CIRCLE Seminar with Prof. Ed Steinmueller from SPRU, University of Sussex on Platforms and Standards: An Historical Perspective

Ed Steinmueller will have a seminar at CIRCLE on “Platf26086.jpgorms and Standards: An Historical Perspective”. Ed is Professor of Information and Communication Technology Policy  at SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit, Business and Management), University of Sussex. His research interests are in the field of the industrial economics of information and communication technology industries, as well as science policy and the economics of basic research.

Date: Monday May 22nd at 14:00

(please note that it is on a Monday this time)

Place: CIRCLE, Seminar Room, MNO-Huset, Sölvegatan 16

Summary: The rise in the use of standards parallels the origin of systems of mass production and the articulation of mass markets and distribution systems.  The apotheosis of these developments is occurring in the contemporary evolution of large technical systems and global value chains.  Although compatibility standards have assisted in the building of ever larger, interconnected and complex technological systems, they are also employed in efforts to devise decentralised alternative technologies and modes of organisation to these ‘megamachines’ that are more inclusive or sustainable.  Rather than being an incidental detail in technological history, since the 19th century, standards define many of the technological and market possibilities for the world in which we live.

This presentation will examine the co-evolution of standards and technological change with a focus on the contest between the centralising and the decentralising role of standards and the consequences of this contest.   The contest is evolving because, from an historical perspective, the technologies affected by standards have been subject to fundamental change and standards have, themselves, had an influence on technological change.  Three epochs in this history are identified with the second being the unusual and, in some ways, alternative pathway of Internet and modular electronic system standards which has not formed the basis for many of the newer processes of standards formation.  The new standards processes and outcomes resemble the first phase, with important differences that may merit increased attention to policy and intervention.

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 for our building, please let us know (or simply ring us on the entrance doorbell). Please bear in mind that this seminar is on Monday and not on Wednesday, like the other CIRCLE seminars.

/Claudio Fassio ( and Palina Sauchanka (




CIRCLE Seminar with Lennart Stenberg, senior adviser at VINNOVA, on National innovation policy vis-à-vis global firms

Lennart Stenberg is a Senior Advisor for International Co-operation and Analysis at VINNOVA. He is an expert in research and innovation policy and will give a seminar on “National innovation policy vis-à-vis global firms – a tentative research agenda

Date: 16th of May: 14.00-15.00 

Place: CIRCLE, Seminar Room, MNO-Huset, Sölvegatan 16

Summary: What do we know about the importance and role of large firms in the Swedish innovation system? Considering that most of these firms, be they Swedish-based or foreign based, are parts of global corporate structures and global value chains, what does Sweden have to offer these firms. To what extent can national research and innovation policy influence their investments in new value creation activities in Sweden and their indirect contribution to value creation in SMEs? What kind of research is needed to answer these and similar questions?

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 for our building, please let us know (or simply ring us on the entrance doorbell)
/Claudio Fassio ( and Palina Sauchanka (

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Workshop on new book on holistic innovation policy is held at CIRCLE

Susana Borrás (Copenhagen Business School) and Charles Edquist (CIRCLE) will publish a book with Oxford University Press later this year. The preliminary title is “Holistic Innovation Policy: Theoretical Foundations, Policy Problems and Instrument Choices

On May 23-24, 2017 each draft chapter will be discussed by two invited colleagues in a workshop at CIRCLE, we are proud to have 22 high-ranked specialists here at once discussing 12 chapters. You can find the workshop program, which details the chapter titles and reveals the names of the discussants, here: Lund innovation policy workshop-revised program of May 7th 201


Latest research presented at the American Association of Geographers’ Annual Meeting in Boston 2017

Several Circle researchers, Johan Miörner, Magnus Nilsson and Joakim Wernberg have recently presented their latest research and Björn Asheim also held the Regional Studies Annual Lecture at the American Association of Geographers’ Annual Meeting in Boston, USA. This conference features over 6,900 presentations, posters, workshops, and field trips by leading scholars, experts, and researchers.

These were the topics:

Magnus presented:
Paper by Markus Grillitsch and Magnus Nilsson 
Knowledge externalities and firm heterogeneity: Effects on high and low growth firms”

The paper analyzes differences in growth trajectories between strong and weak firms in core versus peripheral regions. 

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Johan presented:
Paper by Johan Miörner and Michaela Trippl
Path transformation through digitization: Self-driving cars in West Sweden”

The paper investigates path development activities targeting a wide range of, also non-technological, dimensions and how they promote incremental as well as more radical forms of change.

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Joakim presented:
His solo paper – by Joakim Wernberg
“Intracity Scaling Analysis and Micro-agglomerations”

The paper is investigating how internal city structure affects city-wide scaling; are there intracity scaling effects?

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Björn Asheim held the Regional Studies Annual Lecture 2017
“Meeting the Challenge of Social and Regional Inequality: How Coordinated Market Economies Link Innovation and Welfare”

Abstract: People in the contemporary Western world are suffering from two interconnected problems: a low rate of economic growth and a distribution of this more limited growth that is regionally and socially unequal. These problems are interconnected as they are rooted in the same political and ideological morass of the neo-liberalist regime of deregulation and liberalisation of the 1980s. Historically, innovation has been the most important source for increased productivity and value creation, and, thus, for making societies wealthier. When combined with the welfare policies of European coordinated market economies, this wealth has been fairly evenly distributed regionally and socially. Agents generating this growth have traditionally been Schumpeter’s Mark I entrepreneurs and his Mark II big corporations, often in close cooperation with national governments, which has characterised the Nordic countries. Today entrepreneurs create disruptive innovations, which only make themselves richer but not their host societies, and the big corporations are more and more focused on tax evasion, share buyback and other short-term activities, instead of investing their profits in innovation to secure future competitiveness. As a consequence, the underlying rate of innovation has slowed down, with lower productivity and value creation as a result.

