University of Oslo – specialization (2)

Specialisation 1 Specialisation 2

Innovation and Global Challenges

Description of Content

Science and innovation are called upon to solve some of the most pressing problems of world today, such as economic development, climate change and global health. But why does economic growth differ so much in the first place? Can university-based research really solve health problems in developing countries? Why do current climate change solutions to such a high degree emphasize development of new technologies? If innovation is one of the big buzzwords of our time, why does it still seem to be so many barriers to it in organisations?

The course will focus on four main topics

1. Differences in growth and dynamics between sectors, countries and regions. The students will discuss to what extent specific sectors are more important for growth than others, including the ‘resource curse’ hypothesis. This is a relevant approach for analysis of growth both for developing ad developed economies.

2. System transition. This topic is closely linked to energy technologies and the climate challenge, demanding a transition from large technological systems based on fossil fuel to renewable energy. It can also be used for understanding other types of transitions.

3. The role of public research organisations, like universities, in innovation processes and systems, as well as policies and strategies for how academic knowledge can be disseminated into the economy, public sector and the larger society. This includes an introduction to intellectual property rights and commercialisation.

4. Management of innovation. This topic contains both a practical part (group work and company visit) as well as an introduction to some of the classical literature within the innovation management field.

time table
The specialization course is taught between February 1st and the end of March. The exact dates and times of teaching vary annually. The teaching consists of two two-hour lectures each week. Workshops and group discussions are often included in the lectures.

Core Literature Specialization
Compulsory readings are marked with an asterisk *
*Abramovitz, M. (1986): “Catching-up, forging ahead and falling behind”, Journal of Economic History, 46: 385-406.
*Asheim, B.T., Gertler, M. (2005): “The geography of innovation: Regional innovation systems”, in Fagerberg, J., Mowery, D. and Nelson, R. (Eds.): The Oxford Handbook of Innovation.
*Bartelsman, E. J. and Doms, M. (2000): “Understanding productivity: lessons from longitudinal microdata”, Journal of Economic Literature, 38 (3): 569-594. Link
*Breschi and Lissoni (2001): “Knowledge spillovers and local innovation systems: A critical survey”, Industrial and Corporate Change, 10 (4): 975-1005. Link
Cappelen, Å., Raknerud, A. and Rybalka, M. (2012): “The effects of R&D tax credits on patenting and innovation”; Research Policy, 41: 334-345.
*Castellacci, F. (2007): “Evolutionary and new growth theories. Are they converging?”, Journal of Economic Surveys, 21 (3): 585-627. Link
Castellacci, F. (2008a): “Technology clubs, technology gaps and growth trajectories”, Structural Change and Economic Dynamics. Link
*Castellacci, F. (2008b): ‘Technological paradigms, regimes and trajectories: manufacturing and service industries in a new taxonomy of sectoral patterns of innovation”, Research Policy, 37, 978-994. Link
Castellacci, F. (2008c): “Innovation and the competitiveness of industries: Comparing the mainstream and evolutionary approaches”, Technological Forecasting and Social Change. Link
*Castellacci, F. (2011): “How does competition affect the relationship between innovation and productivity? Estimation of a CDM model for Norway”, Economics of Innovation and New Technology. Link
*Cooke, P. (2001): “Regional innovation systems, clusters and the knowledge economy”, Industrial and Corporate Change, 10 (4): 945-974. Link
Crepon, B., Duguet, E. and Mairesse, J. (1998): ‘Research, innovation and productivity: an econometric analysis at the firm level’, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 7 (2), 115-158. Link
*David, P.; B. Hall and A. Toole, A. (2000): “Is public R&D a complement or substitute for private R&D? A review of the econometric evidence”, Research Policy, 29: 497–529.
*Fagerberg, J. (1994): “Technology and International differences in growth rates”, Journal of Economic Literature, 32: 1147-1175.
Fagerberg, J., and Srholec, M. (2008): “National innovation systems, capabilities and economic development”, Research Policy, 37: 1417-1435. Link
*Malerba, F. (2005): “Sectoral systems: How and why innovation differs across sectors”, in Fagerberg, J., Mowery, D. and Nelson, R. (Eds.): The Oxford Handbook of Innovation.
Miles, I. (2005): “Innovation in services”, in Fagerberg, J., Mowery, D. and Nelson, R. (Eds.): The Oxford Handbook of Innovation.
*OECD (2010): “R&D tax incentives: rationale, design, evaluation”, mimeo, OECD.
*Lundvall, B.Å. and Borràs, S. (2005): “Science, technology and innovation policies”, in J. Fagerberg, D. C. Mowery & R. R. Nelson (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Innovation, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Pavitt, K. (1984): “Sectoral patterns of technical change: towards a taxonomy and a theory”, Research Policy, 13, 343-373. Link
*Wieser, R. (2005): “Research and development productivity and spillovers: empirical evidence at the firm level”, Journal of Economic Surveys, 19 (4): 587-621. Link

