Course details
Course general details
Measuring and Modelling Dynamics in Innovation Systems
Course contents
Aug 26, 2013
Aug 30, 2013
This course offers an introduction to analyzing innovation systems dynamics, and to analyzing the different components that make-up the innovation system. It provides a set of tools to scientifically measure and model dynamics in each component of the innovation system and the system as a whole. The goal is to provide a comprehensive overview of the most important theories and methods to study the innovation system. The course contributes to formulating theoretical explanations for findings on a system level, and it prevents ‘rediscovering’ phenomena that are already known within the disciplinary traditions. Finally, it enriches insights about the effects of systemic policy instruments on different components of the innovation systems. Overall, it lays a solid theoretical and methodological foundation for students that wish to participate in advanced courses about specific topics.
This course is organized by the Innovation Studies Group of Utrecht University on behalf of the “European Forum for Studies of Policies for Research and Innovation” (Eu-SPRI Forum).

The most important insight that has dominated the field of innovation studies in recent decades is the fact that innovation is a collective activity. It takes place within the context of a wider system of actors. This wider system is coined ‘the innovation system’ or ‘the innovation ecosystem’. The success of innovation trajectories is to a large extent determined by how the innovation system is built up and how it functions.

Many studies on the topic have limited themselves to a descriptive understanding of the innovation system. The idea is that an innovation system consists of multiple interacting components, such as firms who supply innovations, the demand for innovation, knowledge infrastructure, and institutions that support or hamper innovation. The interaction between the components is central in innovation studies.

Each of these components has been studied by different scientific disciplines and traditions. The supply side, for example, is studied extensively by scholars in management, organization studies, and industrial economics. The demand side is largely dominated by scholars in marketing and consumer psychology. Therefore, understanding the innovation system as a dynamic whole is a multi-disciplinary effort in which engineering knowledge about technologies is combined with a range of disciplinary social science approaches. For this reason studying innovation system dynamics is challenging.
PhD level
After the course participants have accomplished the following objectives. They:
- Become acquainted with the use of models in the social sciences.
- Become acquainted with theories about dynamics in the innovation system as whole and dominant theories on its separate components.
- Are able to apply these theories to explain specific innovation problems they encounter in their own research projects.
- Have an overview of possibilities to test theories by measuring and modeling empirical data.
- Are able to interpret the outcomes of these models in terms of theory and policy.

More concretely this means that after the course have learned a number of skills:
- Students have a broad understanding of theories in different components of the innovation systems. This enables them to combine insights from different traditions into new research ideas. Further, being aware of different theories is helpful for future collaboration with other scientists.
- Students are able to read, understand and critically assess scientific studies that are conducted in the field of innovation systems.
- Students have a basic level of knowledge that allows them expand their knowledge on the topic by themselves or though other courses.

Prof. dr. Marko Hekkert, Prof. dr. Harro van Lente, dr. Gaston Heimeriks

Course conditions
May 1, 2013
€400 ex. housing, €600 incl. housing
Utrecht University, Faculty of Geosciences (UU)

Target Group
The primary target audience consists of academic researchers in the early stages of their career, such as PhD students (primarily 1st and 2nd year), junior researchers or researchers that recently received their PhD, but that are new to the field. Further, we are open to receiving a limited number of non-academic researchers that are interested in the topic. In total we hope to welcome 30 participants.

Applicants are requested to send in their CV and a short letter of motivation. We will not select applicants only on their scientific track record, but also on their potential to learn from the course. Applicants coming from an institution that is an EU-SPRI member have priority over applicants from non-EU-SPRI members.

Study Load
The duration of the course is five full days. Each course day begins a 9.00 and ends at 17.15, and has four blocks of teaching. In between the blocks there are coffee and lunch breaks. The two main work forms are interactive lectures and computer labs. In the evening participants are expected to work on the assignment in their own time if they didn’t finish in time.

On Monday welcome drinks are organized, on Thursday there will be a farewell dinner. On the other two evenings meals will be provided. During three evenings a short lecture will be given.

• € 600 - Course + course materials + housing
• € 400 - Course + course materials

The fee of € 600,- is applicable to non-students. Students currently enrolled at a university will get a discount of € 200,-. Applicants coming from an institution that is an EU-SPRI member get a full discount. This discount will be automatically processed in your account.

Applications should include:
- Curriculum vitae (submit through your account)
- Recent set of transcripts (marks/grades) in English, German, French or in Dutch for Dutch students (submit through your account)
- Proof of enrollment at a higher education institution - if applicable (submit through your account)

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More information
Jeroen van Pelt
External link

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Feb 28, 2013
Registration Closed