Fri, 19 Nov




1. The technological innovation system of isolated hybrid micro-grids in Bolivia 2. New directions for IS approaches regarding cross-sectoral co-evolution based on convergence

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Time & Location

19-Nov-2021, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm GMT


About the Event

You are cordially invited to participate in

Chris Freeman centenary Lecture series

Innovation Systems-102- Practical application of the IS-theory


19th  NOVEMBER, 2021 | 01.00 PM LONDON TIME (GMT)

8 AM - New York | 10 AM – Brazil |2 pm - Denmark, France | 3 pm - South Africa | 4 PM - EAT | 6:30 PM - India | 9 PM China & Malaysia |10 PM - Tokyo



1. Claudia Lorena Sanchez Solis, University of San Simon (Bolivia): The technological innovation system of isolated hybrid micro-grids in Bolivia

2. Duygu SARAÇOĞLU, METU-Science and Technology Policy Studies, Turkey: NEW DIRECTIONS FOR IS APPROACHES



1. Franco Malerba, University of Bocconi, Italy

2. Mammo Muchie, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa


Jana Schmutzler de Uribe, Universidad del Norte, Colombia


Only Registered participants can attend the programme.

Meeting ID:  938 7788 2327

Passcode   : 623847

Registered participants who attend all lectures and respond to feedback form will receive a diploma signed by Bengt Ake Lundvall




Claudia Lorena Sanchez Solis is Chemical Engineer, graduate of the Master of Science in Innovation and Development in 2020, at the Universidad Mayor de San Simón (UMSS), Bolivia. She has recently completed a research stay at KU Leuven, Belgium, in the framework of a South Initiatives Project, supported by the Flemish cooperation VLIR-UOS. Currently, she is doing a research stay at the Energy Research Centre at the UMSS and collaborates closely with the Programme of Innovation and Technology Transfer in the same university. Her research interests are Energy Innovation Systems, Energy Modelling and Planning, Energy Policy.

Duygu Saraçoğlu studied Astronomy and Mathematics at Ankara University in Ankara, Turkey. Later on, she studied and completed her MSc and PhD degrees at Science and Technology Policy Studies (STPS), at Middle East Technical University (METU), in Ankara, Turkey. Her doctoral research awarded with EAEPE Prize for the Best Political Economy Paper at the Economics, Governance and Management of AI, Robots and Digital Transformations Conference (EMAEE19) which was held at University of Sussex Business School, in 2019. She has both public and private sector experience, mainly conducting and managing major ICT-related projects. Currently, she is serving as a Senior STI Policy Expert at TÜBİTAK, mainly responsible of coordination of design and planning of national STI policies, STI governance and policy measures, national/sectoral innovation system analysis, technology road mapping and foresight studies. She also has vast experience in international projects and at STI policy and governance platforms. She is also the National Delegate for OECD - Committee for Science and Technology Policy, and Technology and Innovation Policy Working Group.

Danilo Spinola is an economist and affiliated researcher at UNU-Merit, part of the Research teams on Innovation, Structural Change and Economic Complexity.

Danilo is currently working as a Senior Lecturer in Economics in the Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics of the Birmingham City Business School (Birmingham City University).

Danilo had a postdoctoral research position and holds a PhD on Economics of Innovation from UNU-Merit, where was also tutoring and lecturing in the Master of Public Policy (MPP).

Previously, Danilo has worked as a consultant for the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and for the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET). He is currently the Chairman of the advisory board of the Young Scholars Initiative (YSI), and vice-president of the Latin American Network for the study of Learning Systems, Innovation and Skills Construction (LALICS). Spinola’s research includes Structural Change, Complexity Economics, and Macroeconomic Theory.

Natalia Gras holds a PhD in Social Sciences, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico; a Master in Economics and Innovation Management, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico and an Economics degree from the Faculty of Economics and Administration, Universidad de la República, Uruguay.

She is an Adjunct Professor at the Academic Unit of the Research Council of the Universidad de la República, is a member of the National Researchers System of Uruguay (Level 1), GLOBELICS and LALICS.

From the National Innovation Systems approach she has studied various aspects of the processes of knowledge production and its creative application for productive purposes (technological innovation) and for social purposes (innovation oriented to social inclusion), its contribution to development and the role of STI policies. More recently, she has advanced the study of the relationship between research assessment and differential forms of knowledge production.

She has participated in multiple research projects and has disseminated her results in congresses, book chapters and scientific articles and has taught several courses on: i) the relationships between Science, Technology, Innovation and Development; ii) Economics of Innovation; iii) Research Design and Methods.

