Innovation and the State: Innovation policy, public sector innovation and digital transformation
Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance
General description of the specialization
The second semester specialization “Innovation and the State” aims to deepen students’ knowledge on the role of the state in supporting and steering innovation processes and also on how, in turn, technological innovation affects the functioning of the public sector. The specialization focuses mostly on the theoretical and practical analyses of public sector innovation capabilities.
Estonia offers a unique setting for studying the interrelations between technology and governance. Estonia is one of the most dynamic and digitalized countries in the world and a forerunner in building borderless digital societies and governments (see e-estonia.com, e-resident.gov.ee). Further, next to one of the most advanced e-governance systems, it has been also a birthplace for 4 unicorns (including Skype and Taxify), which is a unique achievement for a nation of 1.3 million people.
The specialization offers both academic and theoretical lectures on technology governance as well as practical insights that help students to identify and develop skills and capabilities needed to manage innovation- supporting public sector policies and organizations.
Schedule of specialization courses
The specialization module for the ESST students consists of two courses in the total amount of 12 ECTS. There is one compulsory course – Creating Innovation Capacities in Government (6 ECTS, 162 hours) – which focuses on the analysis of public sector organizations that support innovation on the system level (how innovation and change-oriented organizations emerge and evolve in public sector), organizational level (how to structure and manage such organizations) and individual level (what types of managers and leaders such organizations need).
As the second course, students can choose from a list of specific courses (all 6 ECTS and 162 hours) to either broaden their knowledge of global trends in governance – Implementing Governance in a Diverse Globalized World – or focus on specific topics of their interest – Digital Transformations of Government; Big Data and Public Policy; Innovation and Case Studies of New Technologies.
These courses – all thought in English – provide students with:
The two specialization courses are held during the Spring term, i.e. between February and May. The sequence of courses and exact dates vary annually. All courses are scheduled for evening times starting from around 5 pm.
Ralf-Martin Soe. 2018. Smart Cities – From Silos to Cross-Border Approach. International Journal of E-Planning Research (IJEPR), 7 (2), 70−88.
Some examples of thesis topics:
Staff members who may act as thesis supervisors
Professor Wolfgang Drechsler: Public Management Reform, Non-Western Governance (esp. Islamic and Confucian), Innovation Theory and Policy, History and Theory of PA, Political Philosophy, Social Science Theory and Method, Academic Administration, Science Policy (esp. EU), Local government, Nanotechnology, E-governance; Techno-determinism and critique of technology.
Associate professor Erkki Karo: various aspects of innovation, technology and industrial policies: theories, governance, implementation issues, comparative perspective, including focus on East Asia, Latin America etc.; theoretical and practical issues of public sector innovation.
Associate professor Anu Masso: Big data and governance, algorithmic governance, various issues related to big data and public policy (mobility, migration etc).
Senior Research Fellow Veiko Lember: Technology and public administration; digital governance; public-private partnerships; co-creation/co- production; public sector innovation; public procurement of innovation; innovation policy; demand and innovation; technology transfer; research/science policy.
Senior Research Fellow Vasilis Kostakis: Ecological impact of ICT diffusion, peer-to-peer technologies, the feasibility and future impact of the DGML (design globally, manufacture locally) production model.
Research fellow Margit Kirs: Innovation and industrial policy; Technology governance; Business models in high-tech sectors (biotechnology, bioeconomy).