Week 8 and 9
van Alphen, K., van Ruijven, J., Kasa, S., Hekket, M. & Turkenburg, W. (2009): The performance of the Norwegian carbon dioxide, capture and storage innovation system, Energy Policy, 37 (1): 43-55.
Andersen, A. D. (2012). Towards a new approach to natural resources and development: the role of learning, innovation and linkage dynamics. International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, 5(3), 291–324.
Bergek, A., Jacobsson, S., Carlsson, B., Lindmark, S. & Rickne, A. (2008): Analyzing the functional dynamics of technological innovation systems: a scheme of analysis. Research Policy, 37 (3): 407-429.
Christiansen, A. C. (2002). “New renewable energy developments and the climate change issue: a case study of Norwegian politics”, Energy Policy, 235-243.
Fagerberg, J. D. Mowery, B. Verspagen (2009): “The evolution of Norway’s national innovation system”, Science and Public Policy, 36 (6), 431-444.
Ferranti, D., Perry, G.E., Lederman, D., Maloney, W.F., (2002) From Natural Resources to the Knowledge Economy, World Bank Latin America, World Bank: Washington
Garud, R. and Karnøe, P. (eds) (2012), Path Dependence and Creation, Psychology Press,
Geels, F.W. & Schot, J. (2007): Typology of sociotechnical transition pathways, Research Policy, 36: 399-417.
Jacobsson, S. & Bergek, A. (2004): Transforming the Energy Sector: The Evolution of Technological Systems in Renewable Energy Technology. Industrial and Corporate Change, 13 (5): 815-849.
Jacobsson, S. & Bergek, A. (2011): Innovation system analyses and sustainability transitions: contributions and suggestions for research, Environmental Innovation and Sustainable Transitions 1 (1): 41-57.
Jaffe, A.B., Newell, R.G., Stavins, R.N. (2002): Environmental Policy and Technological Change. Environmental and Resource Economics, 22, 41-69.
Kasa S, Underthun, A, 2010 “Navigation in new terrain with familiar maps: Masterminding socio-spatial equality through resource oriented innovation policy.” Environment and Planning A, 42, 1328-1345.
Markard, J. & Truffer, B. (2008): Technological innovation systems and the multi-level perspective: towards an integrated framework, Research Policy, 37 (4): 596-615.
Narula, R. 2002. “Innovation systems and ‘inertia’ in R&D location: Norwegian firms… from Research Policy
Rogge, K.S., Hoffmann, V.H. (2010): The impact of the EU ETS on the sectoral innovation system for power generation technologies – Findings for Germany, Energy Policy, 38 (12): 7639–7652.

Sachs, J., & Warner, A. (1995). Natural resource abundance and economic growth. NBER Working Paper Series 5398, National Bureau of Economic Research.
Smith, K. (2007). Innovation and growth in resource-based economies. CEDA Growth, (58), 50–57.
Smith, K. (2009). “Climate change and radical energy innovation: the policy issues.” TIK Working Paper, No. 20090101.
Ville, S., & Wicken, O. (2012). The dynamics of resource-based economic development: Evidence from Australia and Norway. Industrial and Corporate Change.
Tjernshaugen, A. (2011). “The growth of political support for CO2 capture and storage in Norway”, Environmental Politics, 20, 227-245.
Unruh, G. C. (2000). “Understanding carbon lock-in”, Energy Policy, 28:817-830.

