Insights from Swedish National Innovation Council and a debate article on innovation policy by Prof. Charles Edquist

First out this year is a new debate article entitled “Rätt innovationspolitik kan försvara välfärden” that was published in “Ny Teknik”. It contributes to the debate on the importance of a different innovation policy that impacts many more actors than those involved in the basic research. Please find it here
(Available, unfortunately, only in Swedish. Google translate may be of help)

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The debate draws on the article published earlier in the Research policy which gives insights from the work of the Swedish National Innovation Council. It is a rather unique type of council for any nation and that focuses on processes that support Innovation. 

Please find it here: Edquist, C. (2018, October). Towards a holistic innovation policy: Can the Swedish National Innovation Council (NIC) be a role model? Published on October 24, 2018 by Research Policy. Alternative link here

Happy new debates 2019!


prof. Charles Edquist gives a seminar at the OECD in Paris on innovation policy

You are welcome to join on November 21, 2018 (11:00 – 12:00), when prof. Charles Edquist gives a seminar with the title  “To develop a Holistic Innovation Policy should be self-evident – for all countries and regions!” at The Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI), OECD, (room MB5122 in the Marshall Building, 2, rue André Pascal, Paris). Charles has been asked to present an overview of the conclusions reached in four separate (but interrelated) research areas – each based on recent publications.


Photo: OECD Forum 2017: Ambiance by OECD cc

The areas are:

  1. Why must innovation policy necessarily be holistic (and not partial/linear) to make the policy efficient, and how can such a holistic policy be developed?
  2. The Swedish National Innovation Council is a unique form of governance of innovation policy and has had a role in the transition towards a more holistic innovation policy in Sweden.
  3. Innovations can be enhanced by public procurement (which is 15-20 % of GDP). But it requires that the functions to be fulfilled by the products bought are specified – the product to be bought shall not be described at all.
  4. Measuring innovation is crucial for the design of innovation policy. However, the yearly published Summary Innovation Index of the EU is flawed and directly counterproductive to the development of efficient innovation policies.

In the presentation Charles will focus on the research results achieved. In the discussion he will present details underlying the conclusions. If there is not enough time, the arguments can be found in publications, see In particular, the following publications, related to the four topics, are relevant:

  1. The book entitled “Holistic Innovation Policy: Theoretical Foundations, Policy Problems and Instrument Choices” by Susana Borrás and Charles Edquist is now advertised by Oxford University Press. Table of Contents and Chapter 1 can be downloaded here.
  2. Edquist, C. (2018, October). Towards a holistic innovation policy: Can the Swedish National Innovation Council (NIC) be a role model? Published on October 24, 2018 by Research Policy Alternative link here.
  3. Edquist, C. (November 2017). Developing strategic frameworks for innovation related public procurement – Thematic Report Topic A of the Mutual Learning Exercise (MLE) Innovation related public procurement.Published by European Commission, DG Research & Innovation,  September 2017. Click here for the MLE Overview report page, click here to download the final report.
  4. Edquist, C., & Zabala-Iturriagagoitia, J.M. (2018, June 22). Viewpoint: The latest EU innovation index is out. It’s flawed. Debate article in Science Businesshttps://sciencebusinesnet/viewpoint/viewpoint-latest-eu-innovation-index-out-its-flawed (Based on Edquist, Zabala-Iturriagagoitia, Barbero and Sofio (2018). On the meaning of innovation performance: is the synthetic indicator of the Innovation Union Scoreboard flawed?, Research Evaluation, pp 1 – 16,, June 2018. Alternate link.)

Welcome to join the seminar next week, this time in Paris!

CIRCLE Seminar with Dr. George Tsekouras, dir. of CENTRIM, on Connecting SMEs to the research base: An agency-approach to policy making

Dr. George Tsekouras currently leads the research centre CENTRIM (Centre for Change, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management), University of Brighton, UK. He leads research in diverse aspects of knowledge sharing such as organisational development of the pertinent processes IT capabilities, learning George-Tsekouras-1-Cropped-260x320.jpgnetworks in less developed regions, knowledge sharing in the context of emerging sectors. George has also worked in various other innovation management fields such as benchmarking, business processes, mobile services and regional development. He has a first degree in mechanical engineering, a DPhil from SPRU. He has presented his work to various international conferences, has delivered several executives seminars and university lectures in the UK and overseas. He is also reviewer for international journals such as Research Policy, Organization Science and Industrial and Corporate Change.

The title of the seminar: “Connecting SMEs to the research base: An agency-approach to policy making”.
Date: 24th of October: 13.30-14.30
Place: Sölvegatan, 16, MNO-huset, CIRCLE, M213

Practical: The seminar is held in CIRCLE Seminar Room, it is open for everyone and there is no need to register. In case you don’t have the access card to our building, please let us know (or simply ring us on the entrance doorbell). Contact: Claudio Fassio ( 


P.S. Look out for more events in the Circle calendar


CIRCLE Seminar with Prof. Wolfgang Sofka on international and innovation strategy of firms

Dr. Wolfgang Sofka is Professor in Strategic and International Management at the Department of Strategy and Innovation at Copenhagen Business School. He currently also holds a professorial appointment as Chair in International Business (part time, permanent) at the University of Liverpool Management School. sofka

Wolfgang’s research focuses on topics in international and innovation strategy. He investigates how firms search for innovative ideas and commercialize them successfully. This includes the strategic choices of multinational companies (MNCs), the hiring of strategic human capital as well as value capturing strategies. Wolfgang’s research has appeared in leading journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies, Research Policy or the Journal of Product Innovation Management.