Jana Schmutzler de Uribe studied business administration at the Friedrich-Schiller- Universität Jena. She received a German degree in business administration with the specialization of international strategic management, marketing and intercultural communication studies in 2001. Jana Schmutzler gained international exposure as an exchange student at the “Ocean University Qingdao” in China and at “University of Cordoba” in Spain. Since 2014, Jana Schmutzler is professor at the “Universidad del Norte” in Barranquilla, Colombia. She teaches organizational theory and entrepreneurship in the bachelor program. She is an active member of the Colombian “Global Entrepreneurship Monitor” team.

Franco Malerba is Full Professor of  Applied Economics. President of ICRIOS, Bocconi University. Editor of the Journal Industrial and Corporate Change. Advisory editor of Research Policy. Associate editor of the Journal of Evolutionary Economics.  He has been President of EARIE (European Association of Research in Industrial Economics) and of the International Schumpeter Society. He has been in the Advisory Board of Max Planck Institute of Economics-Jena; SPRU- Sussex University;  CRIC- Manchester University;  EU High-Level Panels for “New Innovation Indicators for Europe” and  for  “A New European Innovation Policy”. He has been a visiting scholar at the Department of Economics, CEPR and SIEPR, Stanford University; Max Plank Institute-Jena; University of Queensland; University of Stellenbosch and Louis Pasteur University- Strasbourg. Winner of the Schumpeter Prize in 2012.

Mammo Muchie  is a fellow of the South African Academy of Sciences, the African Academy of Sciences and the African Science Institute. He is also currently adjunct Professor at the Adama Science, Technology University, Arsi University, Addis Ababa University and University of Gondar, Ethiopia.​He has been senior research associate at the SPMTDC programme and also has become Senior Research Associate at the TMD Centre of Oxford University. He is also a Chief Editor of a new TUT Journal of Creativity, Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (JCISE). Prof Muchie is collaborating with researchers (DILIC) on the potential research areas of Africa-China industrial high-technology sectors. He has been invited as Associate Faculty professor at Sussex University, UK for the next three years; at the University of Economics in Prague as visiting professor, Jawarahal Nehru University in India, Tonji and Shanghai University in China; Honorary Professor Jiaxing University in China, Assistant Professor Amsterdam University, Visiting Professor Carleton College in the USA; Principal Lecturer Middlesex University, Professor Aalborg University; Part–time Lecturer, Cambridge University; Honorary Professor UNISA. Professor Mammo held various positions globally, including the Director of the Research Programme on Civil Society and African Integration at the then University of Kwa Zulu-Natal; board member at the North Western University, Chengdu, China.


Paper-1: The technological innovation system of isolated hybrid micro-grids in Bolivia: Identifying systemic problems through a sequential analytical model

Claudia Sánchez1,3, Evelyn Cardozo1, Fátima Zambrana2Carlos Acevedo3

1Energy Research Center, San Simón University, Cochabamba, Bolivia

2Centre for Higher University Studies, San Simón University, Cochabamba, Bolivia

3 Program of Innovation and Technology Transfer, San Simón University, Cochabamba, Bolivia


According to [1], the global electrification rate reached 89 % and 131 million people gained access to electricity each year on average since 2010. Most of the people who still lack access to electricity in the world, are in rural areas of developing countries. The use of locally available renewable resources combined with modern technologies could be a solution, therefore, technological and organizational innovation are crucial to spread such technologies

Until recent years, decision making regarding to renewable energy (RE) systems has been driven by two main factors: technology development and investment [2]. Thus, model-based scenarios from a merely techno-economic point of view have received much attention recently, to identify pathways towards achieving decarbonisation targets [3].However, there is “lack attention for actors, their decisions, interactions and learning processes, and the way these shape twisting transition paths” [4, p. 349]. Hence, the innovation system approach could be useful to study these processes with the actors, networks and institutions involved [5].

Several methods were developed to try to understand innovation systems and guide their future development to increase the diffusion of new technologies. Foresight and scenario methods have gained considerable attention both at the level of individual strategy formulation of organizations or as tools to coordinate different actors in politics or industry. Even these methods have been criticized for often paying very little attention to the co-evolution of technological and societal processes [4].  In previous studies, it was suggested that policy makers focus on system weaknesses [6], [7] and later, the "functional perspective" was proposed as a useful approach to identify such weaknesses [8]–[10].

The present work addresses the question: What are the systemic problems affecting the technological innovation system of isolated hybrid micro-grids in Bolivia? With this aim, we explore the analytical secuential model showed in [11] that allows understanding the dynamics and systemic problems around TIS. Such model was nourished with other concepts in order to address above-mentioned gaps, such as the lack attention for actors, their decisions, interactions and learning, but mainly the lack of attention on systemic problems of emergent innovation systems in developing countries. We empirically analysed the isolated hybrid micro-grids TIS for rural electrification in Bolivia. Hybrid micro-grids represent a feasible solution for providing electricity to rural areas far from the main grid due to its ability to adapt to the particular context of the location of demand [4-8].


