Nordregio News 1 2017

This issue of Nordregio News focuses on innovation and governance. What are the key issues in innovation policies and how should they be considered in governance? We view this from different perspectives, with a common focus on the interests of people, their institutions and the knowledge they bring to the table.

Different modes of innovation have different normative implications regarding whose interests and knowledge count as significant. National economic welfare is the predominant normative value driving innovation policies; which are often operationalised using success criteria such as competitiveness, economic growth and production of know-how protected by intellectual property rights. However, e.g. innovation in the bioeconomy raises questions over environmental sustainability, social justice and human rights relating to land, forests, the marine environment and water. All of these are vital to human subsistence, are limited in supply and are usually difficult or impossible to reproduce solely by technological means and capital.