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Thu, 30 Nov




The 'IN CONVERSATION' series portray prominent innovation scholars of the day in the form of intellectual-biographical interviews. The 14th episode features SLAVO RADOSEVIC in a deep conversation with CARLOTA PEREZ on 30 NOV. 2023

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Time & Location

30-Nov-2023, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm UTC



About the Event

About the Event

The IN CONVERSATION series portrays prominent innovation scholars of the day in the form of intellectual-biographical interviews.

In the 14th event SLAVO RADOSEVIC  will be interviewed by CARLOTA PEREZ


The event will be moderated by ARTHUR MOREIRA


On 30 NOV, 2023 

At 12 PM GMT | 12 PM UK 

7 am - New York | 9 am – Brazil | 1 pm - Denmark, France, Italy | 2pm South Africa | 3 pm - EAT | 5.30 pm - India | 8 pm China & Malaysia | 9 pm - Tokyo | 11 PM Canberra

Structure of the program (2 hours split up as follows)

Brief intro to the program and introducing CARLOTA by ARTHUR, Moderator 5 minutes

i. Introductory remarks by CARLOTA and SLAVO is introduced (10 minutes) followed by a conversation between them as follows

ii. Formative years and major influences - (10 minutes)

iii. Contributions, Critique and weakness, Current work & future course - (35 minutes): starting from the important contributions of  SLAVO , evolving towards a critical evaluation of his work. Then moving on to discussions on what next given the changing circumstances, how the theoretical contributions are relevant in current circumstances etc. It is a platform to convey what they want future generations to take from  SLAVO  and how they can further develop standing on the strong base that was created.

iv. Comment on Status of Innovation Economics and what next? - (10 minutes)

Some of the possible questions could be the following. However the speakers can shape it the way they want it to be!· How did you end up doing research on innovation?· What were your most important contributions to the field?· To what degree have you engaged in teamwork and collective research?· How do you see the relationship between economics and innovation studies?· How do you see the role of innovation policy and innovation politics in development strategies?· How do you see the future for innovation studies?· At what level should we study innovation – micro, meso and macro?· What kind of methods should we use to study innovation and economic development?· What kind of advice would you like to give to young innovation scholars?· What role can innovation play in meeting global challenges?


v. Discussion (1 hour): For the 1 hour discussion a panel of 3 scholars (GABRIELA, NICK & YANNIS ) will ask questions and / or make comments on  SLAVO 's work. After  SLAVO 's response to them the forum will be open for questions from the audience.

Finally CARLOTA winds up the session with a vote of thanks.


SLAVO RADOSEVIC  (Exclusive Autobiographical Note)

I am quite puzzled but also honoured to be proposed as one of the speakers for 'IN CONVERSATION' SERIES’. I knew Chris Freeman well as he lived a few hundred meters from us and, together with Carlota, was a frequent guest in our house. So, I would like to treat this as continuing our conversations, but now only with Carlota.

My surprise is that I do not fit the academic scholar profile well; in that respect, I cannot claim much fame. Yes, I have worked in the UK university system since 1993, but professionally, I started as a government economist in Croatia, i.e., former Yugoslavia. I worked for 7 seven years in the government Institute for Planning in a country that did not have a real plan. So, we were doing short-medium and long-term analyses, and I frequently attended government and parliamentary meetings to present analyses and propose economic policy measures. So, after a few years, I was appointed de facto an assistant to the Minister of Planning of Croatia. During that time, I managed to do PhD on Technology Development and Practice of Interventionism. I also got funding for a technology capability project in Croatian firms, a great learning school. I wrote to World Bank Carl Dahlman and asked him for the questionnaire they used in their projects in Latin America, basically the operationalisation of the technology capability approach.

At the time, intellectually, I could not see myself climbing administrative-policy ladders, so I spent some time in Holland doing a diploma in development studies and learning some econometrics. As an excuse that I needed to visit SPRU to do my diploma work (1987), I first time had a chance to meet Keith Paviit, Roy Rothwell, and other SPRU fellows. I could not imagine that I would be working there in a few years. 

When I returned to Croatia, to the horror of my boss at the time (Minister), I asked him to leave me for a year to Denmark, where I would be a post-doc at the doctoral program of Roskilde University on innovation policy. This was an excellent formative period for me and ten international PhD students, including Esben Sloth Anderson and Young Rak Cho, who made distinctive carers in their respective areas. This allowed us to meet scholars in innovation studies worldwide, ranging from the social shaping of technology (David Noble) to industrial economics (Jacques de Bandt). This was when BA Lundvall, with Chris Freeman, Giovanni Dosi, et al., worked on what we called the Bible, i.e., the book Technical  Change and Economic Theory. As a result of my excitement and our in-depth discussions of different chapters of the book, I wrote a full-length review article in Review of Political Economy.  

