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The rise of systemic instruments in innovation policy

: Kuhlmann, S.; Smits, R.

International journal of foresight and innovation policy : IJFIP 1 (2004), Nr.1/2, S.4-32
ISSN: 1740-2816
Fraunhofer ISI ()
innovation policy; innovation study; innovation system; policy instrument; systemic instrument

Starting from the co-evolutionary development of innovation practice, theory and policy, five functions are identified that play a crucial role in the management of present-day innovation processes: (1) management of interfaces, (2) (de-) construction and organising (innovation) systems, (3) providing a platform for learning and experimenting, (4) providing an infrastructure for strategic intelligence and (5) stimulating demand articulation, strategy and vision development. From a first analysis of innovation policy instrument portfolios it is concluded that the already existing instruments only cover a small part of the five 'systemic' functions. Furthermore it is concluded that the portfolios are heavily dominated by financial instruments. Is is argued that the development of a (relatively) new type of instrument, the systemic instruments, should be furthered in order to tune the instrument portfolio better to the needs of actors involved in innovation processes. In order to obtain a better insight into the characteristics of systemic instruments, their success and fail factors, and into strategies for their further development, effectiveness and use, an analysis of four systemic instrument avant la letter is presented. From this analysis conclusions concerning the need for and best practice of systemic instruments are drawn, suggestions for policy are derived and questions for further research are proposed.