Date: 16th of October: 15.00-16.00
Place: Sölvegatan, 16, MNO-huset, CIRCLE, M213

Practical: The seminar is held in CIRCLE Seminar Room, it is open for everyone and there is no need to register. In case you don’t have the access card to our building, please let us know (or simply ring us on the entrance doorbell). Contact: Claudio Fassio ( 


P.S. Look out for more events in the Circle calendar


CIRCLE 2.0 Kick-off in Brighton: Joint workshop with research centers CENTRIM and SPRU

As the start of the new term CIRCLE leadership had arranged an inspiring kick-off for all colleagues. It was held in Brighton and was a combination of important strategic internal discussions and a joint workshop with two of the leading research centers: The Centre for Change, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management (CENTRIM) and Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU). Collaborations have been going on for many years between specific researchers from all three institutes and this time it was a great opportunity for all to meet in a joint workshop, present their ongoing research and actively look for possibilities for new and stronger collaborations. Earlier this year letters of intent were signed by the institutes as a promise to build up stronger research connections.


About the research centers:
Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) is a research centre based at University of Sussex in Falmer, near Brighton, UK. Founded in 1960s. It focuses on long term transformative change, science policy and innovation across different sectors, societies and structures. With over 50 years of experience, SPRU is internationally recognized as a leading centre of research on science, technology and innovation policy. The director is Professor Johan Schot
The Centre for Change, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management (CENTRIM) is a Centre for Research and Enterprise Excellence within the Brighton Business School. It is a multidisciplinary research group that originated in the 1980s, working with partners in industry, academia and government, they strive to produce groundbreaking concepts to explain, harness and improve innovation, entrepreneurship and change management. The director is Dr George Tsekouras.

The workshop was received very well among all three research centers and the common research areas were discussed with energy both during the day and at the joint dinner. The direct outcomes right now are a booked visit from the director of CENTRIM Dr George Tsekouras to CIRCLE in Lund for a seminar later this term and a planned doctoral visit by one of the CIRCLE PhD Students, Janna Alvedalen, to SPRU in the coming spring term.




Panel discussion with the directors of the research centers, sitting from left Dr. George Tsekouras, prof. Åsa Lindholm-Dahlstrand and Prof. Johan Schot
. Moderator (standing) prof. Howard Rush.


It was a great opportunity to visit Brighton for so many important reasons and thank you for hosting us, CENTRIM!

New PhD position at CIRCLE on the implications of multi-scalar transition dynamics for transformative innovation policy

Dear network,
We would like to announce a new PhD position at CIRCLE, Lund University, in Innovation Engineering on the implications of multi-scalar transition dynamics for transformative innovation policy. We wish to recruit a PhD student within the broad theoretical fields of innovation and transition studies, with a focus on innovation and transition policy. The position is part of the recently formed Swedish Transformative Innovation Policy Platform (STIPP) and fully funded by Vinnova (the Swedish Innovation Agency).

Some of the assessment criteria

  • Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study.
  • An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  • Written and oral communication skills.
  • Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience.

Application deadline is November 1, 2018. More information can be found here. 

For questions please contact: Dr. Lea Fünfschilling, postdoctoral researcher and lecturer, +46 46 222 14 01,

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We are looking forward to welcome this new doctoral student to Circle!




Sweden may not be nr 1 in innovation – the EU Innovation ranking is flawed, says CIRCLE prof. Charles Edquist

For many years, including in the 2018 edition, Sweden has, by the Summary Innovation Index (SII), been ranked number 1 in the EU with regard to innovation performance. However, because the SII uses simple average measure, it seems to miss that the large amount of investments in the Swedish innovation system are not transformed into innovation outputs. This should not be considered as high performance and should be acknowledged when innovation policy in Sweden is designed, according to the researchers Charles Edquist and Jon Mikel Zabala Iturriagagoitia. They point out that there is a widespread SII-based misbelief that Sweden is number 1 in terms of innovation performance in the EU.


Charles Edquist describes the news further: “On June 22, the 2018 edition of the European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS) was published by the European Commission. The summary innovation index included in the EIS misleads politicians, policy-makers, researchers and the general public. This is argued in a contribution by Charles Edquist and Jon Mikel Zabala Iturriagagoitia in the website Science Business published on June 22, 2018. On June 26, the same article was also published in the Science Business Newsletter. That very short piece is based on a recent scientific article published in Research Evaluation, where the methodological and statistical details are provided.

Large resources are invested in producing and communicating the EIS annual reports – the 2017 edition was available in 23 languages. The 2018 edition is launched in a large event on June 25, 2018 in the Breydel auditorium in Brussels. The results are widely diffused in most EU member states.

A major constituent of the EIS is the Summary Innovation Index (SII). It claims to provide a ”comparative assessment” and ranking of “innovation performance” in the EU member states. However, it does not, because it is methodologically inferior.

The underlying problem is that the SII interpretation of “innovation performance” does not relate outputs to inputs, which has to be done in any meaningful measure of “performance”, “productivity” or “efficiency”. Instead the SII mixes inputs and outputs into a simple arithmetic average, which is meaningless. This is remarkable. And it means that the SII cannot be used for innovation policy purposes, which is an explicit objective of the EIS.”

At a conference June 25th, Commission officials were defending their methodology.