On my return to Croatia, I worked in the Economic Institute. It was a poorly paid but safe research job in a country undergoing dramatic change. However, my ex-boss from Croatia became Minister for Development in the Federal government, and he wanted to hear what I learned in Denmark. As a result, he gave me a contract to evaluate the Federal Fund for R&D. Upon submission of the report and recommendations, I was appointed as Federal Under-secretary for Development in charge of S&T policy. So, my task was to try to implement my proposed recommendations. 

As you can imagine, I was full of respect for what awaited me, and to prepare myself, I put all my academic knowledge that could be useful to imaginary policy makers at the time into a journal article. This was published in Science and Public Policy, and after more than 30 years, I am still happy with what is there.

At that time, I belonged to the late-late moderniser group and could not see the breakdown that the country was undergoing. Of course, we realised that the country would split, so I was working on the program to attract six independent countries that would still cooperate in S&T policy, modelled on the example of the EU. I even managed to organise with the OECD YU Technology Economy Program as a kickstart for that activity. We organised a big gathering on a beautiful island where Tito hosted foreign guests, and this was the first time I met Luc Soete, with whom I still collaborate. However, it was only a couple of months after our conference that the war started in Slovenia, and this was the end of my late-late moderniser career.

I returned to Croatia to my institute as a researcher and teacher in an MBA program. It was a time of competitiveness euphoria (Porter), and I realised I could get funding for the project on Croatia's competitiveness. So, there I was with big money and a team of 20 people analysing firm, sector, trade and macro competitiveness issues, which carried on even after I left Croatia through the National Council for Competitiveness. 

Yes, I was quite successful professionally, but the political situation with the war in Bosnia was not very pleasant. So, I was looking for something abroad and was lucky that this was the time of the opening of Eastern Europe. I applied for a short-term job advertised in The Economist at SPRU. I was invited to give a seminar and was offered to work with the late David Dyker, a Sovietologist, leading to my eight-year career at SPRU. This was a very exciting period as SPRU was at the centre of innovation studies, which, from the margins, was gradually moving to the mainstream. This was also when I was in daily contact with many SPRU PhD students who are established scholars in their fields today. I will not cite their names for fear of missing some of them.

Coming to SPRU, I was one of a few East Europeans who worked on economic development and technology. However, I did not know much about the orthodox Soviet system. In ex-Yugoslavia, we were brought up on Third World (nonalignment) literature, and I had to learn how the Soviet system was working. 

From then on, I worked on various projects on Central and Eastern Europe, from the Baltics to Central Asia. This also included consultancy works for the Asian Development Bank, E&Y, UN, World Bank, UNESCO, EU, UNIDO, etc. SPRU's job was excellent in many respects, allowing me to publish widely based on many projects. However, the snag was that there was no security. You were good as your last project. So, driven by concern for the family, I moved to UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, where I still work. I continue participating in research, teaching, and many advisory (impact) activities. They all grew in scale and scope as I was maturing professionally. During that period, I was Deputy Director and then Acting Director, but I could not see myself as a university administrator.

So, intellectually, I would describe myself as sitting between the academic and policy worlds and doing research in the Neo-Schumpterian tradition. Namely, having started as a policy analyst and even being a policy maker, I think I understand well the world in which policy administrators operate. On the other hand, I am excited by the academic world, but I wouldn't say I like many facets of the new public management style of the academic world. In particular, this relates to excellence metrics, which make many young people miserable and pressured to publish under any price, the academy’s too strong inward orientation, and the imbalance between rigour and relevance. I feel privileged that I was spared of it in my young years. My intellectual satisfaction over the last few years has been the international online PhD group where I can collaborate with curious minds and force myself to follow the knowledge frontier in innovation studies. I have started the work on the book synthesising the technological transformation processes of Eastern Europe, which is an extremely heterogeneous macroregion today, which may be relevant for the Global South audience.  

InConversation is a nice opportunity to transfer some of my experiences to young people. In that way, I hope they may be at ease with their career choices, which may shift to quite unexpected trajectories.     


British-Venezuelan researcher, lecturer and international consultant, Carlota Perez studies the mutual shaping of technical change and society and the lessons provided by the history of technological revolutions for economic growth and development. In Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages (Elgar 2002), she put forward her theory of the emergence and diffusion of technological revolutions and of the role of finance in the process. With the support of Chris Freeman, her mentor and partner, her work has contributed to the present understanding of the relationship between technology, innovation and economic development; between technical and institutional change; and between finance and technological diffusion. She is currently working on a sequel, Beyond the Technological Revolution, funded by Anthemis UK, which will analyse the roles that government, business and civil society play in the deployment of the potential of each revolution. She is Honorary Professor at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) at University College London, UK and at SPRU, the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, UK; Adjunct Professor of Technology and Socio-Economic Development at the Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance at TalTech, Estonia. 


