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    New Research Program

    Innovation Networks and National Interests

    A sIMP Research Program

    Alexandra Waluszewski

    October 2011

    Over the last decades, globalisation and specialisation have given the

    economic landscape new, transnational transaction patterns. Production

    and related activities that traditionally were dealt with the by the

    firm and, to a large extent, within national borders, have

    increasingly been taken over by related supplier-customer

    relationships, stretching over local, regional and national borders

    (Håkansson et al. 2009; Castells 1996). During the same period the

    role of the state, at least within the EU, has profoundly changed.

    From active engagement in technological development and industrial

    renewal, through state procurement among others, the role of the state

    has been mainly limited to concern engagement in the commercial

    utilisation of research and in the creation and upholding of

    market-like arrangements for private as well as public organisations

    (Lundin et al, 2010; Edquist et al. 2006).

    The overall purpose behind the establishment of the sIMP Research Team

    and the research program Innovation Networks and National Interests

    is to explore what these changes in the business and political

    landscape mean for specific nations? attempts to affect industrial

    renewal, i.e. for attempts to affect innovation networks. Innovation

    networks are (in contradiction to Innovation Systems) the outcome of

    materialised interactions among business and organisational actors

    involved in developing, producing and using a certain set of

    products/services (Håkansson et al. 2009). The overall research

    question concerns how the state, in a transnationally interdependent

    business landscape, can affect innovation networks. This implies that

    the opportunities and restrictions in relation to affecting

    infrastructure and affecting specific economic actors have to be


    The research program will include two empirical settings, with the

    common denominator that their innovation patterns are of great

    national interest. Furthermore, in both areas the state’s involvement

    is significant but in different ways. One empirical setting is the

    health care sector and the other the construction industry. The

    expected outcome of the research program is identification of

    opportunities and restrictions for the state to affect the innovation

    networks of these empirical areas, i.e. how the state can act in

    relation to the development, producing and using of new

    products/services. The research program will include joint as well as

    individual research projects, and will also include a workshop series

    with two annual meetings, the first taking place in March and October


    The sIMP Research Team is organisationally located at the STS Centre

    (Science and Technology Studies Centre) at Uppsala University with the

    goal of utilising the research experiences of two different but

    overlapping research networks: The multidisciplinary research network

    related to the STS Centre, with a shared interest in the relationship

    among academic research and the economic utilisation of knowledge

    (, and the IMP Group with its extensive research

    concerning numbers of aspects related to the content and effect of an

    interdependent business landscape.

    The sIMP Research Team is co-ordinated by Alexandra Waluszewski,

    Research leader at the STS Centre, in co-operation with Håkan

    Håkansson, Professor Norwegian Business School BI and Visiting

    Professor at the STS Centre, and Enrico Baraldi, Professor, Department

    of Engineering Science, Division of Industrial Engineering &

    Management, Uppsala University.

    The following representatives of the IMP research community are

    engaged in the sIMP Research Advisory Board: David Ford, Professor

    emeritus, University of Bath, and Visting Professor, Euromed,

    Marseille; Lars-Erik Gadde, Professor, Chalmers University of

    Technology; Debbie Harrison, Associate Professor, Norwegian Business

    School, BI, Oslo; Annalisa Tunisini, Professor, Universitá Cattolica,

    Milan; Tibor Mandják, Professor, Corvinus University, Budapest; Ivan

    Snehota, Professor, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Judy

    Zolkiewski, Manchester Business School, UK.

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