tools’, we refer to a range of knowledge sources and practices that can inform STI policy, including, but not limited to, STI indicators, quantitative modelling, semantic analysis, foresight and technology assessment, and evaluation and monitoring.

Ongoing global sustainability challenges highlight the need for system-level transformations of our economies and societies. Transforming STI policies so that they better contribute to sustainability transitions, resilience and inclusion likely requires altogether different policy frameworks and practices from those commonly used today. This includes the knowledge, analysis and evidence on which STI policy draws. The limitations of traditional frameworks for the provision of knowledge and policy relevant analysis are becoming increasingly evident, prompting calls for reflection, reconceptualization and experimentation.

Much of the required knowledge and evidence for transformative STI policies is not readily available, requiring new ways to collect, organise and deploy evidence. In this regard:

  • There is likely considerable STI indicator potential in emerging monitoring systems meant to inform global efforts towards fighting climate change and sustainability transitions, ranging from measurements of physical systems, to digital footprints, and administrative data linked to policy delivery and regulatory enforcement. Among several challenges, the boundaries of STI, and how it should be measured, remain unclear in this new setting that encompasses novelties at the niche/organisational, regime and system-levels.
  • Besides rethinking what knowledge and evidence is collected and how, there is an associated need to identify the kinds of policy intelligence that can most usefully support transformative STI policy, particularly since agency is distributed among numerous stakeholders and traverses domain portfolios and levels of governance. Attempting to answer this question can raise possibilities for collective intelligence and pervasively accessible signalling mechanisms, in contrast to report and indicator-driven policy intelligence frameworks.
  • These new demands for knowledge and intelligence likely require new or significantly adapted knowledge institutions and infrastructures, as well as new skills and organisational capabilities – essentially a transition of policy intelligence itself. But like all transitions, there are considerable path dependencies and lock-ins that could hamper the emergence of new ways to collect, organise and deploy policy intelligence. New concepts and experiments may need to be accompanied by unlearning and de-stablisation of existing evidence regimes and systems.

The aim of this proposed session is to engage in a critical discussion with academics and policy practitioners and facilitate international learning. In doing so we hope to inform the development of policy intelligence at the OECD and the JRC that continues to be timely and relevant as our collective work transitions towards new framings of STI policy. This effort is linked specifically to two parallel projects by the OECD (“S&T Policy 2025” initiative) and the JRC (Innovation Strategies for Sustainability, S4), which are unique in sharing explicitly transformative framings and objectives. The two initiatives draw inspiration from transformative innovation policy literature and build on many years of fruitful cooperation between the OECD and the European Commission.

Possible topics to examine under this session and invite papers:

  • new ways to conceptualise, measure, model and evaluate STI policy
  • statistics frameworks and associated systems
  • new sources and forms of data for transformative innovation policy
  • the role of evidence in legitimising transitions
  • the role of policy reviews (such as the OECD’s Reviews of Innovation Policy or the JRC’s POINT Reviews) in support of transformative innovation policy
  • foresight, technology assessment and other tools to inform forward-looking perspectives in STI policy
  • quantitative modelling tools in support of policy
  • new forms of evaluation, reconciling transformative potential with accountability
  • policy monitoring systems and their effects on coordination
  • monitoring frameworks for strategic policy, including missions
  • policy intelligence in support of whole of government approaches to STI policy
  • signalling systems complementary to prices for sustainability transitions
  • the meaning and measurement of structural change in system-level innovation
  • the social dimension of STI policy intelligence
  • the need for new or significantly adapted knowledge institutions and infrastructures to co-produce policy intelligence
  • skills and organisational capabilities needed to co-produce and utilise new forms of policy intelligence

Space entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk (SpaceX, Tesla), Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin, Amazon) and Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic, Virgin Group) have captured media attention recently, launching space tourists to the edge of space, and into orbit, as well as proclaiming much grander goals, such as Mars colonisation (Musk 2017) and privately funded and operated commercial space stations.

