Towards a broad understanding of innovation and its importance for innovation policy

Publikation aus Policies
Technologie, Innovation und Politikberatung

D. Meissner, W. Polt, N. Vonortas

The Journal of Technology Transfer, 2017, vol. 42, issue 5, 1184-1211 DOI: 10.1007/s10961-016-9485-, 2017


This paper considers the changes in the concept of innovation during recent decades and the degree to which such changes have been of significance to innovation policy. We observe that:
(1) the notion of innovation in research, statistics, and policy is becoming increasingly broad;
(2) while this broader notion is conceptually more adequate for understanding the complexity of innovation activity, it also makes it increasingly difficult to gain a clear, unambiguous picture of innovation activity;
(3) policy concepts built upon this extended understanding of innovation are becoming more complex in terms of governance capacities, coordination capabilities, and evidence-based policy formulation.
The broad perception of innovation will, in fact, require substantial innovations in political and administrative systems to apply.