x close

A broader understanding of innovation and innovation capabilities

Scientific research can provide important knowledge resources for innovation, but much innovation occurs in its absence. Since the original Sussex Manifesto, there has been a growing appreciation of the broader technical and social components of innovation, as well as the kinds of capabilities that are important in the innovation process and the systems within which these play a role.

Resources on this CD

  1. 'Capabilities' Bell, M. (2009) Innovation Capabilities and Directions of Development, STEPS Working Paper 33, Brighton: STEPS Centre
  2. Prof Sheila Jasanoff, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University at the 2009 STEPS Symposium. “I think that in a new era of innovation in the 21st Century equal attention needs to be given to the social and material sources of changing the ways in which we live, and global bodies are in a position to bring about different, and possibly more productive linkages between the technical and the social. But for that, ways will have to be found to compile experience and deep-seated knowledge of systems, not just data-points and not just statistics”

  3. Prof Mu Rongping at the Beijing Manifesto roundtable, 2010. The Director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences - Institute for Policy and Management, discussed how China’s innovation policy has moved to focus on innovation management and co-ordination, S&T development, industrial innovation, innovation in the social domain (health, public services, security and the environment, infrastructure and “innovation culture”).Transcript in English

  4. Dr Watu Wamae, Open University at the STEPS Symposium 2009. Watu Wamae talked of informal innovations in sub-Saharan African countries. “They may not be tantalising technological innovations, but they involve complex forms of social technologies that are targeted at not only addressing societal needs of the poor but have important linkages with the formal sector. If the question of innovation in sub-Saharan Africa is to be addressed effectively, the informal sector cannot be neglected.

Additional online resources

(Internet connection required)
  1. Hall, A. Janssen, W., Pehu, E. & Rajalahti, R. (2006) “Enhancing Agricultural Innovation: How to go Beyond the Strengthening of Research Systems
  2. Arnold, E. and Bell, M. (2001) “Some new ideas about research for development” in: Partnership at the Leading Edge: A Danish Vision for Knowledge, Research and Development, Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, pp. 279-316.
  3. Total innovation: harnessing all forms of innovation to maximise competitive advantage. NESTA policy briefing. National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts: London. May 2008
  4. Royal Society (2009) Hidden wealth: the contribution of science to service sector innovation
  5. Conway and Waage (2010) Science and Innovation for Development. The authors describe the research interactions that lead to new solutions. “Together, these are often called a science innovation system. The players may come from companies, universities, government and civil society. Scientists play a key role, of course, but so do other stakeholders, such as policy makers, bankers and investors.”
  6. Rath, A. and Barnett, A. (2005) Innovations Systems: Concepts, Approaches and Lessons from RNRRS, RNRRS Synthesis Study no. 10. (summary)
  7. LINK (Learning Innovation Knowledge) documents diverse forms of innovation: for example, the 'tourist guide' - a resource document charting the emerging landscape of systems studies on rural innovation.

We welcome examples of innovation for development.
Email us at steps-centre@ids.ac.uk