Whilst such activity captures one element of what many in the space sector label “New Space” (Peeters 2018), it is only a part of a broader transformation occurring over the past decades in the space sector (Paulino 2021, Yap and Truffer 2021). The space economy has grown from a handful of space-faring nations to over 75 countries with increasing activity and variety of space activities (Mazzucato and Robinson 2018). Also, new and varied private actors and intermediaries are entering the space domain, with public policy broadening to include commercialisation alongside the previously dominant rationales of public space agencies such as research and exploration, maintenance of strategic capabilities and national prestige (Robinson and Mazzucato 2019, Rottner et al. 2021).  Moreover, the nature of activities are expanding in variety and scale: megaconstellations of satellites to provide space-based internet in 5G systems, asteroid and lunar mining becoming central policy areas in some countries (for example in Luxembourg), small scale rockets (microlaunchers) being developed by small enterprises and new markets emerging for in-orbit servicing activities from in-orbit refuelling of satellites to space debris mitigation and management (Denis et al. 2020, Besha and MacDonald 2016).

These changes in the space sector are also co-evolving with broader STI policies, for example, the European Space Agency new Director General seeking ways to steer space research towards the European Green Deal and other Sustainable Development Goals. The development of these policies is, however, confronted with the simultaneous challenge of not creating new kinds of environmental threats or other sustainability related repercussions.

Goal of the session

In this session of EUSPRI we wish to initiate a dialogue on the space sector in transition, with the aim of building a longer-term community for the study of the transformation of the space sector, governance challenges within this transformation and policy intervention approaches.  We welcome contributions that capture the major changes taking place in the space sector and contributions that explore the governance and policy actions and challenges related to the space sector in transition.

Who can participate?

This session welcomes scholars interested in engaging with the recent development of the space sector through different disciplines, in particular innovation studies, science and technology studies, sustainability transition studies, management science, organisation studies, and STI policy. It is expected that the discussions within this session will identify potential synergies at the intersections between these different disciplines.

Themes of interest

This session takes a broad approach to engaging with the transforming space sector and related governance and policy issues

  • ECOSYSTEMS: With the addition of a variety of new actors within the space sector, how is the space innovation ecosystem system changing? Do we see new ways of “doing” space exploration and development? Are there new forms of partnerships and alliances?  Also, what are the ramifications of actors from other sectors and ecosystems “switching” to the space domain?[5]
  • MARKETS: With the increasing variety of actors within, and interfaces outside of, the space sector, what are the new business models that are emerging in this area?  Under what conditions is market formation important, and what could be the flipside of these processes?
  • POLICY: Role of the state in space transformations, creating markets and steering change (for example via procurement and other policy instruments)? And how should policies ensure sufficient rooms for bottom-up interventions?
  • MISSION ORIENTATION: With the renewed interest in mission-oriented research and innovation policy, how is this policy approach being taken up in the space sector and at the interface between space and other sectors? What are the limitations of the existing Missions perspective when dealing with new challenges in the space sector and how can they be complemented?
  • SUSTAINABILITY & GOVERNANCE: With orbital space debris becoming a major concern, challenges in global space traffic management and an increasing interest in exploiting space resources with no internationally agreed governance framework, what are the challenges (and opportunities) in governing sustainable and just space transitions?
  • VALUES & CONFLICTS: Changing norms and values in the space discourse leads to conflicting interests among actors. Which methodological tools are in place to help capture and better understand the complexity of such conflicts?
  • FUTURES: Whilst space exploitation and colonisation has been a future-oriented theme for many decades, the legitimacy of various futures, and those who promote them, is changing. What is the current “market” for space futures?  Is the balance changing? Who is involved in, and what are the dynamics of, the framing of space futures?
  • LESSONS TO & FROM: To what extent can the study of new space transformations shed light on other sectoral and socio-technical system transformations? What can we glean from the case of space regarding innovation mechanisms and governance challenges? What lessons can the space sector take from studies of transformations and transformative policy outside of the space sector?

