Research, Innovation and Organization (RIO) Group
CAPACITOR: Public Actors' Capacities in the Governance of Green Transitions
Funded by The Independent Research Fund Denmark (DFF)
Project period: 2021 - 2024
CAPACITOR is a research project funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark (2021-2024), and carried out by researchers at various departments at Copenhagen Business School (Denmark), and Fraunhofer ISI (Germany).
CAPACITOR studies the capacities of public actors in the governance of green transitions.
New technologies can help mitigating climate change, but only when they are fully deployed and integrated into socio-technical systems. This is generally called “green transitions”. Green transitions are complex: they involve many and diverse stakeholders, require creating market and institutional contexts for public and private investments, need adapting standards and safety regulations, etc.
Public actors are key players in green transitions - especially municipalities, national agencies, and publicly controlled utilities. In many cases, they take the lead in the governance of green transitions by the coordination of different actors. For example, the municipality of Ærø was decisive for the deployment of the battery-driven electric ferry ‘Ellen’.
Given the centrality of public actors in green transitions, we cannot take for granted their organizational capacities. Therefore it is key to understand the various types of organizational capacities they have (or not), and how they use them in governance processes. This will allow identifying and building missing capacities in public actors, helping achieve Denmark’s goals.
The CAPACITOR project asks two main Research Questions:
• RQ1: How are public actors developing and using their organizational capacities in the complex governance processes of green transitions? And
• RQ2: What specific combinations of public actors’ capacities are required for achieving green transitions?
CAPACITOR has three aims:
• First, to develop a novel conceptual approach about public actors’ capacities at the core of the cutting-edge research agenda about sustainable transitions.
• Second, to analyze a uniquely broad empirical study of 24 in-depth cases in renewable energy and maritime transport sectors - two crucial sectors for Denmark’s ambitious emission reduction commitments, and which will allow identifying potential deficiencies in current capacities.
• Third, to build a strong research team in Denmark, developing excellent next-generation researchers and international links, collaborating closely with a strong German research organization.
CAPACITOR will realize this potential by engaging directly with public actors in Denmark and elsewhere in a co-creation approach, seeking to create ongoing impact via the interaction between researchers and stakeholders during the life of the project.
Members of the project:
Professor Susana Borrás, CBS (PI and project responsible)
Associate Professor Stine Haakonsson, CBS
Associate Professor Trine Pallesen, CBS
Associate Professor René Taudal Poulsen, CBS
Assistant Professor Christian Hendriksen, CBS
Professor Jakob Edler, Faunhofer ISI (Germany)
Danish Maritime Authority
Bornholms Energi og Forsyning
Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC)
International Advisory Board:
Professor Rainer Kattel, University College London, UK
Professor Dr. Marko Hekkert, Utrecht University, NL
Professor Karoline Rogge, Sussex University, UK
Professor Taran Mari Thune, University of Oslo, N
Professor Dr. Matthias K. Weber, Austrian Institute of Technology, A; and LISIS, Université Gustave Eiffel, F.
Funded by The Independent Research Fund Denmark (DFF)
Project period: 2021 - 2024
Project focus: CO-GRENN is a research project funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark (2021 - 2024), and carried out by researchers at two departments at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Wind Energyand DTU Management Engineering).
CO-GREEN studies socio-technical controversies over wind turbine noise in the transition to renewable energy.
Isomorphic Difference: Familiarity and distinctiveness in
national science and innovation policies
The project investigates similarities and differences in national science and innovation policies in USA, China and Denmark. It does so by comparing innovation objectives and models, policy instruments and incentives, selectivity and "hot topics", and evaluation and impact assessments tools across the the countries. In order to test the way policies are translated into concrete activities, the project also investigates selected case studies and compares these. Theoretically, the project combines STS and institutional theory and seeks to conceptualize how innovation ideas emerge, travel, intersect and organize, and what the societal consequences are of such processes.
The project comprises four work packages, including 1 PhD and 1 Postdoc project.
Participants: Alan Irwin (PI), Signe Vikkelsø, Jane Bjørn Vedel, Julia Kirch Kirkegaard, Xiaobai Shen, Aixa Y. Alemán-Díaz, Xuan Li
Duration: August 2018 - January 2022
Isomorphic difference in China: a case of Chinese innovation policymaking
As a China scholar and sociologist of innovation and science, I use a lens of Science & Technology Studies (STS) to shed light on isomorphic differences and potential socio-technical controversies over Chinese S&T and innovation policymaking. In particular, I am interested in exploring different modes of valuing 'good' and 'high quality' scientific practices (e.g. in terms of inter-disciplinarity, collaborative science, IPRs). In the project, I aim to trace isomorphic processes in innovation policymaking through a focus on China's Medium- to Long-Term plan for Science & Technology (MLP). I will here conduct ethnographic fieldwork with scientists and experts in China related to formulating the previous (2006-2020) and upcoming MLP (2021-2035). By focusing on the shift of discourses (e.g. of indigenous innovation), policy tools, and scientific policy areas and how these changes are linked to inspiration from outside of China, I will be able to detect processes of isomorphism and isomorphic difference. To get further insight into potential differences in policy implementation (reflecting isomorphic difference), I will conduct an ethnographic case study on the Chinese science city, Huairou Science City. Here, I will particularly explore how a Chinese synchrotron has been planned and established, and how Sino-foreign collaborations play out around this.