Technological Innovation Systems

The systemic nature of innovation processes has been explicitly addressed, by scholars working with innovation system concepts in [25–27]. At least two different perspectives have been approached by innovation scholars, for analyzing such fundamental transformation. One of them, is the Technological Innovations System (TIS) perspective addressed in [18, 28, 29] and the other is the multi-level perspective (niches, regimes and landscapes) [23]. In this study, the TIS perspective was adopted.

In [24], Markard & Truffer made an effort to integrate these perspectives, in order to complement their gaps. In this context, they suggest a specific notion for TIS: “ A Technological Innovation System is a set of networks of actors and institutions that jointly interact in a specific technological field and contribute to the generation, diffusion and utilization of variants of a new technology and/or a new product”[24, p. 611].

In earlier studies, TIS approach showed limitations. One of them was the static view, considering just the structural dimension of the system, with less emphasis on the analysis of the dynamics of innovation systems [25]. The structural components are the actors, institutions, networks and infrastructure. This perspective has been complemented with the functions approach, an analytical framework that can be applied both for evaluating TIS performance at a moment in time (assessing functions) and for studying TIS building over time [26]. In [8], authors state that functions “focus on the dynamics of what is actually ‘achieved’ in the system rather than on the dynamics in terms of structural components only.” Therefore, they are also referred to as dynamic elements of a TIS. The functions refer also to core processes in a TIS, complementary to the structural components. These functions are: entrepreneurial activities (F1), knowledge development (F2), knowledge diffusion (F3), guidance of search (F4), market formation (F5), mobilization of resources (F6) and creation of legitimacy (F7) [8], [25]. Edsand (2019) proposed an adapted framework of functions of TIS for developing countries in a recent study and made a number of suggestions to better adapt the functional perspective of ITS to developing economies.

Recalling the discussion presented in [11], although the TIS have been known as socio-technical configurations oriented towards the diffusion of certain technologies, it is necessary to emphasize the inclusive orientation that they should have. In line with the search for universal access to electricity, inclusive innovation systems benefit lower income groups and excluded groups, considering the latter as agents (key actors of TIS) in the process rather than customers.

In highly industrialized countries, innovations are usually driven by market demand [11]. Therefore, social demands that are not attractive to the market remain below their threshold of recognition. Social demand for knowledge and innovation can- in specific circumstances- play that role, helping to build the knowledge base for development. Thus, we can consider the demand for "access to electricity" as a social demand for innovation and knowledge.

According to experience, while building structural components of innovation systems (e.g. universities, research institutes, regulations and others) in developing countries, interactions between actors was difficult to stimulate, mainly due to the weak demand for knowledge [27]. In this context, studies in developing countries prove that the focus should be in building and strengthening systems rather than managing them, as well as in developing capacities and absorbing technologies rather than developing new ones [5-7]. For developing countries, building innovation systems in the field of renewable energies can focus on the direct creation of access to sustainable energy and on the indirect creation of industrial and economic development [29].

TIS literature mostly refers to problems that hinder the development of innovation systems as systemic problems, failures or weaknesses. These block specific functions and therefore hinder the building of the systems [10]. A recent study [30] addresses a discussion concerning the concepts of systemic problems and blocking mechanisms. Such concepts showed limitations in the literature regarding their interdependencies, which creates a room for confusion while mapping TIS malfunctioning. As a result, [30] proposes a new conceptual framework for TIS hindering factors that focuses on the causal explanation by describing mechanisms that connect causes and outcomes under specific contexts.


Arocena & Sutz propose an sequential analytical model in [31], to study development problems with the descriptive and prescriptive dimensions that are needed for Development Studies. According the authors, descriptions of situations and problems must be differentiated from and combined with prescriptions for solving such problems in the context of the situations under consideration The sequential analytical model consists of four approaches, to know a process and act rationally in its context, with ethical inspiration and practical intention. These approaches are: factual, normative, prospective and propositional. In this way, the model for studying development problems seems to represent a useful tool to guide the analysis of a SIT and its context in an orderly manner at a given time. In this work, this model was adopted for the analysis of technological innovation systems in developing countries.

The main sources of information, for all four stages of the model, were document review and semi-structured interviews with the main actors involved in the SIT of the isolated hybrid RMs. The interviews were conducted using pre-developed interview guides with pre-defined questions. In addition, a document review was conducted. The data collected from the documents and the interviews were compiled according to the variables defined in each stage of the model. Stages A and B have a descriptive character. In stage C, trends are analyzed. The previous process allows identifying systemic problems in stage D and making proposals as strategic elements (see Figure 3.2). Note that the numbers in the figure do not represent the sequence of the model but were used to explain the relationship between each stage.