Proposed and organised by:

  • Douglas K. R. Robinson (Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences Innovations Sociétés (LISIS), CNRS-INRAE-Université Gustave Eiffel & Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, University College London)
  • Xiao-Shan Yap (Copernicus institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University & Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology)


Besha, P., & MacDonald, A. (2016). Economic development of low Earth orbit. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NP-2016-03-2140-HQ.

Clormann, M. (2021). Switching between worlds apart: Negotiating European space sector cultures through innovation.  Science and Public Policy, Volume 48, Issue 4, August 2021, Pages 521–53

Denis, G., Alary, D., Pasco, X., Pisot, N., Texier, D., & Toulza, S. (2020). From new space to big space: How commercial space dream is becoming a reality. Acta Astronautica, 166, 431-443.

Mazzucato, M., & Robinson, D. K. (2018). Co-creating and directing Innovation Ecosystems? NASA’s changing approach to public-private partnerships in low-earth orbit. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 136, 166-177.

Musk, E. (2017). Making humans a multi-planetary species. New Space, 5(2), 46-61.

Paulino, V. D. S. (2020). Innovation Trends in the Space Industry. John Wiley & Sons.

Peeters, W. (2018). Toward a definition of new space? The entrepreneurial perspective. New Space, 6(3), 187-190.

Robinson, D. K., & Mazzucato, M. (2019). The evolution of mission-oriented policies: Exploring changing market creating policies in the US and European space sector. Research Policy, 48(4), 936-948.

Rottner, R. M., Sage, A., & Ventresca, M. J. (2021). From Old/New Space to Smart Space: changing ecosystems of space innovation. Entreprises et histoire, (1), 99-119.

Yap, X. S., & Truffer, B. (2021). Opportunities and threats of the rapidly developing Space sector on sustainability transitions: Towards a research agenda. GEIST-Geography of Innovation and Sustainability Transitions, (2021 (02)).

Innovation policy has undergone a paradigm shift from its former preoccupation with primarily economic objectives such as competitiveness and growth towards solving societal problems. Examples are the EU Europe 2020 strategy, the US Strategy for American Innovation or Germany’s Hightech Strategies (Lindner et al. 2016). More recently, the new mission orientation of Horizon Europe as well as of national programmes (Biegelbauer & Weber 2018) demonstrate that the turn towards challenge-orientation and directionality in science, technology and innovation (STI) policy has gained considerable momentum. This reorientation importantly includes a turn towards economic, ecological and social sustainability. All of these notions are coming together in the term transformative innovation policy, the exact meaning of which is still under debate (Schot & Steinmuller 2018).

Largely in parallel to and complementing the broader paradigm shift of STI policy, the discourse on Responsible (Research and) Innovation (RRI) emerged. Aiming to improve the alignment of the impacts of research and innovation with societal values and expectations, RRI has achieved remarkable attention in the academic discourse on the governance of STI (Rip 2014).

In this session, we would like to raise two questions. Our first question is, what is the relationship between the concepts of transformative innovation policy and RRI. Importantly, we believe that both concepts are facing the challenge of their actual impact. Therefore, our second question is, how are transformative innovation policy and RRI institutionalised in structures, processes and practices of research funding and research performing organisations?

We would like to argue that both transformative innovation policy and RRI share a key concern for economic, ecological and social sustainability. Moreover, both concepts have a tendency to place ecological and social sustainability higher on the agenda than economic sustainability – perhaps as a reaction to the long-standing concentration of innovation policy with the latter. However, so far it seems that there has been only a limited connection between these two approaches.

Both, transformative innovation policy and RRI, also share an interest in shaping society. This means, that their impact should be measured not only in terms of articles published and projects carried out, but also in the institutionalisation of structures, processes and practices fostering central ideas of these concepts in research funding and research performing organisations.

However, we know how difficult it is to change organisations with their well-established norms, procedures and structures. So how can change happen then? Which factors support and hinder change? What are helpful concepts and are there interesting empirical observations to this end?

Moreover, responsibility and sustainability related themes become easily green- or whitewashing without substantive content or real power to change practices and operations. Do we have good benchmarks of real changes? How have they succeeded and why? Why have there been failures?