Week 10 and 11
Texts marked with an asterisk (*) are mainly related to week 10, those with two ** are mandatory reads, the rest are voluntary. Texts marked with the + sign are related to week 11, again with ++ marking mandatory stuff and + marking what is extremely interesting yet somehow did not make the top 5.
++ Abreu, M. & V. Grinevich (2012), The nature of academic entrepreneurship in the UK: Widening the focus on entrepreneurial activities, Research Policy, forthcoming.
** Beise, M. & H. Stahl (1999), Public research and industrial innovations in Germany, Research Policy, 28(4): 397-422.
** Bekkers, R. and I.M. Bodas Freitas (2008), Analysing knowledge transfer channels between universities and industry: To what degree do sectors also matter? Research Policy, 37 1837–1853.
+ Bozeman, B. (2001), Technology transfer and public policy: a review of research and theory, Research Policy, 29:627-655.
** Cohen, W.M., R.R. Nelson & J.P Walsh (2002), Links and impacts: the influence of public research on industrial R&D, Management Science, 48:1-23.
+ Debackere, K. and R. Veugelers (2005), The role of academic technology transfer organizations in improving industry science links, Research Policy, 34:321–342.
+ Etzkowitz, H. (1998), The norms of entrepreneurial science: cognitive effects of the new university–industry linkages, Research Policy, 27(8):823–33.
* Etzkowitz, H. & Loet Leydesdorff (2000), The dynamics of innovation: From National Systems and ‘Mode 2’ to a Triple Helix of University-Industry-Government relations, Research Policy, 29:109-123.
** Fransman, M. (2001), Designing Dolly: interactions between economics, technology and science and the evolution of hybrid institutions, Research Policy, 30:263-273.
+ Grimaldi, R., M. Kenney, D.S. Siegel & M. Wright, 2011, 30 years after Bayh-Dole: Reassessing academic entrepreneurship, Research Policy, 40:1045-1057
+ Gulbrandsen, M. (2005), ‘But Peter’s in it for the money’: the liminality of entrepreneurial scientists, VEST Journal for Science and Technology Studies, 18:49-75.
* Gulbrandsen, M., D.C. Mowery & M. Feldman (2011), Introduction to the special section: heterogeneity and university-industry relations, Research Policy, 40:1-5.
+ Guston, D.H. (1999), Stabilizing the boundary between US politics and science: the role of the office of technology transfer as a boundary organization, Social Studies of Science, 29:87-111.
* Larédo, P. & P. Mustar (2004), Public-Sector Research: a Growing Role in Innovation Systems, Minerva, 42:11-27.
* Larsen, M.T (2011), The implications of academic enterprise for public science: An overview of the empirical evidence, Research Policy, 40:6-19.
+ Mowery, D.C. & B.N. Sampat (2004), The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 and University-Industry Technology Transfer: A Model for Other OECD Governments? Journal of Technology Transfer, 30:115-127.
+ O‘Gorman, C. Byrne, O., Pandya, D. (2008), How scientists commercialise new knowledge via entrepreneurship, Journal of Technology Transfer, 33:23–43.
** Rosenberg, N. & R. Nelson, 1994, American universities and technical advance in industry, Research Policy, 23:323-348.
+ Slaughter, S. and G. Rhoades (1993), Changes in Intellectual Property Statutes and Policies at a Public University: Revising the Terms of Professional Labor, Higher Education, 26:287-312.
++ Tuunainen, J. (2005), Contesting a Hybrid Firm at a Traditional University, Social Studies of Science, 35:173–210.
++ Vohora, A., M. Wright and A. Lockett (2004), Critical junctures in the development of university high-tech spinout companies, Research Policy, 33:147-175.
* Whitley, R., 2002, “Developing innovative competences: the role of institutional frameworks”, Industrial and Corporate Change, 11:497-528.


Possible thesis topics and examples:

Control and Innovation on Digital Platforms : the case of Netflix and streaming of video content


Innovation and Learning in Construction Companies


International Cooperation and Innovation in the Service Sectors: Evidence from Norway


What Explains Mergers’ Success or Failure? : the Role of Organizational Structures, Strategies and External Environments in Mergers – Empirical evidence from two contrasting cases


The economic performance of business groups in developing countries : the role of absorptive capacity


The Effect of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on the Global Health Field : An innovating Foundation in a Fragmented World


Name and Contact coordinator:

Ms. Lene Angelskår


List of involved staff:
Professor Magnus Gulbrandsen
Head of Department Fulvio Castellacci
Professor Olav Wicken
Postdoctoral fellow Allan Dahl Andersen

Weblink to the TIK-centre:


Accommodation policy University of Oslo