Innovation Policy – International PhD course in Innovation Policy

Course organizers Professor Rune Dahl Fitjar, Professor Tom Broekel, Associate Professor Marte C.W. Solheim, University of Stavanger (UiS)  

Host organization: UiS 

ECTS: 7.5  

Language of instruction: English 

When: 30 January – 3 February

(Innovation Policy is held every second year and alternates with Geography of Innovation with Professor Ron Boschma)

Where: University of Stavanger 

Format: Face-to-Face, one week. 


In order to apply for the course, students are requested to write 200 words (half a A4 page) with some reflections on why you want to take this course, how the course relates to your PhD, and why the timing to take this course is suitable.

NOTE! The link for the application will be distributed in the beginning of the fall semester.

Course content 

  • You will get an introduction to innovation theory, and innovation policy more specifically and become familiar with different theories and approaches to how public policy can promote innovation and economic development. Herein particular attention will be placed on the regional level. 
  • You will work on real-life practical policy problems. 
  • You will provide research-based policy recommendations to policymakers. 
  • You will plan, organize, and execute the solving of these issues jointly with other students.     
  • You will present your recommendations and write a policy brief. 

The purpose of the course is to equip PhD candidates with a thought-provoking and fruitful combination of theory and application. The course will be taught through combining introductory lectures to core innovation theory and policy topics, and project group work on practical problems. The students will be presented with a real-world policy case (e.g., smart specialisation) at the beginning of the course and will work on this case throughout the week with guidance from a dedicated faculty member for each group. At the end of the course, they will present their findings and discuss them. After the course, they will write a policy brief comprising their recommendations. This will also be the basis for the final assessment. 


  • You will have a profound overview of the most central theories and debates in the research literature on innovation policy. 
  • You will have a comprehensive overview of the policies at different levels used to promote innovation and regional development. 
  • You will develop advanced and broad knowledge of how to assess a problem from an innovation policy perspective. 


  • Planning and executing projects in a timely manner 
  • You will learn to discuss policy problems and provide policy recommendations.  
  • You will learn to develop evidence-based policy solutions. 
  • You will develop/improve skills in terms of developing policy briefs. 
  • You improve your analytic skills and your ability to communicate them in a holistic manner. 

General competencies 

  • Improvement of interpersonal and collaborative skills. 
  • You improve your ability to work across disciplines and with a diverse group of people. 
  • You can write policy briefs and communicate the results in a professional manner. 
  • You can engage in discussions with stakeholders and communicate research-based evidence to a non-academic audience. 

Date & Location

30 January - 3 February
University of Stavanger