Gabriela Dutrénit is an economist with a PhD in Science and Technology Research Studies from the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex, UK. She is researcher of the Postgraduate Program in Economics, Management and Policies of Innovation at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM), Mexico. She is a regular member of the Mexican Academy of Science. She is coordinator of LALICS (Latin American Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems), the Latin American Chapter of GLOBELICS. During 2012-2014 she was Coordinator of the Scientific and Technological Advisory Forum in Mexico. Gabriela Dutrénit’s research interests include: innovation and development, in particular learning and technological capability accumulation at the firm level; university–industry linkages; research and development (R&D) and innovation policy. She has coordinated several evaluations of the Mexican policy of science, technology and innovation.


Nick Vonortas is Professor of Economics and International Affairs, and Associate Dean for

Research at the Elliott School of International Affairs of The George Washington University. He

concurrently holds a ‘São Paulo Excellence Chair’ in Technology and Innovation Policy at the

University of Campinas, Brazil. He has held visiting appointments at the Tsinghua University

(China), Korea University (Korea), and the University of Lund (Sweden) among others.

Nick is editor of Science and Public Policy. His areas of expertise are the economics of

technological change, and innovation policy and strategy. His forthcoming publications include

“Global Value Chains and Regional Systems of Innovation: Towards a Critical Juncture?” and

“Biomedical Entrepreneurship in U.S. Regions”. Two years ago, he coedited the book The

Challenges of Technology and Economic Catch-up in Emerging Economies with Slavo, Jeon-

Dong Lee, Keun Lee, and Dirk Meissner. He completed his Ph.D. in Economics at New York

University in 1989.


Dr. Yannis D. Caloghirou is Emeritus Professor of Economics of Technology and Industrial Strategy, and

co-founder (1994) and former Director of the Laboratory of Industrial and Energy Economics at the

National Technical University of Athens. He was the founder and Head of the Innovation and

Entrepreneurship Unit at NTUA and a member of the Scientific Board of the incubator Invent at NTUA

(2011-2020). He created the interdisciplinary team INFOSTRAG (Research Group for Technological,

Economic and Strategic Analysis of the Information Society) operating within the Laboratory of Industrial

and Energy Economics. This group organises since 2006 an annual seminar in the island of Syros on

“Information Society and Knowledge Economy”. He has been visiting scholar at SPRU (University of

Sussex), the Center for International Science and Technology Policy (GWU), and visiting Professor at the

Department of Science and Technology Policy (University of Campinas, Brazil). He acted as the scientific

coordinator of many EU-funded and national research projects in the broader field of socio-economic

research related to economics of technology, innovation entrepreneurship studies, industry study, ICT

socioeconomics, and the knowledge economy. He has served in top policy-making positions in Greece

among them as Secretary General for Industry (2000-2002) and as Secretary for the Information Society

(2002-2004). He has acted as an evaluator of DG Research and Innovation European Research Programs

and has chaired the Scientific Council of the Greek National Documentation Center (2011-2014).  He has

sat in a number of EU high-level expert and policy groups, and he was co-Rapporteur of the EU High-

Level Policy group on the Socio-Economic Benefits of the European Research Area (2012). He was also a

member of the Governing Board of the European Network of Excellence DIME (Dynamics of Institutions

and Markets in Europe). He was the Chairman and the organizer of the 15th International Globelics

Conference on Innovation and Development in Athens (2017). He has also acted as a scientific advisor of

the Central Union of Greek Municipalities, in their effort to formulate and implement a digital strategy

for the municipalities (2004-2012). Yannis is currently guest editor of a special issue of the Science and

Public Policy Journal on “The new spectrum of intangibles assets”.Moreover, he has extensive work

experience in industry and in policy advisory, design, and evaluation. He has written extensively on

topics related to his research in scholarly journals, and edited books and the popular and business press.

In particular, he is co-editor of three books on European Collaboration in Research and Development

(ELGAR, 2004), Knowledge Flows in European Industry (Routledge, 2006), and Dynamics of Knowledge

Intensive Entrepreneurship (Routledge, 2016).


Arthur is a final year PhD student in Economics of Innovation at SPRU-University of Sussex. He is Brazilian, but currently living in Sweden. He's interested in the role of research organisations in mission-oriented innovation policy in the Global South.

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