Wed, 11 Aug



Freeman Projected into the Future: SEMINAR-2

Bengt-Ake Lundvall | Helena Lastres | Susan E Cozzens | Betty-Ann Ananeh-Frempong (Ghana) | Shagufta Haneef (Pakistan) | José Miguel Natera (Mexico) | Arthur Moreira (Brazil)

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Freeman Projected into the Future: SEMINAR-2

Time & Location

11-Aug-2021, 2:30 pm GMT+1


About the Event

ZOOM LINK:  Meeting ID: 852 9580 3304  | Passcode: 2021  This zoom link, ID and passcode are common to all the three events. If you encounter any problem with respect to the link, please visit our website

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1. Grand challenges and the role of the ‘linear model’ by Arthur Moreira: The commitment of recently elected Joe Biden to achieve carbon net-zero by 2050, together with the EU and China, signals a real effort against the climate emergency by the main economic actors globally. But how will the US make it happen in the context of a surplus of cheap polluting energy derived from shale gas? Or how will China, given her frequent inauguration of coal power plants? For Freeman (1996), beyond changes in consumer culture and in institutions, priority for long-term R&D is justified and needed to get us out of our current carbon-based mode of production. He argued in the mid-1990s that the ‘linear model’ of innovation, often more criticised than supported, still has a role to play in tackling the climate challenge.

2. Innovation in the backward linkage firms in Ghana’s gold mining sector by Betty-Ann Ananeh-Frempong: This contribution illustrates how Freeman’s ideas, concepts and approach, helped me build my framework of thought for my

paper on innovation in supply firms to the gold mining firms in Ghana. Freeman’s theory of the National System of Innovation helped me to better understand the importance of government policy in developing the innovative capacity of firms. My research discovered that Ghana’s local content policy had increased local participation in the gold mining industry. Yet the lack of investment in the development of the technological capacity of firms and research institutions had led the firms that supply to the gold mining companies to import most of the items on the procurement list without adding any value.

3. The voluntary underdevelopment paradox: revisiting Freeman’s ideas on indigenous capabilities for innovation in the global south byMelina A. Galdos & Shagufta Haneef: There is a growing recognition of the university as an actor with the capacity to articulate and respond to societal needs and demands expressed outside conventional market structures. Universities in the global south offer converging spaces where knowledge stemming from different groups in society is carefully weaved with that produced in the global north to produce innovations that cater to the needs of excluded populations. However, the trends that seemed to have enabled the development of indigenous capabilities in global south universities, coupled with a worrying disconnection between such capabilities and the real world of production, may be encumbering the upwelling of socially inclusive narratives and practices around innovation, limiting thus their full transformative potential. In this essay, we draw upon Freeman’s ground-breaking idea of voluntary underdevelopment and bridge it with that of (un)satisfactory innovations and social demands for innovation to explain this paradox and propose a way forward.

4. The tree lives beyond its leaves: Freeman’s legacy on system thinking for innovation studies by José Miguel Natera: 

In this short essay, I will discuss Christopher Freeman’s legacy using two axes: (i) the multidimensional vision that he has put forward in National Innovation Systems and (ii) the upmost importance of considering time as a structuring element of the systemic analysis of innovation. I identify some aspects of Freeman’s systemic thinking. This essay is closed by reflecting on the beautiful road ahead that Freeman has signalled for future generations of scholars.


Bengt Ake Lundvall is professor emeritus in economics at Department of Business and Management at Aalborg University. His research is organized around a broad set of issues related to innovation systems, and learning economies. Since 1985, he has published more than 200 publications as books, journal articles, and book chapters (see including:

Lundvall B.-Å., (1985), Product innovation and user-producer interaction, Aalborg, Aalborg University Press.

Lundvall, B.-Å. and Johnson, B. (1994), 'The Learning Economy', Journal of Industry Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 23-42.

Lundvall, B.-Å., (ed.) (2010), National Systems of Innovation: Towards a Theory of Innovation and Interactive Learning. London, Anthem.

Lundvall, B.-Å. (2016), The Learning Economy and the Economics of Hope, London, Anthem.

Susan E. Cozzens is Professor Emerita in the School of Public Policy. Dr. Cozzens’s research interest is innovation and inequality, with a focus on how science, technology, and innovation policies affect the intersections between them. Her current projects are on the potential for artificial intelligence to increase or decrease inequalities and on women in leadership in science-intensive U.S. federal agencies. Dr. Cozzens is Vice President of GLOBELICS, the global network on the economics of learning, innovation, and competence building systems, and Associate Editor of the journal Innovation and Development.

Helena Maria Martins Lastres Is a Brazilian Economist with a Postdoctoral Degree in Territorial Development and Local Innovation and Production Systems (LIPSs), Université Pierre Mendès-France, Grenoble, France; Ph.D. in Development, Science, Technology and Industrialization, SPRU, University of Sussex, England; M.Sc in Economics of Technology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He DPhil at SPRU was supervised by Christopher Freeman and João Saboia.

Betty-Ann Ananeh-Frempong is a final year PhD candidate at the department of Economics in the University of Cape Town. My research is on the Innovation Capabilities of West African Firms. I am currently a visiting PhD fellow of the AfricaLics Visiting PhD Fellowship.

Arthur Moreira is a Brazilian Economist (UFMG and UFSC), PhD Researcher in Science and Technology Policy Studies at SPRU (Sussex). He is researching the role of research and technology organisations in mission-oriented innovation policy.

Shagufta Haneef is PhD Student at Aalborg University Business School (AAUBS), Denmark. She has been a part of the Globelics Secretariat and Africalics activities in Denmark for several years. Her research interests include National Innovation Systems (NIS), higher education and inclusive development. She has published as a co-author the Advanced Introduction to National Innovation Systems. Currently she is writing her PhD dissertation on the role of universities for inclusive development in Pakistan.

Jose Miguel Natera is Researcher CONACYT - Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM), Mexico. PhD (2014, European Mention) and Master (2010) on "Economics and Management of Innovation'', inter-university graduate program by the Autonomous University of Madrid, the Complutense University of Madrid and the Polytechnic University of Madrid. Master of Arts in Society, Science and Technology in Europe by the University of Oslo (2010). He is a member of the National System of Researchers in Mexico (Level 2). Visiting researcher at Norwegian institutes (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015). Lecturer of master and doctoral courses at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM), Mexico. Secretary of the Latin American research networks (LALICS). Natera’s research production includes scientific publications in international journals and books. He has participated in international conferences in Europe, Latin America and Asia. His main research interest is the use of knowledge as a development tool with a vision of complex processes and the relationship between health and science, technology and innovation systems.

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