Figure 1: Sequential analytical model and relationship between stages.

1. Highlights about fundamental new facts and   processes.

2. Highlights what needs to be studied.

3. Highlights what trends need to be addressed.

4. Highlights on future possible alternatives.

5. Looks into the present from the future.

6. Orients actions.

7. Provides informations and interpretations.

8. Asks questions on ongoing processes; demands new   explanations.

Source: Adapted from [11]

The sequential analytical model allows for the formulation of strategies and recommendations with policy implications through the identification of systemic problems and a clear scenario of the structure of a TIS. In this study, we will limit ourselves to defining strategic elements for future plans, instruments, and systemic policies.


This paper explores an analytical sequential model and applies it in an empirical way, to identify systemic problems of a TIS that can inform the formulation of strategies and policies that support the construction and development of innovation systems in developing countries.

In this way, the followed model allows the identification of systemic problems considering the perspective of the functions of IST in a broader context with considerations for developing countries. Thus, with the model, we could generate a picture of the structure, potentialities and problems existing in an IST at a given moment. Additionally, the systemic problems allow to inform the debate on how to mitigate these factors through different policy objectives, instruments, and coordination of actions. The model helps to analyze, not only from a point of view of the events linked to each function, but also from the structure and contextual factors affecting an emerging TIS.

Regarding the case study, in empirical terms, our analysis managed to reveal how the innovation system of isolated hybrid systems for rural electrification works. It was found that the TIS is in its formative phase, in contrast to the characteristics outlined in [17, 73]. There are shortcomings mainly of an institutional nature and in the relations between actors. The absence of the academic actor is clear in the sector and evidence that the process of local capacity building needs to be strengthened. A comparison with other cases in developing countries shown in [33], shows that this is a fact which affects a large part of them. However, it also highlights those local capacities are key to the development of the system, as well as the participation of governments and international cooperation as key actors. The analysis suggests that the application niche of hybrid micro-grids is small and has a strong dependence on government decisions and energy transition policies at national and international levels.

Tracking systemic problems or blocking mechanisms translates into baseline targets for policymakers. Thus, the results obtained in final stage of the model have strong implications for policy recommendations. The model could be used in an integrated way with other techno-economic models of energy planning, as a tool to inform the taking of appropriate measures to accompany such planning.

Finally, such an analysis scheme is based on current knowledge and is therefore by no means a finished product. Only through a systematic learning process can we improve our understanding of the opportunities and limitations of innovation system analysis and policy making. Further work is required to land on a well-established method. Therefore, further empirical applications of the model are recommended. The interdependencies between systemic problems affecting different system functions need to be explored further. Additionally, an analysis of the set of activities that connect the cause (systemic problems) with the function is recommended.



Recent developments show that convergence, particularly technology convergence, is one of the main trends that shape the new economy. Such that, the dominant sector is being created by more than one converging sector that, in turn, provides the infrastructure for wealth and innovation creation by all sectors. Thus, convergence is becoming the basis of all sectors and it reduces the threshold of transforming the economy. Moreover, recent studies suggest that key enabling technologies that have disruptive impact on sectoral transformation and blurring of boundaries of distinctive sectors, emerge based on technology convergence. As a result, the dynamics of the respective innovation systems (IS) also transform in a co-evolutionary perspective. Thus far, the IS approach has concerned with the dynamics of only one dominant sector and co-evolution within the sector, while only paying attention to the links of related/supportive sectors. Therefore, there is room for improvement to explain the effect of technology convergence over cross-sectoral dynamics and respective IS, as well as examining the impacts of KETs over sectoral transformation. For these reasons, this research aimed to contribute theoretically and methodologically to the field of IS by conceptualizing an understanding of cross-sectoral co-evolution. Empirically, further refinement of the conceptualization based on a comparative multi-criteria assessment of more than one sector is applied for automotive and ICT sectors. As a result, a cross-sectoral matching analysis method is proposed, including both quantitative and qualitative technics; and a Cross-Sectoral Innovation System approach is conceptualized as a contribution to the IS literature.

Keywords: Sectoral Innovation Systems, ICT Sector, Automotive Sector, Cross-Sectoral Co-Evolution, Technology Convergence


Recent developments show that convergence, particularly technology convergence, is one of the main trends that shape the new economy. In the new economy, the dominant sector is being created by more than one converging sector that, in turn, provides the infrastructure for wealth creation by all sectors. Moreover, one of the crucial outputs of particularly technolog