What can a proactive innovation policy do to solve these problems, and what kinds of organisational and institutional innovations are needed to implement such a policy? How can policy not only solve the growth problem but the distributional problem as well? I shall argue that the answer is to be found in the coordinated market economies, where policies that shape innovation and welfare are strongly interlinked. The lecture aims at presenting such an agenda, inspired and informed by the innovation and welfare policies of the Nordic countries in general, and Sweden specifically.

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7,6 million from Ragnar Söderbergs stiftelse to Circle researchers

Great news of the month is that our researchers have received a prestigious grant from the Ragnar Söderbergs stiftelse. Olof Ejermo (Lunds universitet/Circle) as the project leader and Jing Xiao (Circle) as one of the co-applicants. Other applicants are Kerstin Enflo, Björn Eriksson.

In Swedish:
Ett av två utvalda Ragnar Söderbergprojekt i ekonomi 2017 är lett av forskare på Circle.

Titel på projektet: De långsiktiga effekterna på svenskt entreprenörskap av emigrationen till Amerika

Projektledare: Olof Ejermo vid Lunds universitet/Circle, medsökande: Kerstin Enflo, Björn Eriksson, Jing Xiao (Circle).

söderberg Olof et al

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I bild från vänster: Olof Ejermo, Björn Eriksson, Kerstin Enflo och Jing Xiao

Projektbeskrivning: Emigrationen till Amerika ledde till att 1,4 miljoner svenskar lämnade sitt hemland, men 200 000 återvände. Projektet ställer frågan: Hur påverkades svenskt entreprenörskap av dessa återvändare och var? Forskningen ger vägledning för den teoribildning som undersöker varför entreprenörskap tenderar att vara regionalt beständig och om sådan spårbundenhet kan ändras genom chocker som leder till folkomflyttningar. Projektet bidrar därför till förståelsen av hur fattiga jordbrukssamhällen kan genomgå en omvandling mot industrisamhällen och modern ekonomisk tillväxt. Detta är relevant för vår förståelse av internationella migrationsflöden som en potentiell kanal för att påverka entreprenörskap långsiktigt.

Se nyheten från Ragnar Söderbergs stiftelse på

Joint seminar: Jens Sörvik on smart specialisation – implementation and possible next steps

Welcome to this joint seminar between CIRCLE & the Research Policy Institute, Lund University.

Title of the seminar: Smart Specialisation – implementation and possible next steps

Jens Sörvik

Jens Sörvik

Jens Sörvik is a researcher at the European Commission’s Smart Specialisation Platform (S3P) in Seville , supporting Member States and regions in designing and implementing Smart Specialisation strategies (S3). His main activities have been related to ICT and S3, regional collaboration in S3, Baltic Sea Region, KETs and priority setting in S3.

Jens holds a Ph.D. from the University of Lund, where he was also an affiliated researcher at the Research Policy Institute.

Date:  25th of April 2017, 11.00-12.00

Place: Circle Seminar Room
In case of questions, please, contact one of the organisers –

PhD defence by Sabrina Fredin on how history and geography matter: the cultural dimension of entrepreneurship

Sabrina Fredin, PhD candidate at CIRCLE, Lund University and School of Management at Blekinge Institute of Technology in Karlskrona, will defend her thesis with the title History and geography matter: The cultural dimension of entrepreneurship.

OpponentYuko Aoyama from Clark University

Sabrina Fredin

Sabrina Fredin

Date/Time: 21st of April 2017, 13:00

Place: Blekinge Institute of Technology in Karlskrona

Abstract: This dissertation deals with the rise of new industries through entrepreneurial activities. The aim is to investigate how differences in contexts might encourage or discourage entrepreneurial activities. This contextualization of entrepreneurship enhanced our understanding of when, how and why entrepreneurial activities happen.

Entrepreneurship is recognized to be a spatially uneven process and, in addition to previous research that has examined the actions of individual entrepreneurs, we also need to understand the context in which entrepreneurship occurs. We have a good understanding of how structural conditions like industry structure, organization structure and agglomeration effects influence the context, but we know little about how the social dimension of the context is the transmitting medium between structural conditions for entrepreneurship and the decision to act upon identified entrepreneurial opportunities. Following this line of argument, this dissertation is built on the assumption that entrepreneurship is a social phenomenon which gives strong arguments for including local culture in entrepreneurship research.

The temporal persistence and the pronounced differences of culture and structural conditions between places reflect path-dependent processes. I therefore use regional path dependence as an interpretative lens to study the contextualization of entrepreneurship in two Swedish cities.

Although each context is unique, some generalizations can be drawn from the four individual papers in this dissertation. The first is that industrial legacy leads to the formation of a distinct local culture and that the persistency of this culture influences the subsequent entrepreneurial activities in new local industries. The second is that this persistency of culture suggests that entrepreneurs who are outsiders, geographically or socially, are the driving forces for the emergence of new local industries. Finally, new industry emergence is a result of a combination of exogenous forces and initial local conditions, but it is the entrepreneurial individuals who translate these forces and conditions into entrepreneurial activities.

For more information please contact

Welcome to Sabrina’s PhD defence in Karlskrona!