Participants: Julia Kirch Kirkegaard, Xuan Li and Xiaobai Shen
and research & innovation policy in the United States (US)
Management and Organization of Innovation Partnerships
The project focuses on the organizational characteristics and challenges of innovation partnerships and their managerial implications. It does so in two steps: a) a broad comparison of selected partnerships funded by Innovation Fund Denmark; b) a case study of one of these partnerships, the "Enzyme Opti Partnership". Theoretically, the project draws on organization theory and seeks to contribute to the field of innovation studies, by "opening the black box" of innovation partnerships and discussing their role and relevance in national innovation policies.
Participants: Signe Vikkelsø, Julie Sommerlund (UCPH), Mikkel Stokholm Skaarup
Public-Private Innovation Partnerships: Value Creation in Smart Cities
This project focuses on how Public-Private Innovation Partnership experiment, scale and create value the public. This project looks specifically at the Smart City sector and how municipalities partner with technology companies and other stakeholders to develop solutions that can assist cities in the myriad of challenges rising from rapid urbanisation, global warming and ensuring sustainable economic development. The project is an Industrial PhD, hosted by Copenhagen Solutions Lab, the City of Copenhagen’s Smart City governance unit. The PhD is part of the Innovation Fund’s call for Public Industrial PhD focusing on innovation in public organizations, furthermore it is partially funded by Realdania.
Lasse Bundgaard; PhD Supervisor: Susana Borras (Department of Organization)
Studies of Policy Instruments and Policy Mixes for Innovation with Quantitative Text Analysis
Demands for an active role of the state in making economic development more sustainable are becoming prevalent in academic debates. In this context, innovation policy is a key area of state activity since fostering sustainability requires renewing production and consumption systems. For my PhD, I analyze innovation policy by focusing on policy instruments as techniques governments use to achieve policy goals. I devote particular attention to the instruments fostering sustainability. My project consists of a mapping of innovation policy instruments; an analysis of the difference between traditional growth-oriented instruments and new sustainability-oriented ones; and a study of factors facilitating the diffusion of these new instruments. It uses a dataset containing information on 10.000+ recent instruments from more than 50 countries. My project contributes to the state of research in three ways: First, it introduces a new approach to the comparative study of instruments drawing on methods for quantitative text analysis and machine learning. These methods allow analyzing higher instrument numbers than before and provide new ways for recognizing patterns in the data. Second, my project’s research results will give new insights into the features of instruments for sustainability by testing assumptions from the existing body of literature, such as that these instruments involve more societal stakeholders than others. Third, my project contributes to the theory of policy diffusion, considering how membership in international organizations, structural equivalence and other factors affect which instruments states adopt.
Lead: David Howoldt
PhD Supervisors: Susana Borrás (Department of Organization), Christoph Grimpe (Department of Strategy and Innovation)
Duration: 09/2017 - 03/2021
Economic competitiveness and/or Science in Society:
The role of publicly funded research in the private sector
This project explores the diverse justifications and argumentations regarding the value of publicly funded research in the private sector. The main research question is: How does the private sector define the role(s) of publicly funded research? Rather than drawing solely on a model of economic competitiveness, the project takes its point of departure in a Science in Society framework and considers the role of public research in a broader societal perspective. The research question is addressed through 50+ qualitative semi-structured interviews with industrial managers in research-based companies. The research is supported by a grant from the Carlsberg Foundation.
Lead: Jane Bjørn Vedel
Duration: 2015-2017 (extended)
The socioeconomic importance of research-based education -
The role of long-term grants in public research institutions
This project examines the role of long-term grants in public research institutions. Drawing on organization theory, it investigates how long-term grants change organizational, epistemic and educational practices in universities and considers the wider socio-economic importance hereof. The research is based on 70+ qualitative semi-structured interviews with grant holders. The project is part of a larger research project titled “The socioeconomic importance of research-based education” that examines: What are the societal effects of university-based education in a complex R&D innovation ecosystem, and how might educational policy be improved so as to maximize these effects efficiently? The project is supported by a grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation.
Participants: Jane Bjørn Vedel, Anders Sørensen (principal investigator), Fane Groes and Moira Daily