There are also inherent tensions between e.g., academic freedom and its (at least rhetorical) value neutrality, the ambition to actively integrate citizens’ perspectives in research questions and design, and the need to anticipate impacts of STI from the perspective of their social and environmental consequences – including conflicting viewpoints and tradeoffs between various societal values. How can research funding and performing organizations balance these tensions? Or can they? Is it easier to bypass the difficult questions and settle for box ticking on far-reaching ethical questions?

We invite papers dealing with these questions, the relationship between transformative innovation policy and RRI as well as the institutionalisation of ideas central to these concepts in research funding and research performing organisations. We especially want to pay attention to successful or failed organizational practices, as well as inherent tensions there might be in practices and policies. We welcome both empirical and theoretical contributions, which deal with such questions.

Proposed and organised by:

  • Peter Biegelbauer (AIT)
  • Petra Wagner (AIT)
  • Mika Nieminnen (VTT)
  • Ralf Lindner (Fraunhofer ISI)
  • Philine Warnke (Fraunhofer ISI)
  • Simon Fielke (CSIRO)



Biegelbauer, P., M. Weber. 2018. EU research, technological development and innovation policy. In: Handbook of European Policies: Interpretive Approaches to the EU. Herausgegeben von H. H. a. S. Münch. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK: Edward Elgar. 241-259.

Lindner, R.; Daimer, S.; Beckert, B.; Heyen, N.; Koehler, J.; Teufel, B.; Warnke, P.; Wydra, S. 2016.  Addressing directionality: Orientation failure and the systems of innovation heuristic. Towards reflexive governance. In: Fraunhofer ISI Discussion Papers Innovation Systems and Policy Analysis, No. 52, Karlsruhe, July 2016.

Rip, A. 2014. “The past and future of RRI.” Life Sciences, Society and Policy, no. 17.

Schot, J., W. E. Steinmüller 2018. Three frames for innovation policy: R&D, systems of innovation and transformative change. Research Policy 47/9: 1554-1567.

Furthermore, the conference’s open track encourages papers on the following themes:

19. Digital technologies, platforms and business model innovations
20. Open science and the changing governance of science
21. Research infrastructures: open data, big data, and new research avenues for STI studies
22. Futuring and Foresight
23. STI policy for societal challenges: policy design, implementation and evaluation
24. The impact of STI policy: new indicators and approaches
25. Social innovation: enabling factors and existing practices
26. Globalization and the geography of knowledge and innovation

Submission of paper proposals

We would like to invite you to submit paper proposals to one of the special sessions or to the open track. Eu-SPRI2022 provides the following formats to stimulate scholarly debate:

  • Paper presentation sessions: Acceptance to a paper presentation session is based on an extended abstract (min. 1,000 words, max. 2,000 words) of a well-developed paper with a description of a study that you would like to present at the conference. Extended abstracts should specify a clear research question, relevance, theoretical framework, data and methodological approaches, (expected) results, conclusions and policy issues. In order to allow appointed discussants to prepare feedback in advance, full papers will need to be submitted two weeks before the conference.
  • Speed talk sessions: Speed talks briefly introduce new research ideas, data and analytical insights to provide a basis for collective discussion or to discuss ideas at an early stage. Submission of a short abstract (min. 500 words, max. 750 words) is required for speed talk sessions.

All submissions will be reviewed anonymously by the scientific committee and the session organizers, based on quality and fit to the Eu-SPRI research agenda, the conference and session theme. The Committee reserves the right to re-assign a paper to other session tracks and/or formats than as indicated during submission. Participants can only present one paper at the conference.

All proposals should be made through EasyChair.org.

Important dates:

  • Pre-announcement of the Call for Papers: December 2021
  • Opening of Paper Submissions: 1 January 2022
  • Closing of Paper Submissions: 15 February 2022
  • Announcement of selected papers and posters: 15 March 2022
  • Registration open: 15 March 2022
  • Submission of full papers: 15 May 2022
  • Conference: 1-3 June 2022

Practical information: euspri2022.nl  

Scientific committee: euspri2022.nl 

Secretariat: euspri2022@uu.nl