Innovation Research – From Origin to Current Frontier – IØ8902

Course Organization

The NORSI course Innovation research – From origin to current frontier – IØ9802 aims to provide a set of advanced insights into the field of innovation studies focusing on theoretical developments as well as strategic innovation managment.

NORSI Institutions: The course is part of Nordic Research School on Innovation and Entreprenurship (NORSI). This NORSI course is organized and co-created in collaboration between NTNU, HVL and UiO-TIK. The course will be held at UIO and the ECTS is provided by NTNU. 

When: 19 September – 23 September 2022 

Location: University of Oslo (UIO), Oslo

Application Form: Application Form – IØ8902  

Level of course: Ph.D. course

Type of course
: Introduction and specialization course for students studying entrepreneurship and innovation for their PhD.

Language: English

ECTS credits:
 7.5 ECTS accredited by NTNU


Course responsible

Professor Fulvio Castellacci, University of Oslo – Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture (UiO- TIK)

Professor Lars Coenen, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL)

NORSI Director and Professor Roger Sørheim, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)  

Questions regarding course
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The assignment for the innovation course is an academic paper. Max. length is 5000 words + references. Use your supervisor for advice and guidance before you submit your paper. We encourage you to link the paper to your own PhD project, however we expect you to make use of one or more perspectives taught during the course.


The course aims to provide a set of advanced insights into innovation research spanning from foundational themes to the most recent developments of the field. The competitiveness of firms, economic growth and societal sustainability in general depend on the ability to introduce innovative products, processes and services. Innovation research is typically divided into systems approaches on the one hand, emphasizing the networked, distributed and embedded nature of innovation and its impact on economic growth, societal sustainability and other meso/macro outcomes and a corporate and a managerial approach, focusing in particular on strategic issues and innovation dynamics at the micro-level. Both approaches deal with how processes of innovation occur at different but related levels of aggregation.

Traditionally, the system approach has dealt primarily with the allocation of resources to innovation, organizational and institutional dynamics and its macroeconomic effects (e.g. the relation between innovation on the one hand and a country’s competitiveness and economic growth on the other). More recently, greater attention is also given to the wider effects of innovation capabilities and processes on themes such as social cohesion and/or environmental sustainability. Increasingly the centrality of innovation for numerous socio-economic and sustainability-related objectives is also recognized by policy-makers at various levels, for example in relation to productivity, ‘mission’ and societal challenges. Within the systems approach the innovation process at the micro level (e.g. in firms) has been treated more or less as a ‘black box’. Innovation is a complex and dynamic organizational process – with repeating cycles of divergent and convergent activities – that both depends on and spurs of organizational learning and adaptation.

Taking a strategic perspective on these processes is important to grasp opportunities and hindrances, as well as identifying the role of intentional action. Interest in management of innovation has traditionally centered on firm-internal aspects of processes such as, for instance, how collaboration and interaction among specialized professionals take place in the creation of innovation; how to deal with unavoidable uncertainty involved; and the path dependency in skills and resources. In recent years there has been a surge in interest among scholars and practitioners in methods that allow the firm systematically to source its inputs externally. Innovation that originate from sources external to the firm has emerged as an important phenomenon and has been associated with labels such as open innovation, user innovation, crowd sourcing, and open source. These trends have also given rise to novel and so far immature research agendas that promise to enhance our understanding of the processes and sources of innovation in the years to come.

Course material and teaching activities

Scientific articles and selected literature – for part 1 please see schedule.

The course is scheduled as two intensive seminars, as a combination of lectures, seminars and paper writing exercises


Learning objectives

  • To provide insight in innovation research from its origin to recent development in the field.
  • To provide specific knowledge about “the systems of innovation” approach
  • To provide specific knowledge about managerial approaches to innovation research
  • Candidates should be capable to reflect on innovation research on both macro and microlevel (and how different perspectives are interlinked).
  • Candidates following the course should capable to reflect and position their own research within the field of innovation research.


Course Program


Monday 19 September: 


09.30-10.0: Introduction (Fulvio Castellacci & Lars Coenen)

10.00-11.30: The evolution of science policy and innovation studies (Ben Martin)

12.30-14.00: Mainstream and evolutionary perspectives to study innovation and economic growth (Fulvio Castellacci)

14.00-15.00: PhD students’ presentations: Part I


Tuesday 20 September: 


10.00-11.30: Innovation at the firm-level: organizational capabilities and strategies (Marte Cecilie Wilhelmsen Solheim)

12.30-14.00: Open innovation and networks (Marte Cecilie Wilhelmsen Solheim)

14.00-15.00: PhD students’ presentations: Part II


Wednesday 21 September: 


10.00-11.30: Industrial dynamics and sectoral systems (Fulvio Castellacci)

12.30-14.00: Regional systems and the geography of innovation (Lars Coenen)

14.00-15.00: PhD students’ presentations: Part III


Thursday 22 September: 


10.00-11.30: R&D and innovation policy: rationales and foundations (Fulvio Castellacci) 

12.30-14.00: Green transition, mission-oriented and transformative innovation policy (Lars Coenen)

14.00-15.00: PhD students’ presentations: Part IV

Friday 23 September: 

Future research

10.00-11.30: Fifteen Challenges for Innovation Studies (Ben Martin)                                                                      

12.30-14.00: Workshop with participants

Date & Location

19 September - 23 September 2022
University of Oslo